Ear Mite Remedies

Ear mites are nasty little surface parasites that commonly infect dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets. They live in and around the ears of these animals. They are the second most common external parasite that infects our pets (the flea has the top ranking of the most common). Unlike the flea, ear mites spend their entire lifecycle on an animal, and they spread through direct contact with another animal that is infected.

There are numerous symptoms that pets exhibit any time they have a problem with their ears. These include shaking their head, scratching at their ears, and areas of hair loss around the ear, caused by the pet scratching. The characteristic that distinguishes mites from other ear maladies is the thick, black, tar like substance (sometimes it is black, dry and flaky), that is found in the ear canal. Although veterinarians typically diagnose ear mites by performing a microscopic smear of the ear debris, the presence of mites is easy to detect when you know what this discharge looks like.

Do you wonder if ear mites cause discomfort in our pets? Imagine what it is like when you have that itching sensation inside your ear. You know, the one that sends you searching for a q-tip to stick in your ear in an effort to scratch it? Now just imagine that the itch is being caused by tiny little parasites crawling around in your ear, and that you are without the ability to do anything about it! It would most likely drive you crazy… and that is what a pet with mites in their ears must live with.

Getting rid of your pet’s ear mites takes time. While there are a lot of preparations to kill mites, some are prescription and some are over the counter, there is no “magic bullet” that will kill all mites overnight. I have not personally seen ANY medication that I could say that works any better than the others (and that includes the most expensive ear mite remedies sold through veterinarians!). In order to eliminate ear mites, there are three things that you must do.

You must treat ALL of the animals in your house by cleaning and treating the ears daily, sometimes for as long as 21 days. An oil based product for cleaning and treating the ears usually works best, since the oil will smother the mites and softens the black discharge in the ears, allowing for easier removal.

Since ear mites can and will crawl around on the skin outside of the ears, you should treat the skin of all pets also. This may include using a topical product, such as “Revolution”, sold through your veterinarian, or using natural home remedies, such as the ones for treating fleas.

It is highly recommended that you treat the indoor environment of your house at least once. Even though ear mites do not live very long once they are off of the animal, you do not want to risk contamination of your pet by any ear mites that may have been shaken out & are looking for a new home. You can treat your house using any remedy that is suitable for getting rid of fleas, whether that is a commercial product, or a remedy that uses natural ingredients. You can view my article on the top ten natural flea remedies for solutions that you can use every day on your pet and in your home.

It can be difficult to be patient if you know that your furry companion suffers from ear mites, but remember that you are addressing the problem and you will see results after the very first ear cleaning. To prevent ear mites in the future, make it a part of a weekly routine to check your pet’s ears for any discharge or abnormal debris. Examine and treat any new pet’s ears BEFORE you introduce them to the rest of your household, and ear mites will be a thing of the past!