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Ear Mites in Dogs, Symptoms, Causes, Pictures, Home Remedies, Treatment & Prevention

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What are the signs and symptoms of ear mites in dogs? Discover how you can identify ear mites on dogs. Learn the causes of dog ear mites and how you can get rid and prevent. Explore the best treatments and home remedies for ear mites on your dogs.

Ear Mites in Dogs Symptoms

Symptoms of ear mites in dogs are as follows;

  • Head shaking
  • Scratches on ear and the head
  • Strong body odor
  • Intense itching
  • Dark ear discharge

Cat and dog ear mites normally lead to an intense itching. Inside the ear you’ll observe some dark red-brown, crusty and some crumbly discharge. Ear mites in dogs will lead to your pet to shake their head and scratch their ears. The scratching might become very much vigorous that your pet scratches eyes and the first thing you will notice is a tearing, painful eye. As the pet scratches, some bacteria and yeast are rubbed into the skin and your pet then develops secondary infections. The ear discharge can then become stinky and full of pus.

Causes of Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites in dogs infestation are always brought about by contact with an infested animal or even its bedding. These small mites are very much contagious between dogs. They can as well infest cats, rabbits and the ferrets. The average life cycle of the ear mites is only a period of about 3 weeks.

Otodectes mites cannot survive free in the environment, as they have no given means of providing for themselves with either shelter or even food. Ear mites in dogs spend all their short lives on a host. Fortunately, they are not in any way contagious to people, as they cannot live very long on the human skin.

As parasites, ear mites live on the host animal, thus gaining sustenance from the dead skin cells and the waxy buildup. There is not a cause for ear mites to appear in the dog’s ear canal, other than having direct contact with ear mites.

It should be from brushing heads with another animal that is infested, or coming into contact with an infested animal’s bedding.

Ear Mites in Dogs Pictures

What do ear mites in dogs look like? We have inserted illustrative images in relevant sections of this post to enable you understand ear mites in dogs better.

How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs

You will be required to provide your veterinarian a thorough history of dog’s health and the onset of symptoms, and whether the dog has regular contact with several other animals.

Your veterinarian is can perform a complete physical exam on your dog, which includes standard lab tests, like a chemical blood profile, a urinalysis and an electrolyte panel, to be sure that your dog does not have any other infections.

A dermatologic exam can as well be performed, with the skin scrapings that are taken for laboratory analysis. Ear swabs can be placed in the mineral oil so as to identify mites, and veterinarian can use an otoscope so as to look into ear canals of the dog, where ear mites in dogs are can be discovered directly in the ear.

If your dog is very much hypersensitive due to the infestation, making a very deep examination of ears very much difficult, then a diagnosis might be made as per the dog’s response to medical treatment.

Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites in dogs are very tiny parasites which infect a dog’s ear canal, leading to pain, inflammation and irritation.

The most common type of the parasite is known as Otodectes cynotis, which usually survives by feeding on oils and wax which are found in your dog’s ear canal.

The usual indicators are normally frequent shaking of the head, excessive scratching, as well as crusts that are around the outer ear.

It is very much contagious among pets, and should thus be controlled immediately.

Left untreated, it can cause very serious complications like ear damage and the skin infection.

Although people are not at risk, then ear mites in dogs are supposed to be treated immediately before taking a toll on your pet’s health and the wellbeing.

Here are some of the useful home remedies that can assist to put an end to this problem;

1. White Vinegar

In the 18th century, vinegar was widely used as a remedy for several medical problems, which included upset stomach, croup and several others.

People are not the only ones who can benefit from the vinegar’s therapeutic solutions, so are animals.

If you suspect ear mites in dogs, then you may as well rely on vinegar as an effective solution.

Research has indicated that vinegar is an effective treatment for all the ear infections.

Be very much careful though in use of vinegar on dogs with sores or even the lesions that are inside the ears.

What you’ll require:

  • 1 tablespoon of the white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine water and the white vinegar.
  • Pour half of mixture into the ear.
  • Massage the ear gently.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the bowl.
  • Use cotton to wipe the inside of dog’s ear.
  • Do the process every day for 1 week.

2. Aloe Vera

For several years, aloe vera is used in the treatment of wounds, burns and the skin irritations, according to University of Maryland Medical Center in the US.

This cactus-appearing plant is grown in tropical and subtropical countries in South America, South Africa and the Caribbean.

The gel which is extracted from the plant’s leaf has several compounds which have analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.

These are also indicated to boost the skin’s ability to regenerate.

A study published in 1995 by the Indian Journal of Dermatology also showed that aloe vera has gibberellins, which is a type of growth hormone which is used to boost collagen formation.

Aloe Vera can thus speed up healing of lesions brought about by ear mites in dogs.

What you’ll require:

  • 1 aloe vera leaf
  • Cotton ball

Recommended Directions:

  • Break off the leaf.
  • Swipe the gel from the aloe leaf by use of a cotton ball.
  • Use the aloe vera gel inside dog’s ear.
  • Do the process every day for 1 week.
  1. Corn Oil

This is one of the most widely used cooking oils in the world. Corn oil is normally derived from germinating part of the corn seed. This oil is rich in nutrients which are crucial for health.

For pet health problems such as the dog ear mites, corn oil is also a crucial solution which you should consider to try. That’s due to the fact that it works in several ways as it soothes pain and itchiness, drowns the ear mites, and also promotes the healing process.

Since it is about 60 percent linoleic acid, it can be easily absorbed by your dog’s skin.

What you’ll require:

  • 1/4 cup of corn oil
  • Eye dropper

Recommended Directions:

  • Using an eye dropper, place about three drops of corn oil in dog’s ear.
  • Massage them gently.
  • Apply corn oil on the outer ear by use of a cotton swab.
  • Repeat the process once a day for about 14 days or more.

4. Almond Oil

There’s a lot more to almond oil on ear mites in dogs than being just an effective moisturizer.

Almond oil has a lot of antioxidants and the essential nutrients which make it a fantastic remedy for boosting health.

Used for several years in alternative medicine, almond oil is widely touted for the emollient and anti-inflammatory properties.

Research has found out that almond oil has an ability to accelerate the process of healing wounds.

Thus, it not only makes it difficult for the parasites to survive in the dog’s ear and provides relief from pain, as well as the swelling.

What you’ll require:

  • 1/2 ounce of almond oil
  • 450 IUs of vitamin E

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine the ingredients in a pan over some low heat.
  • Warm for 1 minute.
  • Use an eye dropper so as to apply two drops into affected ear.
  • Massage it gently.
  • Apply every other day for 1 week.

5. Boracic Acid

According to Wikipedia, boracic acid is used as an antiseptic for the minor wounds, as well as the cuts.

Its strong antiseptic properties normally make it be a suitable treatment for infections brought about by ear mites in dogs.

In fact, studies reveal that the acid works just as well like an antibiotic and a steroid ear drops in the treatment of the chronic ear infections.

This experiment was conducted in people, 157 participants of them.

The participants received either antibiotic or the steroid ear drops, or boracic acid for treatment of ear infection.

Significant improvement was observed in both of the groups.

What you’ll require:

  • 1/4 cup of the boracic acid
  • 1 cup water

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix some amount of boracic acid in water.
  • Use the solution so as to clean and wash dog’s ears.
  • Do the process once a day for two weeks.

6. Yellow Dock Root Extract

Yellow dock root is normally used as a health tonic in most parts of North America.

Its parts – which are mainly leaves and roots – are turned into teas and tinctures, and thus used to treat several health problems.

The Native Americans used it for skin conditions such as psoriasis, eczema and the freckles.

In a study which investigated healing potentials of some therapeutic plants, yellow dock root was among which scored highly.

Several types of research also verify that the herb is capable of combating harmful organisms which worsen the infection brought about by ear mites in dogs.

What you’ll require:

  • 9 drops of yellow dock root extract
  • 1 tablespoon of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine about two ingredients.
  • Pour three drops of the mixture into dog’s ear by use of a dropper.
  • Massage the dog’s ear gently.
  • Do the process every other day for a period of about six weeks.

7. Honey

The healing properties that are contained in honey have been recognized for many years.

Some of its popular uses are for healing and disinfecting of the wounds.

Several types of research have pointed out antimicrobial and the antibacterial properties that are contained in honey.

With its high viscosity, it can provide a “protective barrier” which assists in preventing infection.

It also has immunomodulatory properties which also increases healing of wounds.

Experts also explain that the honey’s antimicrobial activities are because of the presence of hydrogen peroxide that produces beneficial enzymes.

The high sugar content that is found in honey also inhibits the growth and spread of infection-causing microorganisms.

The fact that it speeds up healing wounds make it a very practical remedy for infections caused by ear mites in dogs.

What you’ll require:

  • 4 teaspoons of the raw honey
  • 4 ounces of warm water

Recommended Directions:

  • Combine honey and the water.
  • Use a bulb syringe so as to inject the mixture into dog’s ear.
  • Do the process remedy at least three times in a week for 1 month or until condition gets better.

8. Calendula

This is another practical remedy that is used for ear mites in dogs.

Calendula is an annual herb which is said to have originated in the Mediterranean region.

Since then, its uses as an herbal remedy have spread to several other parts of the world.

For ear mites in dogs, calendula is a practical solution.

Although it won’t get rid of the parasites, it can do wonders in relieving symptoms such as the inflammation and irritation.

Its anti-inflammatory properties together with the wound healing effects are can assist tone down pain and speed up healing of the skin.

What you’ll require:

  • 1 cup of calendula tea
  • 1 ounce of tea tree oil
  • 3 drops of lavender essential oil

Recommended Directions:

  • Mix all ingredients.
  • Apply solution into ear using a bulb syringe.
  • Do the process remedy 3 times a week for four weeks.

9. Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is can help clear out ear mites in dogs but it is supposed to be used in dogs which stay put as this can harm the eyes.

Some studies have indicated the potential of hydrogen peroxide in getting rid of the parasites.

Results have also indicated that hydrogen peroxide in several concentrations is can effectively suppress the activities of parasites, and lead to their death eventually.

Not only that, but it is also an antiseptic that is commonly used for cleansing of the wounds.

What you’ll require:

  • 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide

Recommended Directions:

  • Place some amount of hydrogen peroxide in a small bowl.
  • Soak a cotton ball in the solution.
  • Apply solution on your dog’s ears.
  • Do the process three times a week.

Ear Mites in Dogs Treatment

Ear mites can be treated on an outpatient basis with very specific medications. Your veterinarian can instruct you to clean ear mites in dogs thoroughly using a commercially obtained ear cleaner. Look for products which are specifically formulated for dogs and have the ingredient pyrethrin.  This parasiticide is to be used for about 10 days to get rid of the mites and eggs. Be sure to repeat the treatment about 2 weeks later.

Ear mites can live in other spots on your dog’s body, which includes the feet and the tail. Thus, it is crucial to apply a mite treatment all over your dog’s body to get rid of ectopic mites, as well.

One month after the start of the treatment, your veterinarian can schedule a follow-up appointment so as to swab your dog’s ears and do a physical exam so as to determine whether or not the mites have been fully eradicated.

Are ear Mites on Dogs Contagious?

Ear mites are very contagious, which implies that they will jump from one animal to another just by quick contact. If the animal has especially floppy ears, ear mites can be more easily concealed, yet all the breeds of dogs and cats are very much susceptible to an infestation.

In fact, cats tend to become infested in a higher rate than dogs, often because of multiple cats in a home where hygiene might be lacking, and poor husbandry. The areas that are shared by many cats having ear mite infestations should be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected to do away with the mites so that the infestation do not reappear.

How to Prevent Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites are a common parasite in the dogs. These mites pass easily between dogs either through direct or even indirect contact with the infected bedding. The mites are usually irritants to dogs and lead to excessive scratching, which might cause ear infections.

Owners are supposed to be alert to the earliest indications of ear mites in dogs infestations as treating them can prevent the ear mites from spreading to many other pets and the increasing the scale of the problem.

Preventing Ear Mites

  1. Clean your dog’s ears once a month.
  • One method that can be used to prevent ear mites is to keep dog’s ears clean. This may assist to reduce the risk of ear mites in dogs. Detecting ear mites early is can help you prevent ear mites from spreading further.
  • Use an ear cleaning solution that is specially made for cleaning of the dog’s ears. You should find this in a pet store.
  • Ask your vet for assistance in choosing an ear solution if you are troubled to find
  1. Isolate your dog from infected dogs.
  • If you understand that one of your dogs is having ear mites, keep other pets very separate from infected Mites are transmitted between animals.
  • Take great caution when taking your dog to the public places where she mixes with several other dogs, such as the dog park or other places. Keep your dog away from the ones who are scratching their ears or showing symptoms of ear mites.
  1. Clean bedding often.
  • Regularly wash dog’s bedding. This assists to get rid of any ear mites in dogs which might be on it and keep several other pests and the bacteria away.
  • Wash the bedding at least once every few weeks. This reduces the risk of mites infesting the bedding.
  • You may as well spray the area your pet inhabits with a mite spray treatment.

Recognizing Symptoms of Ear Mites

  1. Look for brown discharge. 
  • Ear mites normally trigger production of a thick, brown type of ear wax. You can see the inside your dog’s ears some substance which appears like coffee grounds.
  • Ear mite infections are associated with excessive amount of this brown-black wax that is produced by the ear canal.
  • Your dog might as well have crusts on neck, and tail if the ear mites in dogs have spread to several other parts of the body.
  1. Watch for excessive ear scratching. 

The ear mites in dogs lead to considerable irritation, so your dog might scratch at the ears using a paw. Due to this scratching, your dog’s ears might be red or even have open sores.

  • Your dog might as well rub the ears, or even scoot the ears on the ground.
  • Look for rashes or any kind of skin irritation that is around the skin of ears also.
  • Your dog might as well have sensitive or even tender ears, which implies that she might whine as she scratches the ears or if they are touched.
  • The scratching and rubbing can cause inflammation and the sore skin. The constant rubbing may introduce a secondary bacterial infection having a foul smell.
  1. Monitor for head shaking. 
  • Your dog might as well repeatedly shake her head. She might as well lean her head over to one side. Her ear can drop a bit more than usual.
  • She might then act like she is trying to get something out of ears.

Treating an Active Ear Mite Infection

  1. Take your dog to the vet. 
  • A vet will examine the ear and then give a diagnosis of the ear mites. He can examine the ears using an otoscope, which assists him to see the ear mites in dogs as they are difficult to see with just the naked eye.
  • Similar symptoms can be because of a bacterial infection, a foreign body in the ear, or even an allergy.
  1. Clean the ears of discharge. 
  • Before you administer ear medication, clean them using a regular ear cleaner that is made for dogs before use of the medicine. This assists to get rid of the discharge which can protect the mites.
  • Make sure that you dry the ears so as to reduce the moisture. This might assist to reduce bacteria from forming.
  1. Use a parasiticide. 
  • Your vet can prescribe a parasiticide so as to use on your dog. This particular medicated topical treatment also has ingredients that decrease inflammation and thus give relief from symptoms of ear mites in dogs, like itching.
  • The frequency of application of medication largely depends on individual preparation. It may vary from daily for several days, to twice daily for about seven days which is then followed by a second cycle of treatment after a gap of only seven days.
  • If your dog has a secondary infection because of the mites, then your vet can prescribe antibiotics.

Our Sources and References

  1. Preventing and Treating Ear Mites: https://www.dogingtonpost.com/preventing-and-treating-ear-mites/
  2. How to Prevent Canine Ear Mites: http://www.wikihow.com/Prevent-Canine-Ear-Mites
  3. How to Treat Ear Mites in Dogs: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/how-treat-ear-mites-dogs
  4. CAUSES OF EAR MITES IN DOGS AND CATS: https://www.petcarerx.com/article/causes-of-ear-mites-in-dogs-and-cats/591
  5. How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs: http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/infectious-parasitic/c_dg_ear_mites
  6. 11 Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs That’ll Actually Work: https://naturallydaily.com/ear-mites-in-dogs-remedies/
  7. Causes and Prevention of Ear Mites in Dogs: http://www.petwave.com/Dogs/Health/Ear-Mites/Causes.aspx
  8. Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs and Cats: http://www.1800petmeds.com/education/ear-mites-symptoms-14.htm


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