|One of the most common misconceptions amongst both animal guardians and veterinarians is the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ear mites in their dogs and cats. While ear mites are certainly seen, especially in newly acquired kittens/puppies, and sometimes in adult animals who spend a lot of time outdoors, ear mites are actually rare in my experience as a cause of ear itching, head shaking and ear odor/discharge in adult cats and dogs. And while trying an over the counter ear mite medication such as those available on 1800PetMeds can sometimes be tried, it is more appropriate to have a proper vet exam and evaluation of ear discharge under the microscope, as most of these pets have an overgrowth of yeast and/or bacteria in the ears, usually secondary to underlying seasonal inhalant/contact allergies and/or food allergies.|
One of my favorite products that is very safe to use in most pets is one called Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution with Hydrocortisone, which not only can help with yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth in the ears, but can also help lessen inflammation and is usually quite safe to use long term and is available without a prescription. However, if ear problems worsen or persist, it is best to have a proper vet exam, diagnosis and possibly prescription topical and/or oral antimicrobial ear medication prescribed, as well as usually an allergy workup to get at the underlying causes of relapsing ear inflammations in our pets.
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