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Mite (Ear)

Mites (Ear)

Herbal remedies for cats and dogs to naturally help eliminate ear mites and prevent constant head shaking.

Ear mites are very common crab-like parasites that infest both dogs and cats. Ear mites can live anywhere on your pet’s body, so it’s important to treat your pet’s entire body, not just the infested ear. Ear mites are also often one of the primary causes of ear infections and inflammation and a leading cause of vet visits.

Ear mites concentrate on the surface of the skin of the ear canals, head, neck and even the bodies of pets. They feed on the tissue debris and secretions caused by mite waste products and resemble coffee grounds. The mites cause your pet to itch profusely and much discomfort, and ear mite symptoms usually involves frequent scratching of the ear and shaking of the head it is something that should not be ignored.

They are extremely contagious and frequently spread to other pets within the household. Untreated, ear mites can cause serious ear inflammation and infection and can even cause permanent damage to the ear canal or ear drum, resulting in hearing loss. Ear mites can affect pets of any age, but occur most commonly in young animals. 

Ear mites are caused by a tiny mite called Otodectes cynotis that lives on the surface of the skin on the ear canal and on the debris of tissue and secretions from the ear canal. As these ear mites feed off and move about the ear canal, severe irritation and inflammation is caused.

It can also affect the other areas of the body including the tail, neck and back. They are highly contagious and can easily spread to other pets within the household. Mother animals often transmit ear mites to their young. Mites seldom infest humans.

Many pet owners mistake ear mite infestations for ear infections and embark on a lengthy treatment program using over-the-counter treatments to no avail.

Common symptoms of ear mites include:

Shaking their heads

Scratching the ears

Abnormal odor from the ears

Buildup of earwax

Thick, crusty brownish to black discharge that resembles coffee granules

Fresh blood in the ear canals

Dried blood in the ear canals

Other symptoms of ear mites include black or dark brown discharge from the ears (this may resemble ground coffee beans), sores or hair loss around the ear.

Suggested solutions:

Topically treat acute symptoms such as an inflamed ear, preferably with a natural anti-inflammatory, available from holistic vets and some independent pet retailers
Provide herbs that help the body cleanse after an infection and boost immunity
Isolate cause of infection: Ear mites? Allergy to a food ingredient or additive? (Don't forget treats!) Yeast? (If your pet has been exposed to persistent antibiotics or steroids, Candida could be a possibility.)
Honestly assess diet. If feeding a commercial food, does it include corn, wheat, soy, colorants, additives or preservatives? Food is a major trigger or allergies, including ear infections.
Clean ears weekly with a cleaner specifically formulated for pets. 

Herbal Remedies:

Herbal remedies that are used to clean ears and help to rid of ear mites; to treat ear infections; to soothe itchy ears and the ear passages; to maintain and support ear health; to act as a natural deterrent for fleas, mites and other parasites; to guard against ear infections after a mite infestation; to treat skin irritations and to support healthy skin.

Seal ‘Em & Heal ‘Em  (learn more) promotes healing for all types of wounds, including hot spots, abrasions, bites, cuts, scrapes, skin irritations, infections, hemorrhaging conditions, ulcers, provides cellular support of tissue, skin and coat, for gastrointestinal distress, as a neurasthenic that blocks the activation of nerve fibers and tissue response to inflammation, supporting the body's tissue repair mechanism to stop mutations, and in the treatment of all types of Lyme disease, including Lyme borealis, burgdorferi, borreliosis and Chronic Lyme disease (CLD).

Yummy Tummy – (learn more) promotes Probiotic digestive, urinary, bladder and gall bladder support, for all types of digestive disorders, promotes proper digestion and assimilation of nutrients, for bladder (cystitis) and kidney (pyelonephritis) infections, for urine leakage and urinary incontinence, as a natural, plant-based steroid alternative, provides important support for cramping, pain, discomfort, Gastroenteritis, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), prostate inflammation, BHP, prostatitis, Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS) and for Candida albicans.

Baby Love Bits  (learn more) helps to build, promote and support muscle, joint, bone, cartilage and tendon health, mobility and flexibility, as a powerhouse Probiotic Vitamin B complex, supports the Central Nervous System, stimulates immunity and healthy metabolism, aids digestion and promotes whole body microbial balance, improves liver function and liver health, purifies whole bodily systems, keeps the skin, hair, eyes and mouth healthy, for dental disease, gout, Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), for infectious diarrhea, including rotavirus diarrhea, for nervousness and fatigue.

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Love Your Liver - (learn more) promotes the performance, health and repair of the liver, kidneys and bladder, facilitates rental and digestive excretions, provides protection and detoxification from insecticides, toxins, vaccinations, an inappropriate diet and an excess of food, relieves symptoms such as pressure, stomach pain, nausea, vomiting and flatulence, regulates kidney acid/alkaline levels, for hepatic lipidosis, Fatty Liver Disease (FLD),  Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD), Feline Urological Syndrome (FUS) and Feline cholangiohepatitis.

Shake Ur Groove Thing – (learn more) promotes healthy bowel function and purification, gentle parasitic detoxification and body clarification, used for cramping, pain, constipation, gas and bloating, supports correct balance of intestinal flora and helps calms the digestive system, for anal fissures, fistulas, hemorrhoids, food allergies and hypersensitivities, as a general skin support, and provides a healthy solution for waste and toxin removal, including pesticides, environmental toxins, chemicals related to flea and tick products and drugs regimens such as NSAID’s and synthetic glucosteriods and corticosteroids.

Stix & Stones  (learn more) promotes kidney function, helps to break up kidney, liver, gallbladder and bladder stones and gravel (active stones, crystals and as a preventative), helps to safely remove stones from the body; treats urinary infections, for kidney and liver disease, tones and balances kidney, liver, intestine, pancreas, gall bladder function and health, reduces uric acid levels in urine, increases urination, blocks the formation of calcium oxalate, provides pH modulation, for urinary system disorders and pathologies and for hepatic insufficiency.

Garlic is used by many herbal practitioners as a natural deterrent for fleas, mites and other parasites. In addition, garlic acts as a natural antibiotic which can help guard against ear infections after a mite infestation. Vulgare (Life’s An Itch!) is also very beneficial when treating pets for mites and has been used for centuries as a natural pesticide and insect repellant.

Herbs such as Neem and Lemongrass have also shown excellent natural repellant properties, and both have the ability to treat skin irritations and support healthy skin.

Other suggestions:

Clean inside your pet’s ears regularly using cotton wool or soft gauze and some cleaning solution

Dry your pet’s ears thoroughly after bathing or swimming

Check your pet’s ears for foreign objects

Start cleaning your puppy or kitten’s ears at an early so that they can get used to the idea of having their ears handled

Have excess hair plucked out of your pet’s ear flaps by your vet or a grooming service

Insert a few drops of olive oil or vegetable oil into the ear using an eye dropper to smother the mites

Feed your pet a natural, well balanced diet that is free of colorants and preservatives to boost his immune system

Conventional Remedies:

The diagnosis of ear mites is based on the symptoms as a thorough examination of the ear. Your veterinarian will use an otoscope (lighted) that magnifies and draws the ear mites out of the ear wax. A microscopic examination of ear discharge may also have to be performed if the ear mites are not visible on the otoscopic examination.

It is important to treat ear mites immediately as they are a major cause of ear infection. A number of commercial products containing insecticide such as pyrethrin are available in the form of dips, sprays and shampoos and have proven to be quite effective in treating ear mites that live all over the body, but may be very hard on the body, particularly kittens, puppies as well as senior and immune compromised animals. 

Your vet will first clean out your pet’s ears and may also prescribe ear preparations as well as topical medications such as Fipronil (Frontline), selamectin (Revolution) or Ivermectin to treat the skin. Treatment may need to be used for two to four weeks for all the mites to be killed.


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