VCA Animal Hospitals

Ear mite detection and prevention

Published: Oct 20, 2011

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Ear mites, or Otodectes cynotis, are common among animals like cats, dogs, rabbits and ferrets. They are commonly found in the ear canal, though they can live in other areas of the skin as well. Mites are highly contagious, especially in cats - felines can become infected if they come in direct contact with another animal that has ear mites, VCA Animal Hospitals reports.

Ear mites can be hard to detect because they resemble tiny specks of white powder. Because of this, owners need to be diligent about looking for signs that their pet has been infected, VCA reports. Common signs of ear mites include irritation of the ears, which will cause a cat to scratch its ears or shake its head. Additionally, infected cats will have excess dark ear wax. An infected cat may also have hair loss near the site due to the excess scratching, while crusts or rashes could also develop near the ear.

If an owner notices any of these symptoms, they should bring their cat to the veterinarian health clinic to get it checked out. A vet will diagnose the problem by using a microscope to look for the parasites. Once a diagnosis is made, owners will need to use medication on their cat and any other pets in their home to rid their animals of the mites. also recommends owners clean their houses thoroughly by washing all fabrics like bedding or couch cushions where mites may be lying in wait. Homes should be vacuumed thoroughly and the bag disposed of to prevent the mites from crawling back out of the vacuum. 


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

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Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

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Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.