2023 Best Guide for Dog Ear Mites, Cause, Symptoms and Treatment

icon April 18, 2023

Ear mites in puppies and dogs may not be as deadly as ticks or heartworms, but they can still make your furry friend's life very unpleasant.

For your beloved dog or puppy, ear mites can cause intense ear irritation and discomfort. These tiny parasites feed on the wax and oil in your dog's ear canal and can cause head shaking or scratching, ear rubbing and secondary ear infections.

As a pet owner, you want your dog to be happy and healthy and in this article, we will discuss:

  • What Do Dog Ear Mites Look Like?
  • Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs
  • How Do Dogs Get Ear Mites?
  • How Do You Tell If Your Dog Has Ear Mites or Just Dirty Ears?
  • What Do Ear Mites Smell Like?
  • How to Treat Dog Ear Infection Without Vet?
  • What Ear Drops Are Good for Dog Ear Infection?

What Do Dog Ear Mites Look Like?

Dogs that look like they are tossing their heads a lot can cause some external ear infections, and some dogs are more agitated and will scratch their ears constantly, which in severe cases can lead to ear ulcers or pus.

pictures of ear mites in dogs

Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs

1. excessive scratching and shaking of the head
2. waxy substance secreted by dark brown sebaceous glands (like ground up coffee beans)
3. Red rash on the ear canal
4. Small, white and flesh-coloured ear mites can be seen when examined in full light
5. Black, dry ear discharge, sometimes with an unpleasant odour
6. Pain in the ear

How Do Dogs Get Ear Mites?

Dogs can get ear mites through contact with other infected animals, such as other dogs, cats, or even wild animals like foxes. The mites can easily spread from one animal to another through direct contacts, such as when dogs play together or share bedding.

Ear mites can also be transmitted indirectly, for example through contaminated objects like brushes or grooming tools. In some cases, the mites may also be present in the environment, such as in soil or on plants, and can infect dogs that come into contact with them.

How Do You Tell If Your Dog Has Ear Mites or Just Dirty Ears?

Dog ear mites vs ear wax

Many people will mistake ear mites for ear wax, but ear wax is a product of cats and dogs in a healthy state, whereas ear mites are the result of parasites.

They can be distinguished in several ways:

1. Colour:

Earwax is mostly black; ear mites are mostly dark brown. If you are unsure, take a magnifying glass to observe if there are any brown parasites in your cat's ears

2. Smell:

If you clean your cat's ears regularly, they should be relatively clean and odourless; conversely, if they smell foul or sour, these may be the first signs of ear mites.

3. Form.

Ear wax is evenly distributed and is relatively easy to clean without being sticky; ear mites are oily and will secrete some oily liquid that sticks unevenly to the cat's earpiece by piece.

4. Touch:

You can gently remove some of the cat's ear secretions with your fingers. If it is loose and easily dispersed, it is ear wax; on the contrary, if it feels sticky and greasy to your fingers, you can initially determine that it is ear mites.

Ear mites vs ear infection

Ear mites are mainly itchy, dogs will shake their heads or scratch and the ear wax has an unpleasant smell.

Fungal infections are not itchy, scratchy or smelly and the dirt is distinctly flaky and dry and lighter in colour than ear mites, yellowish-brown or dark brown.

Both ear mites and fungal infections are common ear diseases in dogs and can cause otitis externa or otitis media in dogs if left untreated.

What Do Ear Mites Smell Like?

This smell is usually similar to old trash. Ear mites should be treated immediately as they are able to spread from dog to dog. 

How to Treat Dog Ear Infection Without Vet?

It is important to note that these remedies should only be used for mild cases and if your dog's symptoms persist, a visit to the vet is still necessary. Having said that, let's explore some ways to treat ear infections in puppies at home.

Home Remedy for Ear Itching

Some owners are lazy and do not insist on rubbing their pets with medication, resulting in a relapse.
1. It is very important to put cotton in your pet's ears when bathing, otherwise it will easily get into the water.
2. Blow dry them after bathing, including ears, toes and other parts.
3. It is best to remove ear hair to prevent the growth of bacteria and infection.
4. Pay attention to regular checks and the use of ear drops to clean your pet's ear canals and dispose of any problems promptly.
5. Use some of the more cost effective pet ear care products with a good reputation.

What Ear Drops Are Good for Dog Ear Infection?

1. Puainta® Dog/ Cats Ear Cleaner Solution for Removing Ear Mites/ Itching Relief/ Peculiar Smell Removal

  • If ear mites are not serious, you can choose this natural ingredient ear wash to clean the ear canal and relieve itching.
  • Ingredients

    Chamomilla Recutita oil, Witch Hazel extract, Calendula Officinalis oil, EDTA, Tromethamine, Diethylhexyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Propylene Glycol, Purified Water.

Over-the-counter Ear Wash

2. Puainta® Ear Inflammation - Ear Drops

  • Ingredients

Florfenicol, Metronidazole ( Metronidazole is an antibiotic and antiprotozoal medication that is used to treat a variety of infections caused by bacteria and parasites. Florfenicol is a new broad-spectrum antimicrobial drug of the chloramphenicol class for veterinary use that was successfully developed in the late 1980s. It is widely used for ear mites.)

Puainta™ Ear Inflammation - Ear Drops Puainta™ Ear Inflammation - Ear Drops Puainta™ Ear Inflammation - Ear Drops


Are Ear Mites in Dogs Contagious?

Ear mites in dogs can be transmitted to people. Owners who have prolonged contact with dogs with ear mites and who do not clean their skin promptly are at risk of contracting ear mites. It is therefore important to clean and treat your dog's ear mites when they develop. Ear mites in dogs need to be treated with medication and nutrition, and owners need to clean their homes frequently to maintain hygiene.

Can Humans Get Ear Mites From Dogs?

While ear mites are typically more common in cats, dogs can also get ear mites. However, the good news is that humans are not at risk of getting ear mites from their dogs or cats. Ear mites are specific to animals and cannot survive on humans. Therefore, even if you come in contact with a pet with ear mites, you cannot get infected. However, it's essential to treat ear mites in pets promptly to avoid their spread and ensure your pet's health and comfort.

Does Vaseline Kill Ear Mites in Dogs?

Vaseline, a petroleum-based jelly, is not an effective treatment for ear mites in dogs. Ear mites are a common parasitic infection that affect dogs' ears and can cause itching, irritation, and inflammation. Typically, ear mite treatments for dogs include topical medications such as ear drops, ointments, or sprays that contain insecticides or acaricides to kill the mites. Your veterinarian may also recommend cleaning the ears to remove debris and help the medication work more effectively. 

Can You Flush Out Ear Mites in Dogs?

Yes, it is possible to flush out ear mites in dogs. If your vet recommends flushing out your dog's ears to treat ear mites, they may provide you with a specially formulated ear cleaning solution. The solution may contain an insecticide that can help kill the mites and their eggs.

To flush out your dog's ears, you'll first need to gently clean the outer part of their ears with a soft cloth or cotton ball. Then, you can use an ear bulb syringe or an ear flush solution to flush the cleaning solution into the ear canal. Follow the instructions provided by your veterinarian or on the product label carefully, as improper use can cause further damage to your dog's ears.

After flushing out the ears, it's important to keep them clean and dry to prevent the mites from returning. Your vet may also recommend additional treatment options such as topical or oral medications to fully eliminate the ear mites.





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