Q:

Can people get ear mites?

A:

Quick Answer

While it is possible for humans to become infected with ear mites, it is highly unlikely, as most humans are immune to ear mites, according to the ASPCA. Ear mites are eight-legged parasites that feed on the oils and wax present in a cat's or dog's ear. Producing a characteristic black, coffee ground-like discharge, ear mites cause excessive itching, hair loss, inflammation and scabbing around the ears.

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Can people get ear mites?
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Full Answer

Ear mites are highly contagious among cats and dogs and can be spread through direct contact with another animal, according to the Kerrville Veterinary Clinic. Impossible to see with the human eye, the ear mite lives for up to two months, during which time it can reproduce many times. Prescription and over-the-counter ear mite treatments are available to treat the infection safely and promptly. It is important to wash all bedding used by the animal during the treatment to prevent re-infection. Monthly topical preventatives are also available to help prevent re-infection and keep the mite population on a pet low. Because there are many other reasons that cause an animal's ears to itch, including bacterial and yeast infections and ear ticks, it is important to visit a veterinarian to receive an accurate diagnosis to ensure the proper treatment.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How can you cure your cat's ear mites at home?

    A:

    To treat a cat’s ear mites, get rid of any dark debris from the animal’s ears and use a topical insecticide to eliminate remaining mites, suggests HowStuffWorks. It's important to treat all animals in a home to prevent reinfestation or transfer of ear mites.

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  • Q:

    What is the black stuff in my cat's ears?

    A:

    The most common cause of black debris in a cat's ears is ear mites, according to the ASPCA. Ear mites leave a debris that resembles coffee grounds and can be seen where ever the cat rests or scratches.

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  • Q:

    How do dogs get ear mites?

    A:

    Dogs typically contract ear mites through contact with other infected animals. Ear mites are also common in outdoor cats, who in turn may pass them on to dogs in the household. Ear mites are miniscule parasites that feed on the oil and wax in a dog's internal or external ear canal.

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  • Q:

    What are the symptoms of ear mites in cats?

    A:

    Symptoms of ear mites in cats include head shaking, hair loss, dermatitis, brown or black discharge and too much scratching of the ears, according to WebMD. Other symptoms include ear inflammation, pungent odor, scratches around the ear and blockage of the ear canal with substances that resemble coffee grounds.

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