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Diagnosis and Management of Seizures Associated with Ear Mites in a Pup.


Otodectes cynotis, ear mites are one of the most common causes of otitis externa in both dogs and cats. The mite is living on the epidermal surface of auditory canal without burrowing into tissue and feeds on tissue fluids and debris (Maazi et al., 2010). Incidence of mite infestation is more common in younger dogs. Common clinical signs include appearance of dark brown exudates in auditory canal, head shaking and ear drooping. There may be torticollis and even epileptiform fits (Soulsby, 1982). Hypersensitivity reactions are also common. Hypersensitivity resulted from mite saliva may cause pruritus (Greene, 2006). Administration of topical ceruminolytics and topical parasiticides is the method of practice. Cleaning of the environment and equipments is also necessary for complete treatment.

History and Observations

A two month old German Shepherd pup was presented with history of intermittent seizures which last for around two minutes for past two weeks. The animal was dewormed five days before. On observation, the animal appeared active and alert. Animal showed intense irritation of ears. Both the ear pinnae were highly inflamed. On examination of auditory canal, dark brownish waxy exudates could be detected (Fig.1). An ear swab was collected and processed with 10% KOH. The processed sample was examined and ear mites were observed. The mites were confirmed as Otodectes cynotis based on morphological features and sucker formula (Fig. 2 and 3).


The animal was treated with Ambiflush (a) ear wash (Chlorhexidene, Pyropylene glycol and Tris EDTA) for cleaning the ears. Advised to instill Hitek (b) (Ivermectin) 0.08% oral solution @ one drop in each ear once daily for 21 days. Also treated with Cephalexin @ 30 mg/kg b.wt. twice daily orally for ten days and Prednisolone @ 0.75 mg/kg b.wt. once daily orally for first two days, @ 0.5 mg/kg b.wt. once daily orally for next two days and @ 0.2 mg/kg b.wt. once daily orally for consecutive two more days. Animal recovered uneventfully after 21 days of therapeutic management.


The life cycle of mite lasts from three to ten weeks. Female lay eggs and sticks them to epidermal surface. The egg hatch to six legged larvae and moult into eight legged protonymphs and deutonymphs within two months. The parasites have tarsal suckers with unjointed pedicels. In male, suckers are present on all legs and in females on first and second pair of legs. The fourth pair of legs in female is small (Bhatia et al., 2010). The development of clinical signs in the condition reflects development of hypersensitivity by host to antigenic substances produced by mite while they are feeding. This can result in responses ranging to asymptomatic to severe otitis and convulsive seizures in different individual animals (Chirayath et al., 2017). In our case, the animal started showing response to Ivermectin by seven days of treatment. Basic understanding of off host survival of mite suggests that, places which have been inhabited by infected animals may need to be disinfected or remain vacated for atleast twelve days before occupancy by clean cats or dogs (Otranto et al., 2004).


Bhatia, B.B., Pathak, K.M.L. and Juyal, P.D. (2010).

Textbook of Veterinary Parasitology. 3rd Edition. Kalyani Publishers, India. p. 390-91.

Chirayath, D., Shyamala, K., Sasi, S. and Rajin, T.R. (2017). Partial seizures in puppies due to Otodectes cyanotis infestation - A report of two cases. J. Vet. Anim. Sci. 48: 51-52.

Greene, C.E. (2006). Otitis externa. In: Greene, C.E. Infectious Diseases of the Dog and Cat. 3rd Edition. Saunders Elsevier, St. Louis, Missouri. p. 815-17.

Maazi, N., ShJamshidi and Hadadzadeh, H.R. (2010). Ear Mite Infestation in Four Imported Dogs from Thailand; a Case Report. Iranian J. Arthropod Borne Dis. 4: 68-71.

Otranto, D., Milillo, P., Miesto, P., De Caprariis, D., Perrucci, S. and Capelli, G. (2004). Otodectes cynotis (Acari: Psoroptidae): examination of survival off the host under natural and laboratory conditions. Exp. Appl. Acarol. 32: 171-79.

Soulsby, E.J.L. (1982). Helminths, Arthropods and Protozoa of Domesticated Animals. 7th Edition. Balliere, Tindall, London. p. 491-92.

G. Dhanasree (1), Deepa Chirayath and Usha Narayana Pillai

Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine, Ethics and Jurisprudence College of Veterinary and Animal Sciences Kerala Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (KVASU) Mannuthy Thrissur - 680651 (Kerala)

(1.) Corresponding author.


(a) - Brand of Intas Animal Health, Ahmedabad

(b) - Brand of Virbac Animal Health India Pvt. Ltd., Mumbai
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Title Annotation:Short Communication
Author:Dhanasree, G.; Chirayath, Deepa; Pillai, Usha Narayana
Publication:Intas Polivet
Article Type:Disease/Disorder overview
Date:Jul 1, 2018
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