How to Use Olive Oil to Get Rid of Ear Mites Fast at Home

Updated on July 19, 2020
DrMark1961 profile image

Dr. Mark is a veterinarian. He has been working with dogs for more than 40 years.

You can use olive oil to kill your dog´s ear mites.
You can use olive oil to kill your dog´s ear mites. | Source

Ear mites are tiny insects that live inside the ear canal and suck your dog´s blood.

Next to fleas and ticks, these little bugs are a dog´s greatest headache. They really annoy her, and she will scratch constantly.

Your dog can pick up ear mites just playing with others at the dog park and a lot of time they are not even noticed until quite far along. Most vets will prescribe chemicals to kill the mites, and a steroid to keep her from itching, but the easiest and most effective treatments can be started at home.

Swollen ears are painful!
Swollen ears are painful!

Diagnosing Ear Mites at Home

An ear mite infection is pretty hard to diagnose at home. If you do not have a vet available, you can remove some of that black waxy material from the ear and put it on a wet paper towel. That black material is blood, so the paper towel should turn red around the wax.

If you do have a vet available, take her in for an ear swab and so that the vet can check the eardrums with an otoscope before you start treatment. You will usually notice an ear mite infestation when your dog starts shaking her head and scratching; if not taken care of your dog can bleed pretty severely. When you take the dog in for an examination the vet will look at a swab under the microscope, and if mites are found, will recommend several medications.

You are not obligated to purchase medication! You can use plain vinegar and water to loosen up the dried blood in the ear before using the treatment suggested below.

(Don’t use the dilute vinegar cleaning solution if your dog has already scratched up the insides of her ears because it really hurts.)

Simple Ear Mite Treatments at Home

Ear mites can actually be treated in several ways. They are most active at night so clean and treat the ears each evening at bedtime.

1. You can put olive oil in the ears every other night for six weeks, and the mites will drown. The adults are going to die right away, the first night you treat the ears with olive oil, and as the new mites hatch over the next six weeks they will also drown in the olive oil and the problem will be eliminated. (Sometimes this will have to be repeated about 3 weeks after the first treatment regimen is completed. If your dog develops black waxy buildup after you stop, he may be getting reinfected from another animal. If this is the case, repeat the treatment.)

2. I have also heard about people just using corn oil, but the olive oil works well, so I have never had to use this alternative. Olive oil is also a better moisturizer and may actually improve healing of the skin.

Are There Other Alternatives to Treat Mites at Home?

3. Another therapy, one I have not needed since I have had good results with killing the mites with olive oil, is to use a dilute yellow dock solution (yellow dock is Rumex crispus) and treat the ears every three days for six weeks.

The yellow dock solution is diluted nine drops to 15 drops of water, but you can buy it in an herbal pharmacy already diluted and ready to use. I have also heard of using the yellow dock on other parts of the body where the mites spread, but if you destroy the infection in the ears, this probably won´t even be needed.

Your dog will be much happier after the ear mites are gone.
Your dog will be much happier after the ear mites are gone. | Source

What Happens If I Ignore This?

Ear mites cause a lot of discomfort to your dog as they chew on the inside of your ear.

A simple mite infestation, though, can be treated at home and it is certainly nothing you need to rush to the emergency vet for. I have heard about dog and cat ear mite infections affecting some humans and causing rashes but have been treating these infections for over 30 years and HAVE NEVER seen it.

If you have a dog with floppy ears and she starts shaking her head until her ears swell up at the tips, she probably has developed blood between the skin, an aural hematoma. This is more serious and cannot be treated at home. She will need to have her ear punctured, the blood drained out, and she may have to have her ear sewn down to keep it from filling up with blood again. If you do not get this taken care of properly the clot will contract, and she will end up with a “cauliflower” ear.

This slideshow will give you an idea of what your dog´s ear mites look like when seen under the microscope.

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

  • How much olive oil do I apply?

    Fill the ear canal up, enough to drown the mites. Your dog will shake the excess out.

  • How often do I use the olive oil to get rid of ear mites?

    If you drown the mites with olive oil, you should do so again in three weeks to kill any that hatch after your treatment. See how the ears are doing after that and treat again if needed.

  • How much vinegar and water do I mix to create the solution to get rid of ear mites in dogs?

    It depends on the size of your dog or dogs. I have several large dogs so I usually mix up a small cup of water and a small cup of vinegar. Use enough so that it pours out of the ear canal.

  • Can I use Neosporin to treat my dog's ear mites?

    No, that product is an antibiotic and steroid for inflammation. If your dog does have mites, it is not effective.

  • Will organic coconut oil work for getting rid of ear mites?

    Coconut oil should work fine, but I have not tried it on ear mites. I use coconut oil for dogs with dry skin and for chronic yeast infections.

© 2012 Dr Mark


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 weeks ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Mr Lumlei, thanks for picking that up. Yes, if the condition persists it is a good idea to repeat the treatment in about 6 weeks. It does not need to be done in all cases, as the first treatment regimen is often enough to eliminate the problem.

    • profile image

      Mr Lumlei 

      3 weeks ago

      Dear Mark. Thanks for the help with ear mite. Olive oil sounds the way to go. But the treatment advice is a bit confusing. You first advise: "put olive oil in the ears every other night for six weeks, and the mites will drown". You then add in reply to a question: "If you drown the mites with olive oil, you should do so again in three weeks to kill any that hatch after your treatment".

      Please confirm if you are saying do (a) initial 6 x week (every other day) course then follow up (b) 3 x weeks later with a REPEAT 6 x week course? This would make sense to me as well-established ear mites are highly persistent and a challenge to irradicate 100%.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      8 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Fill the ear canal up, enough to drown the mites. Your dog will shake the excess out.

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      How many drops of olive oil do I put in my poodle ear ?

    • profile image


      10 months ago

      my dog is having a serious wound on his ear, and it has been treated severally but it still the same please what can i do.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      20 months ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      If your dog is in pain, it is not a good idea to clean the ears with vinegar as this can be VERY painful. If he does have mites though it is okay to use the olive oil to kill the mites.

    • profile image


      20 months ago

      Is it ok to put the oil even if my puppy’s ear hurts as he scratches ??

    • profile image


      23 months ago

      can I use all of the above for a 3 lb dog

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      2 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Gapineapple, you can just pour the olive oil in there to drown the mites. The excess can be wiped off with a wash cloth.

      I never recommend you give Carprofen (the component of vetprofen) to dogs without having blood work done both before and during the medication. It is dangerous and has caused death in dogs. You can read more about the effects on the internet, or my article:

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      Hi Mark...I have a cocker spaniel who has ear mites. I will take her to the vet in the morning. My question....I don’t want to put too much Olive much? I also gave her Verprofin to relieve the heat or is it pain (?) in her ears?

    • profile image

      susan duffy 

      3 years ago

      do you use a dropper to put in the olive oil and should you clean their ears with a flushing solution firsts?

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Peppersmom--the hematoma should be drained as soon as possible. The ear then needs to be taped down to the head so that it does not fill back up if the dog starts shaking her head again.

      If it is not drained, it can develop into a cauliflour ear. The scarring is permanent.

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      Thank you so much for this! Sadly, my grandpup's new Vet did nothing I've read to treat the when she woke w a hematoma Monday. We were sent home w antibiotics & ear cleaner (which I've had to google to use). I've given her aspirin for pain. Is it best to drain the hematoma when it initially happens?

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This essential oil is enriched vitamin E and other fatty acids, which helps in faster healing. It soothes the irritated, swollen, and red skin in the ears. Almond oil is great for sensitive skin.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      3 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      I cannot tell you an exact amount since dog ears are sometimes large, sometimes small, etc. It has to be a liberal amount, enough to drown the mites. Make sure all of the inside of the pinna is coated, so if you need 10 drops, use them. If you need 15, use 15, etc.

    • profile image

      Carol Robertson 

      3 years ago

      How much olive oil do u use ?

    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Hi Mark,

      I swabbed the inside of my dog's ears last night before bed and have seen improvement already. I didn't add any drops to the ear canal because I wasn't sure how many drops to add. Can you please tell me what is safe and effective in terms of the amount? Many thanks.

    • DrMark1961 profile imageAUTHOR

      Dr Mark 

      4 years ago from The Atlantic Rain Forest, Brazil

      Will: who would have told you something like that? Someone selling ear products? Yes, it is okay to clean your dog´s ears with dilute vinegar and treat ear mites with olive oil.

    • profile image

      Will Morgan's 

      4 years ago

      I got told never put olive oil in a dogs ear.My dog has been constantly scratching her ear and shaking her head for the last two weeks.So its ok to put olive oil in her ear?


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)