What - Precisely - Are Ear Mites?
These are the most prevalent mite that plagues dogs and they are very infectious, easily and quickly spreading from dog to dog. They can also pass from other animals such as cats to dogs.
They are miniature crab-like parasites that take up residence in the dog’s ear canals and regardless of the name, they can also sometimes be found throughout a dog’s body if allowed to spread.
They can be on the neck, back, chest...and even migrate to the legs and tail. There can be hundreds of thousands of mites inside of a Boxer’s ear.
They start by jumping from an infected dog or animal to its new host (your dog) and then living on the surface of the dog’s ear canal. It is there that they feed on the minuscule amounts of a dog’s tissue and ear fluid.
Given enough time without treatment, they can trek to the dog’s back, neck and all over the body.
What are the Symptoms?
- There will be inflammation in your Boxer’s ears, this is sometimes extreme and very noticeable
- Intense itching and scratching – Your dog may have unusual head shaking and do all he can to scratch his ears and/or head
- An increase of ear wax, this may be thicker than usual
How Does a Dog Get Mites?
Even though a dog may catch ear mites at any age
, this does happen more commonly with young puppies
. This is exceedingly contagious and if any creature or dog that has ear mites comes into contact with your Boxer, your dog may then have them. The mites are able to live outside of the ear canal which allows them to jump from animal to animal.
How is this Diagnosed?
Your Boxer’s vet can make the diagnosis for you with a simple tool to check your dog’s ears. Some of the signs are comparable to yeast infections and other ear troubles, therefore the vet will make the diagnosis by using a lighted otoscope tool that permits him to observe these minuscule mites.
The light that discharges from this tool in fact causes the mites to move out of the wax and allows the vet to see them better.
What is the Treatment?
Once it is confirmed that ear mites are the culprit, cleaning and medication will fix this health issue. Owners may be tempted to try home remedies (which are not proven at all to work), such as tea rinses or oil treatment (said to suffocate the mites), however this is a rather serious issue that causes a lot of discomfort for a puppy or dog...
And is very contagious, therefore it is highly recommended to skip those home remedies and immediately begin using the medication prescribed by your Boxer's veterinarian so that the ears can be properly treated and mites can be eradicated as soon as possible.
When treating for this, the ears are completely cleaned to remove all wax; any wax will prevent the medication from reaching the mites. After the topical medication is applied, you will be given instructions to clean the dog’s ears and give medication at home.
Since ear mites are tremendously transmittable, all other pets (any type of animal can catch these) should be inspected and treated at the same time.
Can I Prevent This?
It can help to completely dry your Boxer’s ears after bath time. Keeping your dog well away from any dogs or cats that show symptoms is highly recommended. Taking your Boxer to the vet as soon as you think mites may be present is the best course of action for a prompt recovery.