It is normal for dogs to be scratching their ears and head. It’s how they groom their ears and keep themselves clean. However, if you notice Sir Barks-A-Lot scratching his ears all day long, running his head along the carpet or couch, crying out while scratching, bleeding from his ears, shaking his head excessively, you’ve got yourself a problem.
You can see our article on ear problems in dogs for a detailed list of the different possible issues your dog could face in their ears, but the two most common reasons for ear scratching and head shaking in your fur baby are ear infections, and ear mites. In this guide we are going to tell you how to get rid of ear mites in dogs quickly, effectively, and without an unnecessary and expensive visit to the vet. First, you need to confirm that your dog is indeed suffering from ear mites, and not another type of infection.
How To Know If Mr. Scruffy-Doo Has Ear Mites
Okay, so because the courses of treatment are fairly different, you will need to know whether your dog is suffering from ear mites or another problem. The best way to know if your dog is suffering from an ear mite infestation, and you already have seen them exhibiting the above symptoms, is to check the ear wax for mites. To do this, go ahead and get a cotton swab and gently collect a small sample of wax. Put the wax on a paper towel or piece of cloth in a well-lit room. You will need a magnifying glass to see any ear mites or evidence of ear mites. Inspect the wax to see if there are any white specks in the wax. If you see those white specks, you’ve got yourself an ear mite problem.
Whatever It Is, Don’t Ignore It
So maybe you didn’t take immediate action when you noticed your dog shaking his head at first, but if you’re trying to get rid of ear mites in dogs you need to take action, now. In fact, the longer you wait, the more difficult the infection can be to treat on your own, and if your dog is not treated for ear mites quickly, they can suffer from much more serious conditions, including:
- Permanent hearing loss
- Secondary infections in the ears or in other parts of your dog’s body
- Infecting other pets that your dog interacts with
How to Get Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs
Nobody said this would be easy right? Even though it won’t be easy, the good news is that most minor cases of ear mites can be treated at home and do not require a trip to the vet. That being said, if your dog is bleeding around the ears from so much scratching, or if you cannot touch the ears because they are so sensitive, you will need to go to a veterinarian.
In those extreme cases, a medical grade, chemical parasiticide will be administered or prescribed by your vet. For most cases however, an over the counter dog ear cleaner should work just fine.
It’s always better to avoid using intense chemicals on, or especially inside, of your dog’s body. Not only can these chemicals take a toll on your dog’s health, they also take a toll on the environment and us! So be careful and use something natural.
A good, natural and effective dog ear cleaner is absolutely necessary for getting rid of ear mites in dogs because of where mites like to live. Ear mites love to live inside of the dirt and wax that builds up inside of a dog’s ear, so blasting away the gunk with a powerful cleaning session should be your first course of action.
Ear mites in dogs are truly persistent, so make sure to do a thorough ear cleaning every day for a week. If you have any other pets in the house, they should be getting daily ear cleanings during this time as well. After the first week of daily treatments, we recommend switching to weekly cleaning sessions to keep away any more nasty infections or ear mites.
When you are doing that first week of daily ear cleanings, you should tear your house apart with a disinfectant cleaner. That’s right, ear mites can survive for a few days outside of dogs’ ears, so you will want to make sure that your thoroughly clean all of the surfaces your dog likes to frequent, their dog bed, the couch, your bed, etc.
Other Tips on Getting Rid of Ear Mites in Dogs
Little Miss Pickle might need a soft neck collar or one of those fashionable cones to keep from scratching. It will drive her crazy. You can purchase them pretty easily at any pet supply store. Also try to keep your dogs nails trimmed to prevent any accidental pokes while she is trying to scratch her ears.
Remember, ear mites in dogs are not only for dogs. They spread very easily to other dogs, cats, horses, and just about any other animal besides humans, so make sure to treat all of your pets at once and isolate them as much as possible to invade spreading such unpleasantry.
To Sum It All Up
If your dog is showing the symptoms:
- Scratching their ears
- Shaking their head
- White specks in wax
then you’ve got yourself ear mites. If you catch the infection early on, go ahead and perform daily cleanings with a trusted dog ear cleaner like the one from us here at Petpost, for a week. During that time, sanitize your home and keep your dog isolated. If the symptoms have gotten much better in a week, you can switch to weekly cleanings as a method of preventative maintenance so that all of this ear mite business is nothing but a bad memory for your pup.
So thats it, you now know how to get rid of ear mites in dogs and are equipped with the tools necessary to get out there and give Lassie the happy, healthy, and ear mite free life she deserves!