Treating Your Dog for Ear Mites

Regardless of the treatment type you choose, starting with a clean ear canal is the secret for successfully treating ear mites. Follow our simple steps and help your dog stay healthy.

Does my dog have ear mites?

Ear mites are barely visible to the naked eye and usually require an otoscope or a microscope to fully detect. However, there are signs that might indicate your dog has an ear mite infection.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Head shaking or carrying the head tilted to one side
  • Dark brown to black crusty discharge in the ears
  • Difficulty hearing – especially if combined with other signs

A veterinarian’s diagnosis of ear mites is usually made by directly spotting the mites with an otoscope or by microscopic examination of ear discharge.

How do I treat my dog for ear mites?

  1. Ear cleaning is your first step. An ear cleaner such as Hartz® Ear Cleaner™ for Dogs & Cats will help you remove debris.
  2. Next, use an over-the-counter solution for ear mites. Hartz® UltraGuard® Ear Mite Treatment for dogs contains an insecticide that kills ear mites on contact. It can be applied daily for 7 to 10 days and repeated in two weeks if necessary. (Read entire label before use.)
  3. If your problem persists or is extreme, visit your veterinarian, who has many other options available. One is a topical antibiotic ear product that can kill developing mite eggs. There are also several single-use prescription products that eradicate ear mites with just one treatment (a heavy ear mite infestation may need two treatments).

Recurring pest problems
There are several reasons why a treatment for ear mites might not have been effective:

  • Your dog doesn’t have ear mites – several other ear diseases can mimic the signs of ear mites, have your veterinarian examine your dog.
  • The treatment period was not long enough.
  • Your dog was re-infected – be sure to treat all the animals in your household and don’t allow close contact between your dog and other animals you don’t know.
  • The ears were not properly cleaned out prior to ear mite treatment – consult your veterinarian for proper ear cleaning techniques.