Case Study: Tick Infestation in Ear Canal Diagnosis and Treatment

Case Study: Tick Infestation in Ear Canal Diagnosis and Treatment

A 5 year-old female mixed breed dog from Arizona was presented for head shaking and discomfort for several days duration.

A physical examination was performed and within normal limits.

case study ear ticksNext, an otoscopic examination was performed in the exam room using the OtoPet-USA Video Vetscope. The Video Vestcope probe was inserted into both ear canals. The image here of the left ear canal was visualized and captured using the video monitor. The owner was able to see the ticks within the left ear canal on the monitor, and the dog was taken into the procedure room for removal of the ticks. This was a case of Otobius megnini infestation.

Otobius megnini, the spinous ear tick, is a soft-bodied tick found in the Southwest United States. The parasitic larvae and nymphs feed within the ear causing a significant inflammatory reaction in the ear canal. Treatment includes removal of the tick, appropriate tick control measures and management of the associated otitis.

The two soft-bodied tick nymphs identified as Otobius megnini were removed from the ear canal using alligator forceps placed through the OtoPet-USA Video Vetscope probe while visualizing the procedure on the monitor.

Ear TickThe patient was then placed on Frontline for tick control, and a topical otic steroid to treat the secondary inflammation associated with the infestation.

An image of another patient in Texas with an Otobius megnini tick within the ear is on the left.

If you have an interesting case that you would like to submit with pictures, please contact Dr. Jessica Melman Bhatia at jessvet3@aol.com.