What is an ear mite? Ear mites are tiny infectious organisms, similar to ticks, that infect the ear canals of dogs and cats. They are so small that to the naked eye, the look like a little white dot. Ear mites feed on the epidermal debris and ear wax. After burrowing into the ear canal, they cause inflammation which leads to the body creating more wax. Ear mites are usually transmitted through physical contact. This means that they are very contagious, so it is important for all of your pets to be treated at the same time. Ear mites are extremely painful and irritating because of the nonstop itching they cause your guard dog. As a result, the first symptom you will see is your dog constantly scratching, itching and shaking their head. A dark, waxy discharge can also be seen in your guard dogs ears after awhile, caused from the ear mites. The amount of symptoms you see will also depend on the severity of the infestation. With more advanced infestations, the ear canals will begin to appear on the outside of your dog’s ear canal.
Ear mites are very common in German Shepherds, but should be taken very seriously anyway. If they are left untreated, it could cause severe damage to the ear canal and possibly even hearing loss. If you see any kinds of signs that your dog could have ear mites, take them to the vet right away. It is always better to be safe, rather than sorry. When your dog is diagnosed, a cotton swab is used to sample the dog’s ear wax. The vet will look for both mites and mite eggs, under a microscope. For treatment it is important to carefully clean out the dogs ears very gently, this goes a long way in trying to fix the problem. Dog ears are very sensitive, so any type of harsh movements could damage the ear drum. Next, a topical medication is applied to the ear. The medication contains anti-inflammatories to soothe the ear, anti-bacterial to minimize any other infection and an anti-paracidicital to kill the mites. This process of cleaning the ears and applying the medicine is usually continued for 7-10 days. The best way to prevent ear mites from every infecting your dog is to keep your guard dog away from any animal that could possible be infected. Most importantly just keep your eyes open for any strange behavior that your dog displays, and be ready to take them the the vet immediately.
Please remember that whether you have German Shepherd guard dog or any other breed of companion dog and they get a case of ear mites it’s nothing to panic about just be sure to make an appointment as soon as you can to prevent any damage to the ear canal.