Ear mites are external parasites infecting a dog’s ears. Once a dog gets them, they seem to have a tendency to get them over and over again. Fortunately mites are large enough and easily visible with the naked eye. Ear mites not only live in the ears but also on the head and skin of dogs. It takes only three weeks for a mite egg to develop into an adult. If the adult mite continues to live its life on the dog, it can cause severe inflammation.
In addition, ear mites are highly contagious. They can easily transmit from host to host just by physical contact. So if your dog socializes with other infected animals such as doggie daycare, your dog can easily get infected.
Treatment for ear mites should include all pets in your household. Even though some animals are not showing signs of itching or head shaking, they can still be infected.
Most dogs scratch at their ears, rub their face and in severe cases may even bleed behind their ears to relieve themselves from these tiny mites.
Lift your dog’s ear flap and gently pull up and out to examine your dog’s ear canals. Do they have dark debris down in the ear? This dark brown or black debris accumulates in the ears of infected dogs and the mites will be seen as small moving white specks on the debris. If there is a secondary bacterial infection it may be more difficult to diagnosis.
Any natural oil-based ear medication will drown the mites and eventually suffocate them. To remove ear mites, try mixing almond oil and vitamin E. Put a dropper or two in each ear and massage it well. Beware — after you message the ears, your pet will shake and some of the oil will go flying out of their ears! Once they do this, take a Q-tip or clean cloth and wipe the inside of the flap. The oily mixture smothers the mites, soothes the ear canal and helps in healing. Remember to refrigerate the oil so that you can continue to use it. Make sure it is at room temperature before applying it. It is necessary to continue this procedure every day for two to four weeks until you see improvement.
Also soak a cotton ball in this almond/vitamin E oil combination and swab the ear canal. The oil soothes skin, smothers the mites, and accelerates healing.
I’ve also found that if the dog ears are inflamed, you can combine two drops of lavender essential oil with double the amount of fractionated coconut oil in a small container or bowl and use a Q-tip to swab it underside the flap and down in the ear but not too far. Lavender not only has a healing aspect, but it calms a dog sometimes to the point of sleep.
There are also dog ear washes available from your local pet store. I’ve used EcoEars with much success. Be prepared because your dog WILL shake his head after you pour these “washes” in their ear. The wash solution will go everywhere!
I hope you find this article on dog ear mites helpful and have much success with the remedies suggested.