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One of our cats has had ear mites before. they get black gunk in their ear. I know you can treat it with ear drops. I am not sure about the other questions, I would think ear cleanings would prevent them...Caesar hasn't ever had them. Oh also, they will itch their ear a lot along with the black gunk in their ear.
 

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Ear mites look like tiny little spiders under the microscope. Basically they are a parasite.

If your dog has an itchy ear with discharge in it, you should take them to the vet. The vet will take a swab of the material and examine it under the microscope. Common causes of ear infections are ear mites, yeast, or bacteria. Depending on what the vet sees under the microscope and after looking down the ear (to be sure the ear drum is intact and see how much inflammation there is in the ear canal), they will prescibe an ear cleaner and an ear medication. Usually, the vet will want to recheck the ear in about 2 weeks to ensure the infection is completely cleared up.

Mites are not all that common in adult dogs as they are in puppies and kittens.

Weekly ear cleanings are a good idea to prevent all types of infections in the ear. Check with your vet about what ear cleaner they recommend. I use OtiCalm for maintenance in my dogs.
 

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Bella had ear mites about 2 weeks ago. I had noticed that she was scratching her ears and they had a black/redish discharge. I took her to the vet and just like JMM said, he took a swab and looked under the microscope. He showed them to me and they are disgusting. He put some medicine in her ear that stays for 2 weeks and she's all better now. No scratching and her ears are very clean. Tomorrow it will be 2 weeks and they are completely gone. The vet said that ear mites are easy to get rid off, much faster than yeast infections and that I have nothing to worry about.

I did ask him how in the heck Bella got them. She's hardly ever outside or around any other animal but he said that probably when she was with the breeder. I felt so bad for her.
 

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Seems like everyone answered your question! Everyone's so smart teehee. Dont forget, when you get earmites, it stinks like crazy. ewww. Cloud's ears was so bad, you can smell the stench from the top of his head. When he had a yeast infection in his ear, I didn't smell much. Although, they say a yeast infection smells sour like vinegar.

The other big difference is that there is blackness (black specks) in his ears when he had earmites. There were only red junk in his ears when he had a yeast infection.
 
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