Treating Ticks on Dogs Ears

Treating Ticks on Dogs’ Ears

Ticks on dogs can cause various diseases, from bacterial and viral infections to a neurological condition. There are several types of ticks which can attach to your dog’s body when he goes for walks in the park or when he plays in bushes and tall grass. The ticks can attach to various parts of the body and feed on the dog’s blood. Sometimes, they enter the dog’s ears causing otitis. There is a particular species of ticks, the spinous ear tick, which invades dog’s ears causing a series of problems in the area.

Dog Spinous Ear Tick

The spinous ear tick (otobius megnini) is a species of ticks which enters the external auditory canal in dogs causing acute otitis. This condition will manifest through violent shaking of the head, scratching, pain and even neurological manifestations such as convulsions.

The tick, is only parasitic when it reaches the larval and nymph stage. The nymph stage has 4 pairs of yellow legs and is blue-grayish in color. In the larvae stage, the tick has only got 3 pairs of legs.

The spinous ear tick is a soft shell tick and has a leathery cover. Ear ticks can live in the ear canal up to seven months before they turn into adults. When they do not feed, they can stay hidden in the cervices inside the ear and they are difficult to spot. Given that ticks generally cause severe medical conditions in dogs, it is important to spot and remove the tick and treat whatever disease it caused as soon as possible.

Treating Ticks on Dogs’ Ears

The treatment of ticks on the dog’s ears will consist of several steps:

  • Identifying the tick
  • Removing the tick
  • Cleaning the area
  • Treating any diseases caused by the tick
  • Cleaning the ears
  • Getting tick preventive solutions

The first step in treating ticks in dog’s ears is the identification and the removal of the tick. The ticks usually stay hidden in the ear’s crevices. They only get out when they need to feed. This is why in most cases they are difficult to spot, so you might see the first symptoms appear before you spot the tick.

When removing the tick, make sure not to squeeze it, as it can release more toxins into the dog’s bloodstream.

Use special tweezers and grab the tick as close to the skin as possible. Usually tick bites cause small size irritations of the skin which disappear in about a week after the bite. This reaction is a result of immediate local hyper-sensitivity.

Even if the tick bite in itself is not such a big problem, the diseases they cause are much more serious. In case of ear infections and external otitis caused by ticks located in the ear, your dog might need treatment based on corticosteroids and antibiotics applied locally on the external auditory tract. You can also use some tick preventatives to control any further infestation. To make sure you get the best treatment, consult your veterinarian.

Ear Infections In Dogs: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, And Prevention

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Ear infections are one of the most common medical issues for dogs, and they can present concerning symptoms. Luckily, most canine ear infections clear up easily with treatment.

There are two different types of ear infections generally seen in dogs. The first is otitis media, which affects the middle ear, and the second isotitis externa, which is an infection of the outer ear canal. Your veterinarian can successfully treat either of these ear infection.

The problem comes when dog owners do not treat the infection quickly and efficiently; then serious issues–and damage–can result.

Here’s what you should know about the symptoms, causes, and treatments for ear infections in dogs.

Symptoms Of Ear Infections In Dogs

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The symptoms of ear infections in dogs range from mild to complicated, especially if treatment isn’t pursued immediately.

Since ear infections are generally uncomfortable, even painful, you will probably see behaviors in your dog that include:

  • Scratching at the ears
  • Rubbing ears on the ground or furniture
  • Shaking the head
  • Tilting the head to one side frequently

If you look at the ear, you may discover the following:

  • Redness
  • Inflammation
  • Crusting
  • Hair loss
  • An unpleasant odor
  • Discharge that is black or yellow in color

As the condition worsens, you may notice the following signs in your dog:

  • Loss of balance
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

If you see any of these signs in your dog, it is time to call the veterinarian for an examination and possible treatment plan.

Causes Of Ear Infections In Dogs

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Different types of ear infections in dogs have different causes.

In the case of otitis externa, the most common cause is bacteria or yeast accumulating in the area. Other possible culprits are matted hair settling in the ear canal, a wax buildup, a foreign object, or debris.

An ear infection can also occur if your pet has a tumor or an infestation of ear mites. Additionally, otitis externa can begin as a problem in another part of the body, which can travel to the ear as a secondary infection.

Infections in the middle ear, the otitis media, usually occur when an outer ear infection spreads inward. If the eardrum ruptures for any reason, such as improper cleaning, a foreign substance, or ulceration, this type of infection can reach the middle ear area, as well.

Ear infections are more common in dogs who have certain types of ears. They can be seen much more often in the floppy-eared breeds such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, but they’re also diagnosed frequently in types like Schnauzers and Miniature Poodles because they have hairy inner ear flaps.

Diagnosis And Treatment For Ear Infections In Dogs

Treatment of ear infections in dogs depends on the source of the infection. Your veterinarian will first try to diagnose the type of infection, whether a foreign body is involved, and whether the eardrum has ruptured.

This will affect the choices in medication that they may prescribe for your dog. Your vet will most likely use an otoscope to view the ear canal–much like a doctor will do for a child with a suspected ear infection.

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If the infection is particularly painful, and your dog does not want their ear examined, so your vet may use sedation or anesthesia to make the exam more comfortable for your pet.

The next step in the exam will probably be cytology, where the veterinarian removes a sample from the ear canal and examines it under a microscope. This way he can determine the type of organism that is causing the infection, and prescribe the most effective medication for your pet.

If more than one organism is involved, more than one medication may be necessary to fully clear out the infection. Antibiotics are usually prescribed in the case of bacterial infection.

If your vet finds a foreign substance, a tick, or a buildup of some sort inside the ear canal, they will probably sedate your dog to remove the object or substance and give the ear a thorough cleansing.

If the infection is found in the middle ear area, treatment may be more involved since this type of infection can be harder to get rid of. Your dog’s exam in this case may include x-rays, lab tests, and even surgery in some cases. An infection like this may take up to six weeks to clear completely, and you will be required to limit your dog’s activity during this recuperation period.

Get Treatment Early

It is important to note that the longer an infection is allowed to thrive before treatment, the harder it will be to cure. With that in mind, you should take your pet to the vet at the first sign of a problem. Keep your eyes open for the telltale signs like scratching, since this activity can also cause more problems with the ear if left unchecked.

If an infection is left too long, it can cause damage that may only be reparable through surgical procedures. Take these infections seriously, and get your pet medical treatment as soon as possible to avoid complications.

Recovery From Ear Infections In Dogs

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No matter what type of ear infection your dog has, you’ll need to help with their recovery process. This includes keeping water out of your pet’s ears, making sure they get necessary medications, and taking them to follow-up vet appointments.

It is not always easy to medicate a dog in this condition. Ask your veterinarian for guidance in how to follow the procedure properly. Keep in mind that the area may be tender for your dog. Therefore, you should proceed gently and carefully, and reward your dog after you finish the medication and cleansing process.

In most ear infection cases, the problem will clear, and there will be no long-lasting effects of the infection.

If your pet seems to get ear infections on a regular basis, your veterinarian might want to look at other potential reasons for the problem, such as thyroid disease or allergies. By treating these conditions, you may effectively resolve the ear infection issue.

Prevention Of Ear Infections In Dogs

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The easiest way to treat an ear infection in your dog is to prevent one from occurring in the first place.

You can do much to assist the prevention process by giving your pet a weekly ear cleaning. This is especially important if your dog has long, floppy ears, lots of hair inside the ears, or suffers from another condition like seasonal allergies.

Dogs with hairy ears can also have the area trimmed or plucked regularly by a groomer to prevent problems.

Your veterinarian can recommend an ear cleansing solution. You can use this on your pet every week to keep the area clean and free of debris and bacteria.

While this may seem like a traumatic process to put you and your pet through every week, most veterinarians agree that the more regularly you perform these cleanings, the easier it will get as your pet gets used to having their ears handled in this manner.

If your pet is suffering from chronic ear infections, or has another condition that prompts these infections, weekly maintenance and preventative care will go far towards keeping your dog healthy and happy.

Has your dog ever had an ear infection? How did you treat it? Let us know in the comments below!

Ear tick in dogs — symptoms and treatment

Mites are to dogs what the common cold is to humans: contagious and prevalent enough that most dogs have experienced it.

Not all cases of mites are problematic. In fact, most infestations occurring among puppies resolve themselves. These microscopic, transparent, crab-like parasites are just a part of life. But there are certain types of mite infestations that can cause skin irritation and result in more serious health complications if left untreated. Even dogs who are well-cared for can develop mite infestations that will become harmful if left unmanaged.

Types of Dog Mite Infestations

Mite infestations that cause skin irritation are also called “mange.” But getting down to the nitty gritty, there are four types of mites that result in noticeable symptoms and effects. They include:

  • Sarcoptes scabiei — Also known as canine scabies, these burrow into the skin rather than merely reside on its surface
  • Otodectes cynotis — Ear mites marked by a black or brownish-red crust in the ear
  • Demodex canis — Live in hair follicles and are common even on healthy dogs, but can cause demodectic mange
  • Cheyletiella yasguri — Mites that reside on the surface, also known “walking dandruff”

While it’s not particularly pleasant to think of tiny parasites riding around on your furry best pal, demodex mites in particular are often found on healthy, well-cared for dogs. Their presence isn’t problematic unless the dog’s immune system is compromised and cannot fend off overpopulation. When the mite population increases, it results in itching and inflammation, which can ultimately lead to a bacterial infection. Pets with weak immune systems will be more likely to develop bad cases of mites.

While minor cases of demodectic mange are common among puppies and usually clear up on their own, certain risk factors may make the infestation harder to get rid of and more problematic. Stress, an unclean environment, cases of intestinal heartworms, and infections can all increase the risk of developing a problematic case of mites. Pregnant and nursing dogs and their puppies are also at higher risk.

Untreated demodectic mange can be deadly. If you see patchy skin on the face, your dog may be suffering from this type of mange, which will eventually spread all the way to the rear. Demodectic mange in puppies is usually localized, while older dogs more often suffer from generalized demodectic mange. Visit a trusted veterinarian immediately if you suspect your dog may have this type. If your dog is experiencing these systems, it’s important to treat with a safe spray or shampoo bar that will eliminate the mites on the skin and provide soothing relief.

You may recognize “demodex mites” as a parasite that can also live on humans; but before you get chills up your spine, you should know that your dog cannot spread its particular brand of demodex mites to you even though the condition is contagious as it relates to pets.

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When in close contact with the Cheyletiella or Sarcoptes mite, you as the owner may develop a patch of discoloration or minor red rash. This isn’t serious and should clear up with a shower or bath.

Symptoms of Dog Mites

Regardless of what type of mite is hitching a ride on your dog, the symptoms can be bothersome, uncomfortable, and even painful. Here are some signs that will help you identify the presence of mites:

  • Intense itchiness expressed in scratching, biting, licking, rubbing on furniture
  • Scaly or crusty skin
  • Inflammation and redness
  • Sores
  • White flakes
  • Oily, smelly substance
  • Hair loss
  • Lesions on the elbow and ankles
  • Raw skin
  • Shaking the head and scratching the ears (ear mites)
  • Black or dark brownish-red residue (ear mites)
  • Obstruction of ear canal (ear mites)

If you don’t address mites promptly it can lead to more serious complications. Dogs who excessively shake their heads, whether due to ear mites or an ear infection, can develop a hematoma (or swelling of blood) in the brain. Infections can also occur with prolonged skin irritation. Some of the worst symptoms occur as the result of self-trauma out of reaction to the itching and discomfort; incessant ear scratching can result in damage to the ear canal. If you think your dog may have a mite infestation/mange, visit a holistic vet who can recommend care that will unearth the root of the issue rather than simply treat its symptoms.

Sometimes symptoms of other health issues appear similar to mites and mange. You may need to rule out a bacterial infection, chiggers, fleas, or an allergic reaction before choosing a course of treatment. Many people take their dog to the vet thinking mange is an allergic reaction. Symptoms that you think indicate the presence of ear mites — such as head tilting, head rubbing, and ear residue — may actually indicate an ear infection. The color of the residue usually differs; ear infection discharge is usually more of a rusty color rather than black. Inflammation and irritation alone could signal that a foreign object is lodged in the ear. Be sure to pause and make sure you’re addressing the right underlying cause before treating the ears for ear mites.

Natural Dog Mite Remedies

Mite infestations are a treatable condition with a variety of solutions. After diagnosing a mite infestation, a traditional veterinarian will most likely prescribe either a topical treatment like a dip, shampoo, or cream , or a oral medication. In some cases, the vet will prescribe an antibiotic or antifungal medication to address a secondary infection.

Harsh chemical dips can have harmful side effects like vomiting, loss of appetite, and diarrhea. Insecticides may kill the mites, but they aren’t exactly ideal for your pet’s health. A holistic vet will not only provide a solution for the symptoms, but also consider how your dog’s diet and lifestyle may be affecting their immune system. A dog with a well-rounded, nutritional, and natural diet will have a healthier immune system that’s able to control mite populations before they get out of hand.

Whatever treatment route you and your vet choose, it’s important to thoroughly clean and disinfect your dog’s bed and other belongings. Wash any sheets, plush toys, rugs, collars, leashes, or cushion covers your dog may have used while affected by the mites. Separate the infected dog from other household pets in a comfortable and safe area. Wash your hands and change your clothes after handling or providing care to a dog with mites.

If the symptoms of the mite infection are mild, you may be able to treat your furry companion at home with natural dog mite remedies. If you see symptoms of ear mites, this All Ears Treatment containing no harmful chemicals can help gently clear up the issue. You’ll need to keep your dog calm while you administer the drops in the ear canal and massage the base of the ear for 60 seconds. Wipe dry with a cotton swab — never use an ear swab! Thin, hard objects like ear swabs can damage your dog’s ear drum.

It can take up to six weeks for the symptoms to fully resolve, so give your chosen treatment time to do its work. Too many vet visits could stress out your pup and also put it at risk of re-contracting mites due to the contact with other dogs in public places. Even if your dog’s symptoms start to clear up immediately, be sure to complete the course of treatment, following product or vet instructions. It’s a good idea to follow up with your veterinarian if you’re not sure whether the condition has cleared after six weeks. They can perform a skin scrape to see if mites are still present.

Unfortunately, some cases of mange are more chronic due to a suppressed or weak immune system. Cases like this will need long-term treatment and the advice of a holistic veterinarian. You may be able to improve your dog’s immune system with holistic treatment, which will help fight off mites and resulting infections. Refrain from breeding a dog that suffers from chronic mite infestations, as their immune system deficiencies may be hereditary.

Natural Dog Mite Prevention Tips

Since treatment is usually fairly straightforward, it may be tempting to only address mange or ear mites when they’re a problem. But you can get ahead of these issues and ward them off by taking everyday precautions that will help keep your pooch happy and healthy.

    Use all-natural pet shampoo to keep your pet clean. When you bathe your dog, be careful not to get water in the ears, as the moisture can lead to ear infections. Bathing a large dog can be difficult if they happen to be uncooperative, so you may want to take the activity outdoors rather than trying to convince a wary dog to jump in the tub.

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To relieve your pup from itchy skin, apply this Skin Tonic spray. The spray contains a powerful, yet soothing neem oil that supports skin health. You can also use skin tonic oil for any localized patches or open wounds.

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  • Ask questions about potential boarding or daycare facilities to make sure they meet sanitary standards that will help prevent mites from spreading.
  • Make sure your dog has access to plenty of fresh water at all times.
  • Select a naturally-derived, grain-free, dairy-free organic food that will help maintain your dog’s overall health and strengthen their immune system.
  • Incorporate immune-boosting supplements. Neem Bark Powder can help offer digestive and immune support.
  • Clean your dog’s ears with All Ears Wash once per month.

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  • When you adopt or rescue a stray dog, thoroughly examine it for signs of mites and mange. If the mange is advanced and there is hair loss or redness, visit a veterinarian as soon as possible.
  • You can turn to home remedies in a pinch to help soothe symptoms, including apple cider vinegar and honey. Honey is a natural antiseptic and gentle on the skin, but make sure you choose natural honey as opposed to a brand with artificial colors or added sugar. Apple cider vinegar is an all-natural astringent. It’s smell is potent, but it can gently help get the job done.
  • Don’t get too experimental with home remedies or make uninformed guesses because this could lead to further irritation. Don’t substitute online advice for the advice of a credentialed veterinarian.
  • Wash your dog’s bedding on a regular basis whether or not there are symptoms of mange.
  • Brush and comb your dog and keep the coat trimmed if necessary.
  • Be sure to use natural products when washing your dog and their belongings so as not to evoke an allergic reaction to harsh chemicals or artificial fragrances.
  • Let friends and family members know about mite infestations so you don’t have any cases of dogs that come in frequent contact with each other passing it back and forth. Tell them about the symptoms and natural ways to address the symptoms if they occur.
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    Maintaining general cleanliness and a healthy diet will greatly decrease your dog’s chances of contracting mites. Avoidance of high-traffic dog areas will also lessen the risk.

    Many dog enthusiasts open their home to needy strays and foster pups, and some of these can be “mangy mutts.” If you happen to be one of these generous people, make sure to keep your house clean and have a safe, separate place for any dog you suspect may have a mite infestation. If you address the symptoms quickly and thoughtfully, you’ll have one happy, dog-friendly family.

    Ear Tumors in Dogs

    Most Common Symptoms

    Ear Tumors Average Cost

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    What are Ear Tumors?

    If your pet has an ear tumor, it may be asymptomatic until it gets big enough to cause symptoms or unless it is visible. The majority of ear tumors are not cancerous and some do not even need treatment unless they are causing problems or pain in your dog. However, many veterinarians believe that it is best to remove ear tumors, whether they are in the tissues, bones, or glands, or need to be removed to prevent infection, pain, and growth. The tumors of the ear are most often small lumps on stalks growing from the skin, but they may also be a large mass in the ear, or just a flat discolored lesion. They can be black, purple, pink, white, or brown and they may be filled with blood, oil, or pus, depending on the location. Dogs with long, floppy ears, such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and Golden Retrievers, are predisposed to ear tumors and having multiple ear infections may also be a risk factor.

    Ear canal tumors are growths in any part of the ear, including the muscles, bones, connective tissues, oil and earwax glands, and outer, inner, and middle layer of skin. The outer ear canal and pinna area are more common than the inner or middle ear to find a tumor. Ear canal tumors in dogs are more likely to be benign (not cancerous) than malignant, but they should always be seen by a veterinary professional because these tumors can cause deafness and balance problems (among other complications) for your pet.

    Symptoms of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    The side effects of ear tumors depend on where the tumor is and how large it is. Some of the most often reported signs of ear tumors are:

    • Visible growth in the ear
    • Shaking head
    • Stumbling or falling due to lack of balance
    • Tilting the head
    • Swelling of the ear
    • Scratching or rubbing the ear
    • Whining or crying in pain when ear is touched
    • Foul smell in the ear
    • Bloody or yellow discharge


    Most ear tumors are benign (not cancerous), but only a veterinarian professional is qualified to tell the difference. That being said, there are several types of ear tumors which include:

    • Earwax gland tumor
    • Inner ear tissue tumor
    • Middle ear tissue tumor
    • Outer ear tissue tumor
    • Tumor of the bone

    Causes of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    Experts are not certain what causes ear tumors, but there are several risk factors:

    • Dogs with large, floppy ears (Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, Golden Retrievers)
    • History of multiple ear infections (otitis externa, otitis interna, otitis media)
    • Long-term inflammation of the ear canal
    • Repeated infestations of ear mites
    • Thickening of the ear wax for any reason (usually unknown)

    Diagnosis of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    To diagnose an ear tumor in your dog, your veterinarian will need to perform a thorough physical examination, including weight, blood pressure, temperature, reflexes, pupil reaction time, heart rate, respiration rate, skin and coat condition, and breath sounds. Be sure to tell the veterinarian if your dog is on any kind of medicine, whether it is prescription or over the counter drug. Also, describe the symptoms you have noticed and how long they have been going on.

    General diagnostic tests will be needed, which may include a complete blood count (CBC), chemical analysis, blood gases, liver enzyme panel, and blood urea nitrogen (BUN). If possible, a detailed otoscopic examination of the affected ear will be done to check for damage or any other tumors. Your dog will be sedated for this procedure as well as for the x-rays that are needed to look at the internal ear structure. In addition, an ultrasound, MRI or CT scan may be necessary for a more detailed examination. Finally, the veterinarian will do a fine needle aspiration for biopsy of the tumor to check for malignancy.

    Treatment of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    Treatment of the ear tumor depends on where it is and how big it is, but it usually involves surgery to remove the growth. Laser surgery is used if possible, as that is the safest choice. However, in some cases, the veterinarian may have to do a surgical excision or a total ear canal ablation (TECA), if there is extensive damage from the growth.

    Total ear canal ablation (TECA)

    Radiographs or CT scans are used to check the tympanic bullae (middle ear) and the narrowness of the ear canal. Your dog will have cultures taken to determine the best course of antibiotics to use to prevent further infection. TECA is the removal of the ear canal, which is done if the tumor has damaged or distorted the canal beyond repair. Your dog’s ear is opened up and the whole ear canal will be removed, including the bony part of the middle ear.

    Recovery of Ear Tumors in Dogs

    The diagnosis for ear tumors is good, but depends on your dog’s age, health, and where the tumor is located. As long as the tumor was benign, there is no reason to think your pet will have any lasting complications or shortened life span. In some dogs, the tumor may grow back, but this is very rare. However, if you notice another growth in the ear, be sure to call the veterinarian right away.

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