Ear mites in dogs


When one puppy or dog is infested, the mites can get onto bedding or transfer directly from dog to dog through play and socialising. As dogs like to play together, the mites find it easy to make their move to a new host. Owners should always look for signs their dog has ear mites.


Ear infections are common in dogs and can have many different causes. They can be caused by a yeast infection, a bacterial infection, or even secondary to an allergic skin disease. It’s best to consult with your vet who can examine your dog and rule out other potential causes by looking at your dog’s ear wax down the microscope.

For your beloved dog or puppy, ear mites can cause intense ear irritation and discomfort. These tiny parasites feed on wax and oils in your dog’s ear canals and can result in head shaking or scratching, rubbing of the ears and secondary ear infections.

Ear Mites In Dogs

Your guide to ear mites in dogs

Although spot on treatments are the most popular form of treatment, ear drops are also available. Some of these require at least three weeks of treatment as the medication cannot kill the eggs of the parasites, which take 21 days to develop into adult mites. If using these treatments, it’s therefore crucial that you use them, as prescribed, for the recommended time period. Other topical treatments only need to be used for 10 to 14 days and are much stronger, so kill the eggs as well as the adult mites and include medication to tackle the infection caused by the parasites.


There are different types of ear mite medication, including over the counter treatments such as NexGard ® for Dogs products (available from a variety of physical and online stores), or medicated ear drops which may be prescribed by your vet. Puppy ear mite treatment is usually the same as for adult dogs. It is important to use effective and proven ear mite treatments. You should not use unproven home remedies for ear mites in dogs as they may not be safe or effective. If you have questions about the best ear mite treatment for dogs, please speak to your vet.

Not sure what you’re looking for? Your veterinarian can help you pick the best option based on your dog’s risk factors. It’s also a good idea to meet with your veterinarian if you want to discuss your overall parasite prevention strategy. With appropriate treatment, your canine companion should soon be feeling better.

Does my dog have ear mites

Many spot on flea treatments also prevent and treat ear mites, and – if recommended by your vet – this is by far and away the easiest way to protect your pet from the parasites. One or two applications is usually enough and they are a lot less stressful for your pet – and for you – than ear drops.


So, what are the options when it comes to treatment for ear mites in dogs?

The easiest way to prevent ear mites is to routinely give your dog a flea preventive that also works against ear mites. Revolution (selamectin) is available for use against ear mites, but medications with other active ingredients such as moxidectin, fluralaner, and afoxolaner can be prescribed by veterinarians, as well. Many of these products prevent multiple types of parasites, such as fleas, roundworms, and hookworms.

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The good news is that there are highly effective treatments available for ear mites in dogs. A single dose of NexGard ® for Dogs or NexGard SPECTRA ® for Dogs is highly effective at treating ear mites in puppies and dogs. Dogs with ear mites may develop secondary ear infections which require additional treatment. If ear irritation persists, always consult with your vet.

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But irritation in a dog’s ear is more often than not caused by allergies leading to infections other than ear mites, so it’s crucial that you get your dog to the vets for a proper diagnosis – especially since the parasites are so difficult to detect with the naked eye. Vets will normally confirm a diagnosis of ear mites using an otoscope to look inside the ear. Without visiting the vet, many owners incorrectly assume that their dog has ear mites when they are, in fact, suffering from a bacterial or yeast ear infection; this can lead to weeks of inappropriate treatment and the condition worsening.

Ear mites live on the skin of the ear canal and feed off ear wax and skin oils. An adult normally lives for approximately two months, but can multiply quickly with eggs taking just four days to hatch and a further three weeks to develop into an adult mite ready to breed.

Ear mites in dogs

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But how do dogs get ear mites in the first place? Contact with other dogs or cats with ear mites is typically what causes ear mites to be transmitted in dogs. Ear mite infestations are more common in puppies than older dogs.

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Want more information on the treatments available for your dog or puppy?

Ear mites in dogs typically look like tiny, moving dots in the ear canal, but are so tiny that you may not be able to spot them at all. It takes a vet with an otoscope or microscope to properly spot an infestation.

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