What are they? Ear
mites are tiny infectious organisms resembling microscopic ticks. The mite can
just barely be seen as a small white dot with the naked eye, but it usually
must be detected by examination of a sample of ear wax under a microscope.
Infection usually produces a characteristic dry black ear discharge commonly
said to resemble coffee grounds. Because of the classical appearance of this
discharge, infection is often diagnosed based on the presence of such discharge
though without visual confirmation of the mite under the microscope, it is
possible to be led astray. The discharge is composed of ear wax, blood,
inflammatory biochemicals, and ear mites themselves.
The Bizarre Ear Mite Life CycleThe mite lives on the surface of the ear canal skin, though sometimes migrates
out onto the face and head of its host. Eggs are laid and hatch after 4 days of
incubation. The larva hatches from the egg, feeds on ear wax and skin oils for
about a week, and then molts into a protonymph, which in turn molts into a
deutonymph. The deutonymph mates with the adult male. What seems especially
bizarre to us mammals is that the deutonymph has not yet developed a gender at
the time it
with the adult male.
After mating, the deutonymph molts into
either an adult male or an adult female. If she becomes a female, she will be
gravid with eggs as a result of the mating. If he develops into a male, there
are no consequences to the mating and he is ready to mate with deutonymphs of
his own choosing. The adult mite lives approximately 2 months happily eating
ear wax and skin oils. The life cycle (the time it takes for an egg to develop
into an adult mite ready for parenthood) requires 3 weeks.
Most ear mite cases are found in cats. Dogs can be infected as well but since
dogs more commonly get ear infections of other types, ear infections in dogs
rarely involve mites.
My Pet Get Ear Mites?Ear mites readily transmit from host to host
by physical contact. Ear mites came from some other animal with whom your pet
has been socializing. Because mites are easily transmissible by physical
contact, treatment for mites often must include all
What Harm Comes from Ear Mite Infection?The presence of the mites is inflammatory and can generate very irritating ear
infections. Skin disease can also result from infection by the ear mite.
Is It Contagious? Ear mite infection is certainly contagious among cats and dogs. Typically, the
victim is an outdoor cat. Humans have been reported to develop skin rashes
rarely; in general, we may consider that a human pet owner is extremely
unlikely to experience any symptoms when their pet is infected with ear mites.
are many mythconceptions about the quality of animals found in rescue shelters.
The stigma that shelter pets have been stuck with for many years is that they
are damaged goods. Just NOT true!
Myth 1: Shelter pets
are obviously not good pets, or else their original owners wouldn't have gotten
rid of them.
are brought to shelters for a large variety of reasons including:
1. Their owners have passed away.
2. An irresponsible owner didn't get their pets spayed or neutered and found themselves
with a litter of babies they could not keep or want.
3. The animal's owners were abusive so the authorities have removed the pet from the
animal was purchased or adopted by someone who did not take into consideration
all of the responsibility that caring for that pet would entail (such as
someone who adopts a pet in an apartment complex that does not allow animals
and subsequently forced to get rid of the pet).
2: Animals from abusive homes will never be good pets because they have been
mistreated for so long.
animals coming from abusive homes will typically make a full emotional recovery
with proper care and attention. Many them are so grateful to be rescued from
their previous situation, they end up being more devoted and loyal than animals
coming from non-abusive homes.
3: You never know what you're getting with shelter pets.
true that the medical history and temperament of an animal adopted from a
rescue shelter is questionable, but, it’s no different than an animal you can
buy from a pet store - unless you purchase a pedigree – and even then, there
are no guarantees.
4: All animals in rescue shelters are sickly or unhealthy.
certainly possible that a pet adopted from a shelter may have medical problems,
however the majority of the animals that are adopted from rescues or shelters
are perfectly healthy - and just need a good home. You’re more likely to get an
honest answer about an animal's medical problems from a shelter volunteer - who
is clearly there because they care about the animals, as opposed to a pet store
owner or breeder that is only it in for the money.
Some dogs shouldn't be touched. He may be "on duty"
as a service dog or he may be ill or afraid of children.
a dog from the front or side - not from behind.
Hold your hands low and speak softly. Do not surprise a dog,
force him into a corner, wave your hands, or scream at him.
may get defensive at the food dish.
interfere when a dog is eating and never put your hands between a dog's
mouth and his bowl.
dogs are very protective of their balls and chew toys.
Never take a bone or toy from a dog's mouth unless he's
trained to drop it or give it to you
teasing, rough housing, or tugs of war games.
Dogs may get too enthusiastic and forget you are not a dog.
Fetch, Frisbee and agility are better outlets for your dog's energy.
a dog's space.
Dogs naturally defend their territories. Do not stick your
hand inside a strange dog's crate or car window
try to break up a dog fight. Trying to separate fighting dogs my make them
more excited, and they might turn on you or accidentally bite you. Call an
adult for help.
Observe canine body language: Beware of a dog that is
barking, growling, or showing his teeth. Stay away if his ears are back or
his hair is standing up on his back. Say "No" firmly and slowly
walk away with your arms at your side. Do not scream, stare into his eyes
or run away.
LEASH: A strap which attaches to your collar, enabling you to
lead your person where you want him/her to go.
DOG BED: any soft, clean surface, such as the white bedspread
in the guest room or the newly upholstered couch in the living room.
DROOL: Is what you do when your persons have food and you
don’t. To do this properly you must sit as close as you can and look sad and
let the drool fall to the floor, or better yet, on their laps.
SNIFF: A social custom to use when you greet other dogs.
Place your nose as close as you can to the other dog’s rear end and inhale
deeply, repeat several times, or until your person makes you stop.
GARBAGE CAN: A container which your neighbors put out once a
week to test your ingenuity. You must stand on your hind legs and try to push
the lid off with your nose. If you do it right you are rewarded with margarine
wrappers to shred, beef bones to consume and moldy crusts of bread.
BICYCLES: Two-wheeled exercise machines, invented for dogs to
control body fat. To get maximum aerobic benefit, you must hide behind a bush
and dash out, bark loudly and run alongside for a few yards; the person then
swerves and falls into the bushes, and you prance away.
DEAFNESS: This is a malady which affects dogs when their
person want them in and they want to stay out. Symptoms include staring blankly
at the person, then running in the opposite direction, or lying down.
THUNDER: This is a signal that the world is coming to an end.
Humans remain amazingly calm during thunderstorms, so it is necessary to warn
them of the danger by trembling uncontrollably, panting, rolling your eyes
wildly, and following at their heels.
WASTEBASKET: This is a dog toy filled with paper, envelopes,
and old candy wrapper. When you get bored, turn over the basket and strew the
papers all over the house until your person comes home.
SOFAS: Are to dogs like napkins are to people. After eating
it is polite to run up and down the front of the sofa and wipe your whiskers
BATH: This is a process by which the humans drench the floor,
walls and themselves. You can help by shaking vigorously and frequently.
LEAN: Every good dog’s response to the command “sit!”
especially if your person is dressed for an evening out. Incredibly effective
before black-tie events.
BUMP: The best way to get your human’s attention when they
are drinking a fresh cup of coffee or tea.
GOOSE BUMP: A maneuver to use as a last resort when the
Regular Bump doesn’t get the attention you require.....especially effective
when combined with The Sniff. See above.
LOVE: Is a feeling of intense affection, given freely and
without restriction. The best way you can show your love is to wag your tail.
If you’re lucky, a human will love you in return.
Helen Keller loved many dogs throughout her life, including Boston Terriers, Pit Bulls, mixed breeds, and a beloved Akita. She understood the benefits of sharing life with canines and was an out-spoken proponent of education and therapy animals.