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Ear mite in dogs

Ear tick in dogs and other animals leads to the development of otodectosis disease. If you skip the start of the infection, the process becomes chronic and threatening, up to the death of the animal. To avoid the sad consequences, the owner needs to know the features of infection of the pet with a tick, the symptoms of the disease and the main directions of treatment.

What is an ear tick
What does a parasite look like? This is a very small insect, not reaching one millimeter, with a grayish-white translucent body, having a gnawing mouth apparatus. He gnaws at the skin and makes moves under it, laying eggs in them.

Ear mite under the microscope
The wounds become inflamed and fester. Larvae, feeding on the products of suppuration and lymphatic fluid, reach puberty after 3-4 weeks, and then also lay their eggs. In a short period of time, the ear tick can damage not only the skin of the dog’s ear, but also the eardrum, and penetrate further into the inner ear and brain.

The disease develops imperceptibly – when the animal begins to show signs of the presence of a tick, then, as a rule, a significant part of the ear is affected. In addition, it was noted that the activity of the insect is subject to some cyclicality: the period of activity and vivid symptoms are replaced by more or less calm intervals. Perhaps this is due to the cyclical development of the parasite. When the pathology takes threatening forms, there are no periods of rest.

How can a dog get an ear tick
An ear mite is capable of being transmitted from one animal to another no matter what stage of development it is at. During itching, the dog intensively combes the ears, promoting the spread of the parasite over the entire surface of the body. That is, the tick and its transitional forms can be located anywhere the pet is located.

A healthy animal can pick up an ear tick in the following ways:

upon contact (even fleeting) with a carrier animal;
through the care item used by the infected dog;
from a person who has been in contact with an affected representative;
by fleas (they can carry tick larvae);
from mother (in puppyhood).
Which animals are at risk
It has been established that the ear tick most often “attacks” young dogs who have not reached six months. The disease is characterized by a severe course and the development of complications.

Four-legged friends with long ears have an increased susceptibility to the parasite. Among them: dachshunds, spaniels, Yorkies. Hunting breeds are a special risk group – they can become infected with a tick not only from other relatives, but also from wild animals.

Does the disease depend on the time of year
An ear mite can “cling” to a pet at any time of the year – unlike ixodid ticks, this parasite is also active in the winter. Their reproduction does not depend on air temperature, daylight hours and other conditions. Since they live in the ear canal, they have no rest period. This means that the owner should be on his guard even in severe frost, avoiding the contact of his pet and foreign dogs.

Symptoms of an ear tick
A dog tick can be suspected if a dirty brown mass is found in the external auditory canal. It is formed from skin scales, particles of the outer integument of faded parasites, and secretion of the ear glands. All this is mixed with purulent discharge from the damaged areas of the epidermis and feces of ticks, and leads to severe skin irritation and the inflammatory process.

Other symptoms of ear tick:

hyperemia of the skin of the ear canal;
severe itching;
swelling of the ear folds.
The dog is nervous, shakes his head, often itches. When combing and shaking your ears, particles of accumulated mass can fly out of the external auditory canal.

In dogs, it is not difficult: the veterinarian during the examination will take material from the ear and look at it under a microscope. In the chronic form, bacterial inoculation of the contents of the ear canal may be necessary to determine the sensitivity of the insect to medicinal substances and to select the optimal drug. In advanced cases, a specialist can prescribe an X-ray examination or computed tomography to detect the condition of the inner ear and meninges. Among the additional diagnostic procedures, it should be noted: bacterial analysis, scrapings, allergic tests.

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