How do I know if my pets have Ear Mites?
A cat or dog shaking its head and scratching its ears probably isn’t puzzled. It may be suffering from ear mites. The condition is called otoacariasis. Otoacariasis isn’t fatal, but it is more than a nuisance. If ear mites go on too long, they could hurt the inner ear and affect the animal’s hearing and sense of balance. They could also lead to a bacterial infection.
To determine if ear mites are a problem for your car or dog, look into your pet’s ears. Is there a blackish brown waxy material in them? Are they smelly? If so, and your veterinarian confirms that ear mites are to blame, he or she will probably clean out the animal’s ears and then give you medicine and an insecticide to kill the little buggers.
– Dr. Larry McDaniel, DVM for the “Purina® Animal Instincts” Podcast Series