How to Treat German Shepherd Ear Mites?

gsd ear
Photo by Lesly Juarez

The good news is that with their pricked-up ears, German Shepherds have a lower likelihood of getting ear mites. It is still possible for your pup to suffer from this critter infestation, however, particularly if other pups in the household have the same condition. Here is your guide to treating German Shepherd ear mites:

A Note About Ear Mites in German Shepherds

It can be nearly impossible to spot ear mites. In most instances, you will be alerted to them because your German Shepherd scratches its ears more than usual. You may also notice your dog shaking its head back and forth.

Keep in mind that a lot of ear conditions can cause similar symptoms. If you do suspect ear mites, take your German Shepherd to the vet right away. They will need to look at ear scrapings under a microscope to determine if ear mites are to blame.

It is important to do this right away. Not only can your dog seriously hurt or damage their ear with continued scratching, but ear mites can spread to other pets, including cats in your household.

If your dog has been aggressively scratching at his ear, there is a chance that its eardrum may have ruptured. In this instance, only a limited number of medications are safe to use. Your vet will need to inspect the ear to make this diagnosis.

This is yet another reason why you should visit the vet if you suspect ear mites.

Medications for Ear Mites in German Shepherds

With ear mites, you need to treat a variety of conditions at the same time. Due to this, your vet may instruct you to use a combination of medications for a certain period.

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Veterinarians will also prescribe medication based on your dog’s condition and how cooperative they are. For instance, if your dog doesn’t allow the medicine to be placed in or near his ears, then an alternative treatment will need to be considered.

Here is a breakdown of some medications that may be used to treat ear mites in your German Shepherd:

Over-the-Counter Treatments

Many topical products can be purchased over the counter for the mite infestation. Though this may save you a trip to the vet, such treatments are losing favor. This is because they often have to be applied daily for at least two weeks.

This is time-consuming and inconvenient for most owners, especially if you have more than one pet. These medications don’t always treat the associated symptoms or conditions of mites either.

Topical Treatment for 10-Day Use

Prescription topical medications are still fairly popular because they function so well against ear mite infestations. These treatments don’t just kill ear mites, they reduce inflammation caused by the infestation and scratching, while simultaneously treating bacterial and yeast infections.

This medication has to be used for a ten-day period to be truly effective. Especially with fussier pups, this can be tricky, which is why it isn’t always the go-to option for vets.

A Series of Injections

Injections are effective and are a lot easier to administer, especially for dogs. Most dogs only need two to four injections before the infestation is cleared up.

Many of these injections haven’t been approved by the FDA yet, which is why they may not be readily available. The medications in these injections may not be suitable for all dogs, either, as some may be sensitive to it. As such, it will only be given on a case-by-case basis.

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Single Dose Treatment

These treatments aren’t specific to ear mites but are used to kill all critter infestations. As such, they are quite effective against ear mites.

These products may come in the form of topical medications, pills, or injections. The topical products may be applied inside the ear or behind the shoulders.

If used regularly, they may even help to prevent mite infestations. They do require a prescription and it is up to your vet to determine if this is a viable option for your German Shepherd.

How to Treat Ear Mites in German Shepherds

Once your vet has determined that your dog has ear mites, they will begin treatment. The first thing they will do is thoroughly clean your dog’s ears. This is to ensure that any topical treatment will be readily absorbed into the skin.

The vet may show you what to do as well. You may need to continue to clean your dog’s ears for the duration of the treatment and even afterward as well.

The vet will then determine the best course of action and prescribe the necessary treatment. If it is a topical treatment or pills, you can continue the treatment at home, unless it is a single dose medication.

With injections, your vet will request you to bring in your German Shepherd at specific intervals so they can get their treatment as needed.

After the period of treatment is up, you will need to take your dog to the vet again. This will allow your vet to determine whether or not the infection has been permanently eradicated.

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The prognosis for Ear Mites in German Shepherds

Most German Shepherds will recover from ear mites within the expected recovery period. Taking your pet to the vet as needed can help to ensure that your pet can recover according to the timeline.

In some cases, though, your pet may need additional treatment. This could be true for dogs that are especially susceptible to ear mites or don’t respond to treatment as expected. Your vet may need to take a more aggressive approach or come up with an alternative treatment plan.

This is how you can get rid of ear mites in German Shepherds. Remember, early response is key, so make it a point to check your German Shepherd’s ears regularly. Also, be on the lookout for the associated symptoms. This will allow you to deal with the condition quickly and efficiently.

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