An ear tick, or scientific otodectosis, often affects our dogs and gives them a lot of unpleasant sensations. In people, this ailment is called ear scabies, and not without reason, because the parasite provokes the disease, which is localized in the ears of the animal, causing it to behave unusually. What kind of disease is this, how can it be recognized, and most importantly, get rid of it in a timely manner?
The development of otodectosis in dogs
Penetrating the body of an animal, the tick strives to get into its favorite habitat - the ears. It is here that there is food for this parasite - blood, earwax. Biting the delicate skin, the tick leaves ulcerated, festering areas, from which subsequently the coat falls.
The insect saliva dilutes the blood, which facilitates the process of saturation. In this case, the substances contained in the saliva of the parasite cause allergic reactions in the animal. And the main symptom of an allergy in this case becomes an intolerable itch.
Mite-affected surfaces are compacted and covered with dried crusts. I must say that the disease looks unpleasant and, seeing the formation in the ears of the pet, the owners most often think that his ears are simply contaminated. In fact, this is far from the case.
When a dog scratches its ears with otodectosis, it inflicts wounds on the affected skin, and this causes the development of the inflammatory process - a secondary infection that often accompanies the disease. Other causes can cause itching in the ears, not always parasitic in nature, but inflammation most often signals infection with an ear mite.
Symptoms of otodectosis in dogs
As already noted, tick saliva is an allergen to the animal, but not only it is toxic, but also all other products of its vital activity. Getting on the skin and in its inner layers, they lead to the appearance of microscopic tears, causing itching in the dog. The pet constantly scratches and shakes his ears. Scratches and wounds appear in the auricles and on the outside of the ear. Ear sulfur mixes with lymph, feces of ticks and forms brown crusts.
In addition, a number of symptoms are added:
- the dog begins to eat poorly, sometimes refuses food at all;
- the pet does not sit still, behaves uneasily;
- with a severe defeat, the dog can constantly tilt its head toward the affected ear.
To identify the cause of this behavior, that is, the parasite itself, an examination of the ear canal is necessary. Use a cotton swab to clean the auricle and place the contents on a dark sheet of paper. The seized sample must be delivered to the veterinary clinic.
In a clinic, the resulting material is examined under a microscope. If this is really a tick, then you can consider the moving tiny gray-white specks.
But if you can not see the parasites, then this does not guarantee their absence. In the initial stage of the development of the disease, this usually happens. In this case, only a veterinarian can identify the ailment.
The consequences of advanced otodectosis
A tick bite is not only an unpleasant sensation of a dog, but also a possible cause of various complications. If the pet is not treated, this can lead to the following consequences:
- suppuration of the formed wounds;
- the development of the inflammatory process in the ear - otitis media;
- damage and further destruction of the eardrum;
- decrease or total loss of hearing;
- inflammation of the membranes of the brain and spinal cord - meningitis.
Statistics indicate that in one out of ten cases of otodectosis, complications develop. Naturally, this is not a reason to panic, but a warning - a sick animal must be cured in a timely manner.
Read also about other ear diseases in dogs.
Dog ear mite treatment
There are many reasons why you should not, without experience, engage in self-treatment of a four-legged friend:
- After a comprehensive diagnosis, only a specialist can confirm that the pet has otodectosis.
- Choosing a drug, the doctor takes into account the individual characteristics of the dog (breed, tendency to allergic manifestations, neglect of the disease) and prescribes the optimal remedy.
- An experienced veterinarian will be able to calculate the required dosage, as well as the duration of the course.
All anti-parasite products can cause allergies, as they contain special ingredients that are poisonous to insects. Therefore, it is necessary to constantly monitor the animal and, in case of any symptoms, go to the clinic - the doctor will prescribe another drug.
Before applying external funds, it is necessary to clean the auricles from accumulated sulfur, leaked exudate, and crusts. To do this, you can wrap a piece of gauze or bandage on your index finger and wipe the inside of the sink. The bandage can be moistened with a solution of boric acid, furatsilina or hydrogen peroxide. In the latter case, it is necessary to prevent the drug from dripping inside the ear.
The procedure can be supplemented by applying vegetable oil to baked crusts, or treat them with freshly brewed tea leaves. To do this, it is convenient to use cotton buds and change them as often as possible.
For the same purpose, special lotions can be purchased at a veterinary pharmacy, for example, Epi-Otik or Otodin, which will facilitate the removal of crusts, eliminate unpleasant odors, and they also have a pronounced antipruritic effect. You can use them as a prophylactic.
It doesn’t matter if there is a lesion in one auricle or both were affected - two ears are always subjected to the procedure. You cannot use the same material to clean both ears - when switching to the second ear, you need to take a clean wand or put a new bandage on your finger. Such treatment is an excellent prophylactic that protects against further spread of parasites.
For the treatment of ear ticks in dogs, drops are usually prescribed. It is necessary to bury in both ears, strictly considering the prescribed dosage.
Among the known ear drops from otodectosis in dogs, the following can be noted:
- Amitrisan Plus;
For external treatment by a veterinarian, ointments can be prescribed:
- "Sulfuric ointment";
- Colloidal sulfur;
- "Aversectin ointment";
- "Balsamic liniment according to Vishnevsky."
Ointments must be warmed to room temperature, applied to the affected area with slightly massaging movements so that the drug penetrates into the deeper layers of the epidermis.
You should be aware that such remedies eliminate adult parasites. Therefore, it is necessary to repeat the treatment after a week and a half, after the first course. Do not forget about possible allergic manifestations, and if after using the product, the pet has hyperemia of the skin, itching, skin rash, then you need to see a doctor.
If, after a therapeutic course, the subcutaneous tick appears again, it means that this is an incorrect or inadequate treatment, or the dog has reduced immunity.
Ear mite preventive measures
Since the parasite is transmitted from an infected animal, the pet should be protected from communication with yard and homeless dogs. This is the main preventive measure.
A regular examination of the dog for parasites is required, and do not forget to pay attention to the ears. This is especially important for pets with hidden auricles, since it is not always possible to detect ticks or inflammation in time.
If brownish sulfur began to form, then the animal was infected with an ear tick.
By regularly cleaning the ears, you can remove the parasites that have just entered the ear, preventing the development of the disease. And, besides, such hygiene will not allow the spread of infection.
Do not neglect the use of special insecticides against parasites - drops, sprays, shampoos. Dogs need treatment before seasonal parasitic insects. You need to choose the funds carefully, especially if the pet has a tendency to allergies.
Like most diseases, otodectosis is very easily cured at the very beginning of development. At this stage, regular cleaning of the ears and the use of special drops will help rid the pet of the disease.
If it was not possible to identify the subcutaneous tick, and he inflicted significant damage on the dog, then not only otodectosis, but also a secondary infection would have to be treated. This will require more effort and time.