[A] Ear Mites
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Ear mites belong to the class Arachnida, which includes ticks and other species of mites (such as the dust mite and the mold mite). Mites are often considered one of the most diverse and prosperous of all invertebrates [1]. Since they possess a small body structure, they are able to conduct their regular routine without being detected by others. Most mites are microscopic, living in the soil and water, as well as on humans and animals. As for the ear mite, they choose to set up shop in the ears of animals (mostly cats).

The most common species of ear mite is the Otodectes cynotis, which possesses the capacity to spread at a rapid pace – transmitted with the briefest of physical contact with other animals. When it comes to the animals you share your home with, ear mites typically affect cats and ferrets the most, but also attack dogs as well. In very rare cases, ear mites will come in contact with humans and become an issue.

Pets infected with ear mites often scratch about their ears or characteristically shake their heads. The intensity of scratching and head shaking will depend on how badly they are infected with ear mites. In the worst cases, the ear canals begin to bleed, where fresh or dried blood becomes quite visible inside of the ear canal. This dried blood is often described as coffee grounds. Although a buildup of this coffee ground-like material in the ear canal is a common symptom of ear mites, it is not a completely conclusive manner to diagnose an ear mite infection, as a handful of bacterial and/or yeast infections will also produce this effect.
The presence of ear mites is quite common, but an infection is too serious of a condition to ignore. When left untreated, the ear canals can become severely damaged along with the eardrum. Unfortunately, animals have been known to permanently lose their hearing as a result.
Overall, the main symptoms in both cats and dogs to look out for include intense irritation, scratching, thick and crusty ear discharge (black in color), an increase in earwax production, persistent ear scratching and shaking of the head. To make sure you are accurately treating your pet for ear mites, it is highly recommended to bring your companion to the veterinarian for a definite diagnosis. A pet doctor will use what is called a “ighted otoscope,” which magnifies the mites. The light attached to the otoscope brings mites to the forefront of their earwax surroundings, creating movement the veterinarian is able to detect. If mites are not readily visible using the otoscope, an examination of the earwax will take place under a microscope.

Home Remedies for Ear Mites

Some pet owners have used almond and olive oil to treat ear mites . A mixture comprised of ½ ounce of almond (or olive) oil combined with 400 IU of vitamin E should be placed in a dropper bottle. The contents should be warmed to room temperature, where a ½ -full dropper is placed into the ear. It is completely natural to see your pet shake their head after receiving the treatment.

Using cotton swabs, gently clean out the opening of the ears. The oil works wonders when applied every other day for a period of six days. The ears should rest for three days, where the treatment steps are then repeated for six weeks to make sure all ear mite eggs are dealt with. This oil treatment not only smothers the majority of ear mites, but also facilitates the healing process.

Some veterinarians suggest the use of white vinegar for treating ear mites because the acidity helps remove dirt and debris, which also aims to revitalize a healthy equilibrium within the ears. Using a small amount of diluted vinegar is suggested, which is made when combining one part vinegar and two parts of water together. Gently pour the remedy into the ears, making sure to thoroughly massage the solution. This treatment is then followed by a gentle wipe of the inside of the ear using cotton ball.

It is important to note that this remedy is not good to use on pets that have sores or intense irritation located inside the ears. An uncomfortable stinging is the result.

An ear mite remedy for dogs that also provides safe, effective, soothing relief to the ears is to use
the gel of an aloe vera plant leaf. Simply break off a small end of a leaf, and use a Q-tip to swab the ear with the gel. Within a few days, you should see a change in the condition of your pet’s ear.

Who would have thought that the same product used to remove germs from your hands can eliminate an ear mite problem in cats? After administering one to two squirts, massage the base of the ears. After two days, you should see no more head shaking or scratching on the part of your pet [8]. If you use the sanitizer that comes with a hand pump, you can easily administer the remedy with a few squirts. Follow up with a gentle massage of the ears. Do not use this remedy on ears that have already been scratched raw, or your pet will experience a burning sensation from the alcohol content of the hand sanitizer.

A natural home remedy for ear mites in rabbits is honey – an effective healing substance that is both antiseptic and antibacterial. Add three teaspoons of honey to a bowl with three ounces of warm water. Mix the ingredients together until the honey has completely dissolved in the water. With the help of a bulb syringe, squeeze the solution into the rabbit’s ear – making sure the liquid covers the entire inside of the ear. You will have to hold the ear in the upright position to make sure the inner ear is coated. Repeat the process in the other ear.

Create an ear mite treatment for cats by soaking crushed garlic in warm olive oil overnight. Warm up the remaining olive oil in the morning, and add five drops of the remedy in each ear – repeating the process for a period of 21 days. This remedy will not only smother the ear mites, but also deliver the healing powers of garlic as well.

Treating Pups

ï Antiseptic Tea Rinse. Green tea is a natural antiseptic. It can be used to flush out all the ear might debris—that crumbly brown/black stuff that clogs the puppy’s ear canal. Steep a tablespoon of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for three or four minutes, and then strain it. Let it cool to room temperature before using once a day for a month.
ï Oil Treatment. Oil helps sooth sore ears, and also can float debris out. Oil also can suffocate the mites. Holistic vets say it doesn’t really matter what kind of oil you use, although some recommend almond or olive oil. Avoid tea tree oil, though, because it can be toxic for cats and smaller pets like young puppies. For the best benefit, crush a couple garlic cloves in a cup of the oil and let it marinate overnight. Garlic naturally kills bacteria that might develop secondary to the mite infection. Remember to remove the garlic before using the oil to treat your puppy’s ears though. You’ll need to treat the ears with the oil/garlic solution daily for at least a month.
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