Ear Mites in Dogs? How to Know, Causes, Symptoms, Treatment, and Prevention

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Dogs, more so than humans, are particularly susceptible to bacterial and fungal ear infections. Dogs with four legs will be more susceptible to ear mites.

Dog ear mites aren’t particularly harmful or deadly, but they nonetheless respond negatively to dogs and cause discomfort and itching all over their bodies.

If your dog scratches and shakes his head more than normal, he probably has ear mites. They will itch around the ear, which can lead to skin rashes or, worse, secondary ear infections, among other health issues. Please read the reference article below to understand a little bit about dog ear mites and how to treat your pet right away.

What Are Ear Mites in Dogs?

Ear mites have attached to the dog’s ear.

Otodectes cyanosis, also known as ear mites, is a parasite connected to spiders. They are incredibly tiny and have four legs. Most of the time, if we want to examine them closely, we will need to use a microscope to observe the ear mites’ bodies.

An adult ear mite develops through 5 stages in approximately 3 weeks of breeding time. Adult ticks have a two-month lifespan and produce more ear mites during that time.

These are insects that eat things like earwax, skin oils, and other substances. Dogs, cats, rabbits, and ferrets are likely to have the highest concentration of ear mites. Animals with ear mites will have them in their ear canals rather than on their skin’s outer layer.

Animal ear mites mostly feed on blood, which might irritate your dog’s ears or put them at risk for otitis media. Direct animal-to-animal transmission of ear mites is possible and is very infectious.

What Do Dog Ear Mites Look Like? How to Know and Diagnose Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mite shape and how to recognize when a dog has ear mites

What Do Dog Ear Mites Look Like?

Ear mites are like peas

An adult ear mite develops through 5 stages in approximately 3 weeks of breeding time. Adult ticks have a two-month lifespan and produce more ear mites during that time. The dog’s ear mites will receive the majority of attention from ear mites, and it can be challenging to destroy them with the naked eye. 

By removing some of the dirt from your dog’s ear, placing it somewhere dark and well-lit, and looking at it with a magnifying glass or capturing a zoomable video, you can determine the presence of ear mites. The ear mites will move and have tiny white spots, so you may notice them in this exact situation.

Ear mites resemble other giant bugs in appearance and have short legs when viewed under a microscope. They, unfortunately, can’t be seen properly because they are tinier than bugs.

How to Know and Diagnose Ear Mites in Dogs?

If your dog exhibits signs like scratching his hat, he likely has an ear infection brought on by ear mites. You should visit a veterinarian right away, so they can examine and treat your dog.

The doctor will examine the dog’s ears with a tiny flashlight to see whether the dog is tickling the ear, and he or she will then appear on the screen for you to see and more easily give advice.

Using a cotton swab to perform some tests and make a diagnosis will be common practice.

Your doctor and you may view the mature tick eggs under a microscope thanks to the smear testing. A secondary or concurrent bacterial or yeast infection, however, may be discovered by cytology testing performed on the physician’s ear. Sometimes a skin scratch will also make the tick visible.

Scratching a dog’s ears can occasionally become quite painful due to excessive itching, making it difficult for them to remain still during the examination. Consequently, sedation may be required for your dog’s initial diagnosis and treatment.

Alternatively, you could take medication to treat illness, but you should stop and speak with your veterinarian if the medication has a risky effect on your pet.

Symptoms of Ear Mites in Dogs

Dogs with ear mites will have many symptoms appear

The most typical signs of canine ear infections brought on by ticks include head shaking, ear scratching, and subsequently a black discharge or unpleasant odor coming from the dog’s ears.

Additionally, you may easily find ear mites in dogs by looking for tiny lumps, scrapes, and scratches around the neck, ears, and tail.


Dogs will scratch and shake their bodies if they itch.

This is the first indication that a parasite, like ear mites, is invading the dog’s body. Your dog will scratch and annoy your partner.

The Parotid

The parotid discharge is crumbly and dark red-brown. This will be condensed dried blood that looks a lot like coffee grounds.

Wounds, Inflammation, and Initiation of Infection

A dog’s body when attacked by a dog tick will become infected.

Cuts and scrapes from your dog’s excessive scratching result in inflammation and the beginning of an infection in the ear. The most typical case is when ear mites have infiltrated the body of the pet. This will produce many symptoms, including peeling and abrasion at the base of the ear, and is also the reason why bacteria can easily infect wounds. Open wounds result in more negative effects than infection.

If your dog’s ear mites have been heavily sucked, they will start to burrow deeply into other areas of the dog’s body.

Causes of Ear Mites in Dogs

Ear mites can be common in cramped, crowded areas and thrive in damp situations. Therefore, there are numerous reasons why your dog could have ear mites if you don’t maintain good hygiene in your home, yard, or body.

If the dog’s body is close to other animals, there is also a chance of ear mites hopping from one animal to another, because most ear mites and infections from other animals transfer between animals extremely quickly. Other animals and an increasingly faster rate of spread.

When their buddies have an ear mite infestation, dogs might also contract ear mites from being around their friends.

Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs

Find out how to safely treat ear mites in dogs.

You should take your dog to the vet for proper care, where the doctor will first inspect the dog’s ears and body and clean the dog’s ears.

  • They treat the dog for ticks with medications like selamectin, moxidectin, or imidacloprid. Veterinarians advise using it as an antiparasitic to treat dog ear mites.
  • Alternatively, if the dog has an excessive number of ear mites on its body, you can apply for a permit to inject Ivermectin for dogs.
  • Additionally, you can clean your dog’s ears and administer a monthly at-home antiparasitic medicine.
  • Other treatments involve placing drops in the dog’s ears, allowing them to dissolve for 14–21 days, and then cleaning their ears with cotton balls to maintain hygiene.
  • To ensure the cleanliness of the dog’s living space, you should specifically clean the house, including all of its nooks and crannies, and change the entire bedsheet every week.

The most important thing to remember, regardless of how to treat dog ear mites, is to take your dog to the vet so that a doctor can provide the best medication and course of action for your dog.

Prevention of Ear Mites in Dogs

Preventing ear mites in dogs helps them improve their health.

Since there are so many things to worry about, preventing dog ear mites may feel overwhelming and challenging for busy dog owners, but the following steps are the easiest.

  • The entire home should be cleaned and disinfected, including the yard, kitchen, living room, bedroom, and even the dog’s sleeping place.
  • Regularly wash toys and bedding in hot water.
  • The item being washed should be dried after a hot wash to get rid of any nasty mites that could still be present.
  • Regularly wash your dog’s body and ears.
  • Avoid contact with other animals that have ear mites.
  • Because there are so many things to worry about, preventing dog ear mites may feel overwhelming and challenging for busy dog owners, but the following steps are the easiest.
  • You should see your veterinarian for an efficient prescription for your dog during treatment and ear mite prevention if you give your dog a medication like Revolution (selamectin) or medications containing the components moxidectin, fluralaner, and afoxolaner.

What You Need to Know When Your Dog Gets Ear Mites

You should learn what to do if your dog has ear mites.

Even when a dog owner is aware of the reason why their dog has ear mites, it is still very tough for them to deal with the condition. How to prevent dog ear mites as well as how to efficiently treat them. But in addition to that, you need to be aware of what your dog will require if they have ear mites.

How Long Does It Take to Get Rid of Ear Mites?

The ear beetle, whose life cycle lasts three weeks and which produces numerous ear mites on the pet’s body, is also briefly discussed above.

Because the eggs take a few weeks to hatch and because the mites are too little to remove from the dog’s body, ear mite treatments that still work to cure the condition won’t eradicate the nits.

When treating canine ear mites, patience is key. If the medication is administered properly, symptoms should quickly go away.

It is best to visit your veterinarian if ear irritation persists or if there is a secondary ear infection that needs additional treatment.

Are Ear Mites Contagious to Pets And Humans?

Sanitize homes and dogs to prevent ear mites from spreading from pets to people. 

The short answer is yes. Ear mites are highly contagious to domestic cats and dogs since ticks jump very quickly. If your pet has come into contact with dogs or any other species, ticks or not, it is still important to protect your dog’s body by keeping ear mites from other animals.

Additionally, ear mites can spread from animals to humans. However, the only symptom of having ear mites is a red rash that causes itching and skin peeling. The best part is that there is an extremely low likelihood that ear mites may spread from dog to human.

Animals, especially dogs and cats, cannot be manually removed from their ear mites. Because these vile little parasites can only be examined and seen clearly under a microscope, medications are employed to kill them.

In conclusion, regardless of size, all animals are extremely sensitive to parasites. When you are aware that they have ear mites, you should take them to the vet, so they can be examined as safely and effectively as possible. Additionally, keep in mind to maintain and tidy the location where you dwell to prevent the introduction of several unimportant parasites. Please clean the dog’s body and ears properly by your veterinarian’s advice.