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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Veterinarian
Category: Dog Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20279
Experience:  Hello, I am a small animal veterinarian and am happy to discuss any concerns & questions you have on any species.
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Show do you tell the difference between ear mites and an ear

Customer Question

Show do you tell the difference between ear mites and an ear infection in a dog?
JA: Thanks. Can you give me any more details about your issue?
Customer: She shakes her head and one ear is lowered
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Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Dog Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hello and welcome. I am Dr. B and would like to help you today.I'm regards ***** ***** question, the way a vet diagnoses ear mites or bacterial/yeast infections is by examining the ear and the discharge present.
Ear infections tend to inflammation with snotty discharge, where mites cause brown discharge or sometimes just inflammation. As well, to make it a bit more challenging, if yeast is present, this too can cause brown discharge but often has a bread type smell.
Since these findings can all be a bit similar and we often see mixed infections of more than one, we often will take a discharge sample at the time of exam. Ear mites can be checked for under the microscope; where the others can be tested by the vet lab to see which species are present and what drugs they are sensitive to.
So that is how we tell the difference. Though if you susepct mites, do note that multi-species anti-parasitic medications (ie advantage multi, revolution, etc) can be used to help clear them. As well, for mild infections you can flush the ears with salt water to remove discharge and reduce bacterial levels present. Otherwise, if her ear is really bothering her, we'd want to have her local vet carry out the above to diagnose what is present here so the appropriate drops can be dispensed to address this for her.
Take care,
Dr. B
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your advice. I have just one follow up. Is their a smell with ear mites, or is the smell present with just an infection. and again Thank you for your advice, also I do understand I could be dealing with an infection or both and I really need to go see the Vet
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
You are very welcome,They don't tend to cause an odor when present on their own. Though as you correctly noted, if a secondary infection arises due to the increased humidity and inflammation the mites cause then we can smell that. All the best,Dr. B. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. **Please rate my service afterwards, as this is the only way I am credited for helping you today. Thank you! : )
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.
Hi Sherrie,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?