Home Remedies for Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites in dogs are an irritating and dangerous condition. They are highly contagious and can easily be spread from dog to dog, and even to species such as rabbits and cats by physical contact. Cats are more likely to catch ear mites than dogs, while dogs are more likely to have bacterial or yeast infections in their ears, but dogs do catch ear mites occasionally.

Some treatments for ear mites can involve weeks of putting chemicals on your dog's skin, or injections that are dangerous to some breeds. Using home remedies may provide a solution to this, if they are used conscientiously, however don't put your dog's hearing at risk. If the infection does not clear up quickly, take him to the vet.

Identifying an Ear Mite Infection

Ear mite infections will cause a dark, crumbling discharge to build up in your dog's ear canal.

This discharge looks similar to coffee grounds. Your dog may scratch at his ears and hold his head differently, or shake it a lot.

However, other infections may cause similar effects, so look for the mites in the dark discharge. They will be tiny white specks.

If possible, try to identify the mites with a magnifying glass or microscope, or ask your vet to identify the infection.

Ear mites live off ear wax and dead skin cells. They irritate your dog's skin, and can lead to skin disease, or physical damage from your dog's constant scratching. Eventually, your dog could suffer permanent deafness.

They will also easily infect any other mammals your dog comes into contact with, although they rarely infect humans.

Using Ear Mite Home Remedies

Because the ear mite is so infectious, you must treat all the animals in your household simultaneously for the treatment to be successful. The ear mite has a three week cycle, and what may kill the adults often won't kill the eggs. So, be prepared to continue your treatments for at least three to four weeks to ensure that all the eggs have hatched, and been treated.

The best solution for ear mites is an oil treatment. Most oil types can be used, including baby oil, mineral oil, olive oil, or even corn oil.

  1. Clean your dog's ear gently, with a damp cotton ball to remove the discharge.
  2. Put a few drops of oil on the inside of your dog's ear and gently rub the oil so it is coating the whole inside of the ear. This will suffocate the mites.
  3. Follow this treatment with a full shampoo to ensure any stray mites are also removed. Be aware that your dog may shake his head during the treatment and spray you or your surroundings with oil.
  4. Repeat this treatment every other day for three weeks to ensure you kill any eggs as they hatch.

You can also try steeping crushed garlic in the oil before using it. For a severe or resistant infection, you can try adding some food grade diatomaceous earth to the oil.

Ear mites are a serious condition that can lead to long term complications for your dog's ears. Identifying and treating them quickly is essential to your dog's health.