- This includes mites, mange, and scabies.
- These are one of the most common type of ear infestations and are very contagious, usually spreading to other dogs in the household.
Ear mites are tiny crab-like parasites that can invade the ear canals of dogs. The mites live on the surface of the skin in the ear canal, where they feed on tissue debris and tissue fluids, but they can also spread to the skin on the body. When this happens, there may be intense itching on the back, neck, and tail areas.
Although this can happen to a dog of any age, ear mites are more common in puppies.
Like most ear issues, signs are head shaking and trying to scratch the ears. However, with this there are also signs of blood. This can be a dark mass resembling ground coffee when you look inside the ear or it may present as a brown or black liquid.
Treatment is a pyrethrin based liquid ear solution such as Miracle Care Ear Mite Treatment, which kills ear ticks and ear mites. This is typically used for 10 days, 2 to 3 times per day. Several drops are placed into the ears, and the base is massaged.
With mites, you will want to machine wash everything that you can (bedding, sheets, your Pom's toys, etc.). Any cats or other dogs in the house should be treated as well, since this is highly contagious.
- Mange lives in hair follicles of virtually all dogs. A dam transmits these to her puppies within the first couple weeks of their lives. Whether they become a problem or not depends mostly on your dog's ability to keep them under control.
Problems with mange occur most often to young puppies without fully developed immune systems and senior dogs with weaker immune systems.
Signs of mange include intense itching (shaking the head, rubbing or pawing), a crusting that can be visibly seen, and hair loss.
Usually, the disease develops around the dog's face area, sometimes focused primarily on the ear area, though it can also spread to the whole body.
With pups, if the disease is localized, it will often heal on its own as puppies get older and their immune systems get stronger.
For adult dogs, it is best to have your veterinarian treat this since this involves strong scabicidal shampoos and dips.
Note that mange is not contagious.
- This is caused by a particular mite called the sarcoptes scabiei mite, which is a highly contagious skin parasite. A scabies infection can very quickly spread from dog to dog, and can even be transmitted to cats
The most telltale sign of scabies is constant itching and discomfort. This is most often seen on the ear flaps, chin, chest, elbows, hocks, and abdomen.
Other symptoms include crusty sores and hair loss. Some puppies or dogs also develop secondary skin infections.
Until the condition is resolved, isolate your dog from other animals and members of your household.
To treat scabies, your veterinarian will prescribe special shampoos and dips. Medicated treatment sprays may be needed to treat the entire house. Sheets, bedding, clothing, anything that can be washed in a washing machine should be done so with hot water.