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Looking After  Your Pets Health

590 Lark Street

Geneva, IL  

630 232-8868

Meadow View Veterinary Clinic Veterinarian Batavia, IL

Ear Mites


Ear Mites are caused by the mite Otodectes cyanotis both dogs and cats. The mite thrives in the moist environment within the ear canal of the pet but may be present in other areas. The mite is more commonly found on puppies and kittens than adult dogs. Other pets in the house may become infected. Ear mites live on the skin of the pet, irritating the skin and creating a build up of skin cells, blood and secretions. This can lead to considerable discomfort to the pet, necessitating treatment.


Treatment may be achieved by several means:

1. Tresaderm: It contains thiabendazole that is ovicidal (kills the mite eggs) which makes it effective if used for 2 weeks. It needs to be applied daily for about 14 days to be effective.

2. Ivermectin: A very effective control of mites, has the benefit of needing to be applied only one or two times in a two week period of time.,

3. Permethrins: Effective medication for treatment of ear mites but needs to be used for about 4 weeks minimum to achieve control as it has no effects on the eggs. It is usually applied weekly, follow manufactures directions. It is more effective if a flea and tick shampoo or spray is used to help control mites in fur on the body.

4. Revolution: A very effective control. It has the benefit of only needed one or two applications to the pet at one month intervals. Also has flea, tick and heartworm control.

5. Environmental and House control: In heavy infestations it may be beneficial to clean the environment. It is important to also treat all animals in contact


            Demodex is a mite that is normally found on the skin of dogs and cats only in small numbers.   The normal immune system keeps the number of mites under control so they are not noticed.  Canine demodicosis occurs when there is an over-population of mites due to a poor immune response by the patient.  Cats do not develop demodicosis as commonly as dogs.   Demodicosis is not not contagious.



        Crusty skin, especially of the face and legs

        Alopecia (hair loss)

        Secondary skin infections may occur

        May affect mainly the feet (pododemodicosis) or ears (otodemodicosis)

        Generalized and localized forms


         Affects only a small area of the patient

         Localized occurs typically in <1 year old pets

         Localized may resolve as the pets immune system matures

         About 10% of localized forms will turn to generalized


         Affects a large area of the patient

         May not be as responsive as localized

         Poorer prognosis if adult onset

         May get deep secondary skin infections also



        Generally easily diagnosed with a deep skin scrape and cytology

        Categorized by clinical signs

        Cats diagnosed with demodicosis should also be screened for FeLV/FIV



                 Steroids should not be used, this decreases the immune response further

        Localized demodicosis

         May require no treatment, or only to treat secondary infections

         Topical Goodwinol ointment (rotenone) that will kill small numbers of mites

         Benzoyl Peroxide shampoos or gels- open and flush the hair follicles containing the mites

         May get a little worse before getting better with treatment from inflammatory response

         If lesions are not resolving, may resort to generalized treatments

        Generalized demodicosis

         Amitraz dips

        First-line of therapy

        Labeled for use every 2 weeks

        Strong odor

        May cause sedation

        Treat every 2 weeks until two negative skin scrapings are achieved

        Effective in many cases, about 50% cure rate

        May have frequency increased if ineffective (ie weekly); Extra-label use

         Milbemycin (Interceptor)

        An oral heartworm preventative

        Not FDA approved for this use (Extra-label)

        Given daily only in refractory cases


        Effective in some cases

        Often need long-term treatment as is used in refractory cases


        Given daily only in refractory cases

        Should not be used at this dose in collies, shelties etc.

        Extra-label use of this drug

        Effective in some cases

        Often need long-term treatment as is used in refractory cases



        Amitraz is the active ingredient for demodex treatment

                    No longer available.



 Sarcoptic Mites (Scabies)

Scabies is a parasitic disease caused by a small mite.  Generally these pets are very pruritic (itchy) and not responsive to steroids or other typical treatments for allgies or skin infections.

The mite is very contagious to other dogs.

Diagnosis is by skin scrape

Can be very difficult to diagnose as mites are very small and only a few are required to infect a patient

Often empirical treatment is instituted if suspicious yet not mites found on skin scraping


Usually very effectiv

Give weekly for 4 doses is most effective although there are other regimens

Use with caution in certain breeds


Dosed every two weeks for 3-4 treaments

Effective in most cases

Very safe although local reactions may occur