An ear mite is called Otodectes cynotis which causes the infection. It acts like a parasite seeking out its host. Ear mites are common in ferrets, dogs, and cats. It attacks the ferret of any age and sex.
How do I know if my ferret has ear mites? You can notice that your ferret is scratching itself or shaking its head. Due to the scratches, you can see the hair loss or wound in the skin of your ferret. Thick brown material is built up in the ear canal of the ferret. On the skin of the inner ear, there is also a sign of redness. Ferrets become agitated if you try to touch the affected ear.
These mites are visible if you look carefully. Ferrets can get ear mites from other infected animals at home, at the pet store, or breeder. Fortunately, this infection is easy to cure if proper veterinary treatment is sought. But if it is left untreated, it can become worse even fatal for your ferret.
How Do I Know If My Ferret Has Ear Mites
The color and odor of the earwax is the significant sign of an infection of ear mite. Normally, the earwax of a ferret is red and odorless. If the ferret is infected by ear mites, it is smelly and darker-colored.
At an early stage, your ferret may not show any symptoms of ear mites, but the ear can become extremely irritated in time. However, you can also notice the physical appearance and changing the behavior of your ferret. Some other symptoms of ear mites are as under:
When ear mites get into the ferret’s ear, the animal begins to show signs of physical discomfort. It starts scratching at its ear with its paws. On the skin of its inner ear, you can see the redness. After a few days of the infection, cracking starts on the skin. When the mite population grows, the irritation becomes worse. The ferret scratches the skin more frequently and even starts bleeding. When you try to touch the affected ear, it may react negatively.
Another sign of ear mites is hair loss. Hair is shed from the head surrounding the ears. The ear mites damage the hair. Hair loss is also because of constant scratching due to irritation. This appears late into an infestation. However, hair loss is normally considered a good sign that the ferret needs immediate medical attention.
Once the ear mites have taken up their residence in the ferrets, their activities cause changes in the earwax coming out of the ear. Instead of a red or pale orange ear wax, you can notice that darker, smelly, and viscous wax is leaking out.
Around the entrance to the ferret’s ear, it can develop into a crust of sorts. This crust increases irritation and provides a harbor for bacteria.
A common result of an untreated ear mite is the development of a bacterial infection. As the skin becomes cracked and broken within and around the ear, the potential of bacteria becomes able to increase.
Bacteria make their house in the ear canal. Building up wax and dead tissues is the perfect damp for bacteria to thrive in the dark environment suitable for them. Bacterial infections can also cause permanent hearing damage. It can also spread throughout the body and affect the function of other organs.
Causes of ear mites in ferrets
Ear mites in ferrets normally transfer among animals like dogs, cats, or other ferrets. The mites also live on surfaces like grass. Another cause of infection due to lack of hygiene.
Once you take your ferrets to the vet, he can easily recognize the ear mites infection by the examination or swabbing a sample of earwax. He can also look at the organisms through a microscope.
A large variety of topical medicines are available to dilute directly into the ear to treat ear mites. These medicines will kill the mites but not the mite eggs. So, the treatment routine should continue for some weeks allowing eggs to reach maturation.
It takes almost three weeks. You should also treat the tip of the ferret’s tail because ferrets keep their tail near their ears while sleeping.
To prevent this trouble, you must clean the ears of ferrets regularly. Make sure the regular checkup of your ferret to the veterinarian. If you notice any infected animal, keep your pet away from it.
Ferret is a good pet to be kept at home. It is easily infected by ear mites that cause irritation and trouble. Keep noticing your pet. If you find a single symptom of ear mites, take it immediately to the vet before the condition becomes worse.