Ear mites in dogs can be contagious between animals – your dog may pass them to your cat and vice versa, or a mother may pass them to her pups.
The common species of ear mites in dogs is Otodectes cynotis; however, all types of mites are treated in the same way.
If you notice that your dog is scratching his ears constantly or is tossing or shaking his head, it usually indicates some issue with the ear. You will need to examine the inside of your dog’s ear up close. If the ear mites are fairly new and the infestation is not yet that severe, you may not notice much of anything. You do not have to worry about “catching” mites from your dog; they do not transmit from animals to humans.
On the other hand, if you notice what looks like coffee grounds inside your dog’s ear, this is an indication of a severe infection of ear mites in dogs. These “coffee grounds” are bits of dried blood that has build up inside of the ear.
It is important not only to recognize these symptoms, but also to treat them as soon as you notice that there is an infestation.
Failure to treat and eradicate ear mites can lead to more serious issues such as permanent damage to your dog’s ear canal and ear drum, and might even lead to a loss of hearing.
Once you have determined that your dog does have mites, you should examine your dog from head to tail.
Mites can live anywhere on your dog’s body, not just his ears, and so once you begin treating the mites, you will want to ensure that you kill them all.
The most common treatment for ear mites is with a medication containing insecticide, most often pyrethrin. It is a waste of time to use any treatment that does not contain an insecticide, because it will be ineffective.
Mites are not like fleas, and cannot survive away from the dog’s body, so there it is not necessary to wash bedding and treat your house or your yard.