How to Treat Your Dog's Ear Mites Naturally
The tubular, long design of a dog's ear canal makes the perfect environment for a tiny thing like an ear mite or an infection—warm, dark, a little dirty—makes for plenty of food and breeding room. Some breeds are more apt to have ear troubles simply by the design of the dog's ears. Sporting dogs and hounds make the list. Their dropped (floppy, hanging) ears make an ideal place for bacteria to grow and mites to hide. Regardless of the ear type your dog is born with, keeping them clean and sweet smelling is the key to healthy ears.
A Note About Poodle Ears
Some dog owners (mostly Poodle owners) have to pluck the hair from inside the dog's ears. There is a special ear powder that that dries the ear making the plucking less difficult. This reduces the number of infections that occur in this type of ear. If your dog has a lot of hair growth inside the ear you may consider trying this technique, but know that your dog is NOT going like it very much!
Signs Your Dog Has Ear Mites
How Do I Know If My Dog Has Ear Mites?
Mites are tiny black bugs—even smaller than fleas—that you might not be able to actually see. Signs of ear mites include itching, ear irritation, red scaly patches, rashes, and loss of hair. Demodex and Sarcoptic mites are microscopic in size, while Cheylatella mites look like tiny white dander. You may be able to see ear mites if you look closely down into the ear canal. By keeping your dog's ears clean and clear of debris, you can all but alleviate the probability of ear mites all together.
Always consult with a licensed veterinary medical professional for a proper diagnosis and proper supervision before proceeding.
How to Clean Your Dog's Ears
Keeping Canine Ears Clean
Of all of the details that come into play around the maintenance of dogs, cleaning their ears is relatively uncomplicated. Make sure to go slowly, and do not enter the actual ear canal.
Follow These Steps When Naturally Cleaning Your Dog's Ears:
- Gently position your dog's ear so that the open ear is exposed. Sitting on the floor beside your dog seems to work best. If your dog struggles with this, a helper may be the best way to keep thing under control and safe for all concerned.
- Put some natural ear solution (see mite formula below) into the ear. Gently massage the ear from the outside of the ear canal to help get the solution working and to release debris and excess wax.
- Using a sterile gauze pad or sponge, gently wipe out excess solution. You can wrap the gauze pad or sponge completely around a pair of forceps, this will help wipe around the ear. Do Not use insecticides or mite treatments, because they can cause irritation. If you notice any red dirt-like debris—stuff that looks like coffee grounds—or a heavy waxy buildup, this is most probably from a mite infestation.
- While you have your dog in position, carefully snip away any excess hair from around the ear opening.
How Do I Know If My Dog Has an Ear Problem?
Ear Infections Are Difficult to Clear Up
Some ear infections can be a real pain to clear up. This kind of problem takes a lot of patience and a real drive to beat the infection all together. Keep an eye on your dog for these signs that a potential infection has set up house in your dogs ears:
- Crusty or red ears.
- Blisters or abrasions on the ear flap, or ear.
- Excessive or red or black waxy buildup.
- Foul-smelling odor emitting from the ear(s).
- Yelping when ears are touched
- Scratching or pawing at ears, or shaking of head.
- Head tilted to one side.
- Loss of hearing (reduced response to task commands).
Natural Ear Mite Formula for Dogs
Making your own mixture for naturally treating your dog's ear mites is really simple. Here is all you need to do:
Natural Ear Mite Formula for Dogs - The Recipe
- ½ oz of almond or olive oil
- 400 IU vitamin E (from a capsule)
How to Administer the Natural Ear Mite Formula Into Your Dog's Ear
- Blend the above ingredients together in a dropper bottle (or whatever you have on hand) and then warm the mixture to body temperature by placing it in hot water.
- Holding your dog's ear flap up, put around ½ of a dropper-full (¼ tsp) into the ear.
- Once the oil mixture is in the ear, massage the dog's ear canal from the outside of the ear. You want to move the oil around so it releases the debris, you want to be able to hear a liquid sound emitting from the ear as you do this.
- After a full minute of massaging, allow your dog to shake his/her head a little. This will help bring the bad stuff up and out of the ear canal.
- Gently clean the opening (never deep in the ear) with cotton swabs and clean gauze to remove the dirt and excess oil.
- The oil mixture will suffocate most of the mites, and begin to heal your dog's ear; which makes it a far less inviting ear canal for a mite colony to live.
- Repeat this process every other day for six days—making for three natural ear mite treatments in all.
- When not being used, the oil mixture must be capped and stored at room temperature.
More About Your Dog's Health
- Home Remedies for Dog Ear Yeast Infection
Dogs with normal ears that appear healthy and clean are proof that the ear environment is well maintained under control by bacteria. However, if for some reason or another, the dog's system is disrupted, bacteria may no longer be able to protect them
- How to Treat Your Dog's Upset Stomach Naturally
Wondering if there is a natural remedy for your dog's upset stomach? Then you don't want to miss this article! Very simple and effective ways to help you manage a dog's sick tummy holistically.
What to Do After Your Dog's Natural Ear Mite Treatment
Maintenance Is Your Dogs Final Ear Mite Treatment
After the oil treatment has been done, allow the ear to rest for three more days. During this time, you will want to take the next step in Naturally treating your dog's ear mites, which is to prepare an herbal extract that will be used to inhibit and/or kill the ear mites.
Herbal Treatment for Your Dog's Ear Mites
Once the ears are cleaned out as directed above, the easiest way to kill mites is by using the herb Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus). Here is what you should do:
- Yellow Dock tincture (A tincture is an alcohol-based derivative of an herb or plant. Often used as a medicine or dietary supplement.)
- Distilled or filtered water
How to Administer Yellow Dock for Your Dog's Ear Mite Treatment
- Dilute 5 drops of Yellow dock in 1Tablespoon Distilled or filtered water.
- Put ½ a dropper (about ¼ teaspoon) in the dog's ear and massage as above, wiping the outside of the ear after your dog is allowed to shake his head.
- Repeat this treatment every three days, for up to 4 weeks. It is necessary to continue to treat the ear for the longer period of time because the eggs are more resistant to natural treatments. The extra time will assist in ending the mite life cycle.
Final Step for the Natural Treatment of Ear Mites in Dogs
To totally complete the ear mite natural treatment in your dog, make sure to thoroughly shampoo your pet's head and ears. Mites are true survivors, so should even one or two of these tiny bugs make it through the natural treatment process by crawling out of the ear and onto the hair of the dogs face or head, they can crawl right back in after all of the action has dissipated. This is not uncommon, and starts the ear mite invasion cycle all over again. A good shampooing of the head and ear areas can help eliminate this possibility from occurring.
When It Is All Said and Done
After you have completed the entire natural treatment, should your dog's ears still appear to be irritated or inflamed to any degree, a trip to the vet is in order. As great as home remedies can be, some resistant bacteria and critters can put up one heck of a fight, bringing dangerous outcomes for our canine companions. Should you run into this situation, your vet will have the proper treatment your dog may need. Most vets are willing to offer a natural treatment in combination with pharmaceuticals to boost the effectiveness of both. Now, you should go clean your dog's ears!
An Important Note About Ear Problems in Dogs
Just a warning about any kind of ear problem in your dog. The ear is a very important area of the dog body that infections and disease seek out to attack. Ridding any ear troubles in dogs takes real care and know-how. Infections can quickly spread to the nasal cavity and deep into the brain if not properly managed or treated. If you in any way feel that your dog has more than a minor ear condition, the care of a credible veterinarian is the ONLY correct tactic to engage. These kinds of disorders can quickly turn deadly for your furry best friend.