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How to get rid of dog ear mites?

Updated on May 9, 2009

Ear mites are one of the pesky little buggers that trouble our pets. Along with fleas, ticks and worms, these parasites would damage Fifi’s or Fido’s health. Contrary to what the name implies, ear mite does not only live in the dog’s ears. These parasites spread in other parts of the dog’s body. Ear mites are more common in cats but they do infest our canine friends. Fortunately, these buggers are quite easy to eradicate and the ear infection they cause is relatively easy to treat. 

Dog ears

How are ear mites transmitted

Ear mites are transmitted from dog to dog. Mature ear mites are very mobile. When you take your pet to dog parks or when you allow your dog to play with one that is infected with ear mites it is highly probable the your dog will be infected too. Ear mites can live off a dog’s body for a while. This means that the dog can be infected even if it has not come in contact with an infected dog.

Ear mite infestation symptoms

Ear mites are best detected with a microscope as they are so tiny and may not be seen by the naked eye. Nevertheless, there are signs that will clue a person to the presence of these parasites. Ear mites thrive on the moist and “food” rich inner ear. The parasite feed on cerumen (ear wax). Thousand of bites on the tender inner ear canal would result to constant shaking and scratching of the ears. Increased wax build up will be noticed along with black or reddish brown discharge that is not unlike coffee grounds. The dog would lose its balance, may vomit and lose its appetite.

The treatment

If you are pretty sure that your pet is infested with ear mites, the first thing you have to do is to clean the ears with mineral oil. A dropper would be handy to apply the oil. Massage the ear thoroughly with the oil. Using a cotton ball, remove the ear wax and the black colored discharge. Apply the topical treatment. However if the ear is infected it would be more advisable to bring the dog to a veterinary facility.

The prevention

Keeping the pet and its environment regularly treated with flea medication would prevent ear mite infestation. This parasite is easily transmissible. An infected dog or cat in the household would infect other pets. The infestation could grow and worsen. Wash the dog’s toys with soap and warm water to eliminate the parasite from the environment.

How to treat ear mites in dogs

Ear mites

Ear mites under the microscope


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      erin 6 years ago

      What kind of dog is that in the second photo? The blondie with the white strip on nose? My dog looks identical to that and since I rescued him as a pup from a shelter they are unsure of his breed.