Pretarsi of Otodectes cynotis have short, unsegmented pedicels on the first and second pairs of legs of the female and on all legs of the male. The mite feeds at the external surface of the skin causing inflammation and very frequently serous to purulent exudate, depending on the nature of the secondary microbial invaders. Infestations are usually restricted to the ears of cats and dogs, causing parasitic otitis.
The body of the male is only weakely bilobed posteriorly and have copulatory suckers. Infestations by Otodectes are usually bilateral, and dissemination is thought to occur via direct contact, especially during nursing.
|Otodectic mange in dog.
Note accumulation of exsudate and cerumen in auditory canal. The mites may also be found on the nearby skin and occasionally spread to the paws or tip of the tail.
|Otodecic mange in dog.
Sometimes lesions may spreads to other areas of the head or the rest of the body.
|Confirming the diagnosis.
The mites may be observed with an otoscope or recovered from the ear canal on a cotton swab. If the swab is then placed on a dark background and exposed to an incandescent lamp, the heat will drive the mites out of the cerumen and they can be seen with the naked eye as tiny moving white specks against the background.