Ear mites are a nuisance; tiny insects which earthquake in an animal's ear canal, irritating the area and causing infections. The most commonly affected pets are cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets. Although the very rare cases of human infection have been reported, it's generally believed that humans can not "catch" the insects from their pets. There are a number of treatments available for your pet.
First, it must be determined if your pet actually has ear mites. The first symptom is often the movement of the pet shaking their head, as if trying to get the mites out. The infestation causes discomfort and irritation in the pet's ear. Inspect your pet's ear; If there seems to be a brown discharge, this could be a sign of ear mites. (The mites can sometimes be seen as tiny white dots) To be sure (do not subject your pet to treatment unless you're sure it's ear mites causing the irritation), take your pet to a professional.
Verification of ear mites can be done with the use of a microscope by a trained veterinarian. They can barely be seen by the human eye, so a microscope is often used to diagnose ear mites from another type of infection.
The tiny insects are transmitted from one host to another, so often an entire household of pets will need to be valued at once. They can be very irritating to pets and can lead to further complications, such as infections and skin diseases, so treatment is necessary.
Treatment for infection typically involves a topical treatment which must be administrated regularly over a period of time up to one month. Some pets can be uncooperative when it comes to administering treatment, so there are topical treatments that must be administrated for up to 14 days.
There are also injections available that cut down the time of treatment dramatically, although certain animals can be sensitive to the medication, and there are a few one-time topical treatments that can be affective against ear mites.
As always, it's important to have your pet correctly diagnosed before beginning treatment. You do not want to subject your pet to any treatment, particularly one that can be lengthy and potentially hazardous, without a proper diagnosis.
Ear mites can be treated effectively and easily, but they are not something to be taken lightly. Left untreated, they can cause a serious infection which will jeopardize the health of your pet. If you suspect an infection, notice any of the symptoms above (or notice any unusual behavior in your pet), please take the pet to a veterinarian to be checked.
Source by Tonia Jordan