EAR MITES

Ear mites are very common in ferrets, especially in multiple pet households. These mites are too small to be easily visible with the naked eye, but can easily be diagnosed by a veterinarian with an otoscope. The ear mite which affects ferrets is Otodectes cyanotis, and it can affect other pets in the household as well. These mites live in the ear canals and do not burrow under the skin, or live for extended periods of time away from the ear.

Symptoms of ear mite infection include a dark waxy exudate in the ears, and redness and itching of the ear canal. In many cases no signs are visible at all, and the mites are an incidental finding on a physical examination.

Treatment of ear mites used to involve the frequent administration of liquid insecticides into the ears, but now most veterinarians use the drug ivermectin, and repeat the dose two weeks later.


If you have any questions or comments about the information above, feel free to send a message to Dr. Suzanne Lee, D.V.M. at SLeeDVM@aol.com.

Return to the Ferret Clinic

Please remember: The Ferret Clinic and the Doctor's answers are meant to inform visitors to the Weasel Web about a particular issue, or answer a general medical question. If you are worried about the health of your ferret, or if you think your ferret has a particular illness, we recommend that you contact your local veterinarian. The Weasel Web and the Ferret Clinic Doctor present this data as is, without any warranty of any kind, express or implied and are not liable for mistakes, errors, ommissions, or for the results of any event that occurs based on direct reliance on this information.