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Ear Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment

Ear mites and FerretsEar Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment

Unfortunately, ear mite infestation is very common in ferrets. It is also common in cats and dogs.

Otodectes cynotis, or ear mites, live their lives inside an animal’s ears. Otodectes cynotis is contagious and spread by direct contact among ferrets, cats, dogs and other animals.  Many kits already have ear mites before they are brought home. Because of the highly contagious nature of ear mites, if you have more than one ferret, or have other pets, all pets in your home need to be treated.  Even those pets who do not show obvious signs of ear mite infestation need to be treated, because the treated pet may be reinfected immediately after the end of treatment by those pets who were not treated.

Otodectes cynotis is often unnoticed in ferrets.

One reason is that the mites are very tiny and can only be seen under a microscope. Another reason is that ferrets rarely show signs of being infected with ear mites. Ear mites in cats and dogs can often be suspected due to ear scratching and head shaking when they have an ear mite infestation.  Ferrets rarely show these signs. A third reason is that, although a thick, reddish brown to black, waxy discharge is commonly observed in ferrets suffering from ear mite infestation, it is also normal for ferrets to have a brown ear wax.  Therefore, a diagnosis of ear mite infestation cannot be made by merely observing the color of a ferret’s ear wax. The diagnosis must be made by a veterinarian. Continue reading Ear Mites and Ferrets–Diagnosis and Treatment