Ear Mites in Dogs – Symptoms & Treatments

There are a number of pests that can live in your home, and these pests can not only be a bother to you, but also to your family dog. One such pest is the ear mite.

Most Common Type of Ear Mite

There are a number of different types of mites that can live in your pup’s ears. However, the most common type of ear mite is the Otodectes cynotis. This tiny has parasite eight legs and it actually feeds on the wax and oils in your dog’s ear canal. These parasites are so tiny they can rarely be seen by the naked eye. Typically, your veterinarian will have to do a scraping for them; he or she will then put this scraping under a microscope to see if your dog has mites: That is how small these mites are!

Life Cycle

The individual ear mite only has a three-week life cycle; however, they breed, so you will get more and more mites as time goes on.

Checking For Mites at Home

If you can’t wait until you see the vet, you can check for mites at home. Try this easy trick:

  1. First, take a cotton ball and gently swab the area of your dog’s ear, making sure not to get too deep.
  2. Next, examine this with a magnifying glass. If you can see little white specks, your dog has ear mites.
  3. Now that you have determined the problem, you can start to treat your dog.

It is imperative that you get rid of the ear mites right away, because they will only get worse. When your dog scratches his ears vigorously, he is allowing yeast and bacteria to be rubbed into his skin. This can lead to the development of secondary bacterial infections.

But you can prevent this! Now that you know your dog has ear mites, you can treat them.

Symptoms of Ear Mites

Here are some symptoms of ear mites that you should not ignore:​

If your dog begins shaking his head a lot, it could be ear mites. If he is favoring one side of his head (one side is listing a bit, one ear is down more than the other) you need to check it out.

If your dog is scratching around his ears, vigorously, it could be ear mites.

Additionally, check inside your dog’s ear for a buildup that looks like coffee grounds (it will be dark brown or black in color). This is a first indicator of ear mites.

If you notice any blood inside of his ear canal, this is a sign of an advanced infestation, and you should immediately see your vet.​

Your dog’s ear flaps can become red and inflamed, as well as crusted and scabbed.

Ear mites can also cause skin infections and permanent loss of hearing, so it is very important to check your dog’s ears regularly.

These parasites can also cause a strong odor in the ears, and this can be an early warning side.


Ear mites are common in dogs of any age, but most often occur in puppies. This is because puppies have not yet built up a strong immunity. So, if you have a puppy, it is important that you check his or her ears often, and be on the lookout for signs of ear mites.​

At Home Treatment for Ear Mites

Ear mites are easy to detect at home, and easy to treat at home! Which is great for owners; it gives you a sense of peace, because you can help your pup easily, and you can do it inexpensively.​

Mineral oil is the best and easiest treatment for ear mites. It will get rid of them quickly and painlessly!​

  1. First, you will need a bottle of plain mineral oil (Only use mineral oil–not olive oil or any other kind of oil! Not only will another type not work, it could make the infestation worse.) and an eye dropper.
  2. Now, clean dog’s ears in order to get rid of any ear wax and dirt. This will ensure that there is nowhere for the ear mites to hide (and nothing for them to want to eat!).
  3. Once they are clean, use the eye dropper and drop two drops of mineral oil inside each of your dog’s ears. Then massage the oil into your dog’s ear canals.
  4. Next, soak a cotton ball in mineral oil and use it to thoroughly wipe the insides of your dog’s ears.
  5. Your last step is to give your dog’s ears a good massage to make sure that the mineral oil has been fully distributed (and he or she will really appreciate the ear rub, too!).

You will want to repeat this treatment twice a week for a month to make sure that any remaining mites are killed off. This will also prevent any new generations of mites from hatching.​

Pest Control

Keeping your home free of all pests is a good way to keep your pups free from ear mites! Having year round pest control will keep your home healthy, and your pets healthy.​

Further Resources for Ear Mites in Dogs:


About the Author

I enjoy learning about new pest control strategies and attempt to share everything I learn at NeverPest.com to create a reliable resource for people dealing with all sorts of pest issues.

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