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Dog ear twitching usually indicates that your dog is reacting to the sounds in their environment. However, if done frequently and excessively, ear mite infestation may be the culprit behind it. If left untreated, this can cause major health problems, including loss of hearing, anemia, and even death. Our experts are here to help you know all about ear mites and how to treat them.

Causes Behind Unusual Ear Twitching Among Dogs

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A dog’s ear is about seven times more sensitive than that of a human’s. The ears would perk up on the faintest of sounds. Dog ear twitching can either be voluntary or involuntary and would usually indicate that the dog is reacting to stimulus. If your dog does it repetitively over a period of time, however, it might be caused by an underlying issue that needs to be attended to.

If paired with scratching and head shaking, check your dog’s ear for redness and inflammation—the unusual ear twitch is mostly caused by ear mites.

About Ear Mites and Common Causes

The usual type of ear mites found in household pets is otodectes cynotis. These are microscopic mites that live on or under the skin of the outer ear. It is a type of arachnid that feeds on ear wax and oil. And while they are easier to treat because they do not dig deep into the inner ear, they can make your pooch extremely uncomfortable.

The more unusual type is the Demodex mites. They live outside the ear, usually in hair follicles and oil glands. These can lead to demodectic mange that would cause skin lesions, infections, and alopecia (hair loss). Most indoor dogs are resistant to Demodex, granted that they are not immunocompromised and are in a clean and healthy environment.

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Ear mites are common, especially in multi-pet households. It is passed on through animal contact. Cats, rabbits, and ferrets are also susceptible to these kinds of mites. Regular cleaning of your pet’s ear and their environment can help lessen the risk of mite infestation.

Ear Mites Symptoms

Excessive head shaking, ear scratching, and dog ear twitching are indicators that your dog might have ear mites. Thick red-brown or black crusts in the outer ear, clumps in the ear canal, abrasions and scratches, and even hearing and balance loss are all symptoms of mild to severe ear infestations in dogs.

Risks Attached to Ear Mites in Dogs

While ear mites are easily treatable if attended to immediately, excessive scratching of the ear can cause abrasions that can potentially be infected. In extreme cases, these infections can eventually lead to loss of balance and even hearing.

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For some dogs, severe immune reactions to ear mites can cause intense irritation in the external ear and surrounding area. This hypersensitivity causes pain and our experts recommend that they need to be seen by a vet for fast and aggressive treatment, which usually includes an injected medication to calm the symptoms down.

Treatment for Ear Mites

Over the Counter Topical Medication

Since fast treatment is required for infestations, ear mite treatment for dogs is accessible over the counter. These usually include solutions with and without hydrocortisone, antimicrobial treatments, and natural enzymes. If your pooch is a puppy, pregnant or geriatric, it is best to ensure that the product you will buy for them is safe in their spectrum.

Natural Treatment Options

Early treatment of mite infestation is crucial to your pooch’s health. And while a vet’s take is always recommended, mild infestations can be treated at home.

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Our experts recommend calendula oil [1] for its anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial properties. It is topically applied on the dog’s outer ear to accelerate wound healing and naturally repelling ear mites.

Consulting With Your Vet

Our experts strongly suggests seeking the help of a professional to help with your dog’s condition and for a proper prescription of over-the-counter topical medication and natural treatment options. Make sure to ask questions, and identify a strategy that is best in treating your beloved pooch.

How to Avoid Ear Mite Infection

A clean environment is always the key to prevent any form of infection and infestation. However, as ear mites are common and can easily be found on outside surfaces where your dog might have walked or played in, regular cleaning and checking of their ear should be part of their usual grooming ritual.

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Mite-proofing your home will reduce and even eradicate the risk of reinfestation in your pets. This can be done by thoroughly cleaning all the surfaces in your home that mites might have laid eggs on—including the chairs, couch, beds, curtains. 

Our experts recommend soaking everything in hot water and washing them with a mix of detergent and anti-ear mite solution. As for those you cannot wash, vacuum, and spray with antibacterial aerosol. Ear mites’ lives are short without a host to feed on. However, they lay eggs during that time, so making sure your home is free of them is essential to prevent reinfestation.

FAQ

Why are my dogs ears twitching?

Your dog’s ear twitching could mean that it is reacting to sounds around them. Generally, it is fine every once in a while, but if it becomes excessive, it could indicate serious underlying problems, and medical treatment must be pursued.

Conclusion

Owning dogs means attending to their needs. This includes making sure that they are comfortable and in their best shape. Ear mites are one of the most usual causes of pet distress. Hence, this guide can help you treat your pooch swiftly and efficiently. It will make your dog healthy and ear-mite-free.