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Ear mites under the microscope

What are ear mites?

Ear mites are tiny little microscopic parasites living their life cycle in the inner ear canal and feeding on dead skin cells. The most common type of ear mites is Otodectes cynotis.

They usually inhabit dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets. They are highly contagious and can get transferred from one animal to another with direct contact.

The presence of ear mites in the ear canal can lead to serious inflammation and/or secondary bacterial infections.

The life cycle of the pesky ear mite is about 3 weeks in which they grow from eggs to their adult form ready for reproducing, going through a total of 5 stages. An adult lifespan of the ear mite is about 2 months in which a female can start laying eggs after 3 weeks and will continue to lay throughout her life. Once an egg is laid, it hatches in 3-4 days. Тhe egg then undergoes several larval stages, with resting periods of development between the different stages when the ear mite pupates. Finally, an adult emerges.

Usually, ear mites are not contagious to people. There are rare cases where they infest an arm or leg but never travel to the ears. When bitten by an ear mite, a person may develop a skin rash.

All veterinarians have encountered ear mites in their everyday work. Ear mites are very easy to diagnose with just a microscope. The confirmation of the diagnosis is made by spotting them on the slide under the microscope. On our YouTube channel, we have some cool videos sent by our Facebook followers and we decided to share them here with you. Have fun looking at these pesky creatures that can cause pain and discomfort to our beloved pets.

Let’s see some ear mites



For more cool veterinary videos, visit our YouTube channel.

If you would like to learn more about the symptoms and treatment of ear mites, read “Ear mites – Otodectes cynotis” on our blog.

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