Ear mites are tiny parasites with a microscopic size that live within the ears of your furry friend. They can affect dogs, cats, ferrets, rabbits and cattle. In this article we will teach you how to get rid of ear mites naturally.
What are ear mites
Typically your pet will present with dark reddish brown granular marks in the region of the ears. This characteristic color and consistency makes it easy for one to diagnose the condition. These granular debris like deposits could be attributed to the fact that ear mites pierce the skin and suck out the blood leaving behind waste matter which has a reddish brown or ground coffee appearance.
Although, there are numerous types of mites which can infect the ear of your pet, the common type of mite is the Otodectes cynotis. This relatively common mite species spread in a rapid pace and usually feed on the oils and the wax present in the ear of the pet. In very rare cases, ear mites may affect the humans as well.
The life cycle is three weeks and the complications may be severe in case one fails to control and reverse the condition quickly. The animals have been known to lose their hearing if the infection is ignored.
Mites are common than one would believe, they may be transmitted from the parent to the puppy. Conversely, there may be instances wherein mites could well be transmitted from one pet to another due to intimate contact.
Mites are usually sourced from other pets or play areas. This makes it critical that one keeps their crates, cages and bed clean to prevent re-infestation. When the pet is shaking and scratching their ears vigorously, the flakes of skin and crusts (often contain eggs or live mites) may fall off. Concurrently, it is critically important that you bathe your dog or cat regularly.
Although, the condition is relatively common, the good news is that their average lifespan is short and mites die if they do not get a host quickly. Thus, you would not need to run a chemical spray in your house once you have eradicated the organism.
Timing is important and diagnosing the condition quickly is critical. By the time the mite is identified, the organism has already left the body. Mites live in dry ear canals and once the region has been infected by bacteria and fungus, the mite will leave the pet.
Symptoms of ear mites
The pet may present with a lot of head shaking for some very diverse reasons. It may look like the pet wants to shake off the water after a swim at a beach or even post bath.
On the contrary, if your pet continues to head shake a lot without a reason, you may want to contact the vet at this point of time.
Inflamed Ear Flaps
Inflamed ear flaps or a swelling of the ear flaps due to collection of blood under the skin is better known as hematoma formation in medical terminology.
The common cause of inflamed ears is a lot of head shaking or frequent pawing of the region. When the ear becomes infected or itchy due to the presence of ear mites within the ear. This invariably results in our furry companion beginning to paw and scratch the ear, resulting in open sores.
This also causes the ear to become inflamed and swollen, leading to a permanent scarring of the flaps. This may not be damaging but can definitely leave behind a disconcerting appearance.
When the pet scratches the ear flaps, the tiny blood vessels present within the skin get damaged and blood begins to leak out of the vessels. This pooling of blood just under the skin leads to a red and puffy ear.
Crusty Ear Discharge
You may notice a dark thick, crusty ear discharge and increased ear wax production.
It is advisable to get a definite answer from the veterinarian. The vet can examine the ears with the lighted otoscope to see any mites movement in the ear. If the otoscope doesn’t detect any mites in the ear, the vet may examine the ear wax under the microscope for definite diagnosis.
How to get rid of ear mites in cats, dogs, and rabbits naturally
Once the diagnosis is made, it is time for you to identify and opt for a viable treatment option. Although, there are a plethora of options available, most pet lovers opt for natural home remedies for ear mites before resorting to conventional medications.
A good hygiene is important preparation for getting rid of ear mites. This is best ensured by first pouring a few drops of olive oil directly into the ear. This is followed by gently massaging the ear until the impacted wax begins to dislodge or loosen up. A clean cotton swab may be used to clean up the inner walls of the ear once the wax has been removed.
The Yellow Dock Root Extract
Once the ear is clean, it is now important that one kills the invading mites, if a permanent cure is to be ensured. All that you would need to do is to mix nine drops of yellow dock root extract with a tablespoon of water. The mix is best administered or inserted by using a dropper and subsequently massaging the ear. This gentle rubbing action helps ensure that the solution stays within the ear and your pet is unable to shake it off.
Experts believe that using the mix once in three days and continuing the treatment for six weeks can return some very encouraging results.
Green tea is a natural antiseptic and needs no introduction. Green tea helps to remove the brownish debris from the ear thus leaving behind a clean and healthy ear.
The mix is relatively easy to prepare and can be done at home quickly. A teaspoon of green tea leaves are steeped in a cup of hot water for three to four minutes. The mix is then strained and allowed to cool to room temperature. This is then used to rinse out the inner ear.
The recommended frequency of administration is once every day for duration of one month.
Contrary to popular belief, experts believe that regardless of the type, all oils work. When oil is introduced into the ear, it can help suffocate and kill the mite.
Inserting the oil can even help float out the incriminating organism, leading to a partial or complete cure. Although, all oils are effective, experts have cautioned that a tea tree oil must be avoided. This is one type of oil that is particularly toxic and can even lead to further aggravation of the condition.
Garlic and oil
Garlic and oil works effectively for cats. Crush the garlic in warm olive oil and leave it for overnight. You can warm up the oil before administering it. Pour 5 drops of this solution into each ear. The garlic component of the mix would work as a natural antiseptic and will kill the mites directly. This is best followed by shampooing your pet well after the treatment.
The frequency is once a day and the recommended duration is one month.
Vicks Vapor Rub
Take a collon ball and add vicks vapor rub on it. Swab the dog’s ears once a day to suffocate the mites. Clean the ears before reapplying the rub in the next day.
Baby oil can drown the mites for good. Pour a couple of drops of baby oil in the pet’s ears once a day.
Food-Grade Diatomaceous Earth
Add a little bit of food grade diatomaceaous earth into the pet’s ear once a day for about one month. You can also mix it with warm water to make a fine solution. Use a dropper to add couple drops into the pet’s both ears.
Caution: use ONLY food grade diatomaceous earth not the one placed in the pool for filtration.
Many people swear by the vaseline’s effectiveness for killing ear mites in cats. Rub a little bit of petroleum jelly into the pets ear. This treatments will suffocate the mites. Use this remedy once a day for a week.
Use a ball of cotton to clean out the inside of the ear. This is best followed by massaging the inside of the ear with corn oil for a minimum of three days. The results are amazing. You may well have eradicated the mites from the ears of your pet without the need to visit your neighborhood vet or resorting to other invasive or irritating measures.
Corn oil first soothes out the inner ear canal and then smothers the incriminating mites before finally accelerating the healing process.
Alcohol and Peroxide
Mix equal parts of rubbing alcohol and peroxide together. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture and apply it to the dog’s ear canal.
Caution: don’t push the cotton swab too far into the ear canal. This may damage the ear drums.
Massage helps to spreads the corn oil evenly over the affected area. It can even help dislodge the impacted wax, helping in quicker removal.
There is nothing complex about the technique and all that you would need to do is to hold the skin of the ear with your four fingers. The thumb is then gently pressed into the ear and the ear is gently massaged.
One part of white vinegar mixed with two parts of water can work wonders. The mix is poured into the ears and then gently massaged. The process is best followed by wiping the insides of the ear clean using a small cotton ball.
White vinegar is effective because it is highly acidic and kill the mites present in the ear. The vinegar is known to restore the equilibrium within the ear, ensuring that mite do not re–infest the region per se.
Although the solution is effective, your pet may experience some amount of irritation or stinging. Concurrently, experts have opined that the solution is best kept away from the eyes.
Thus, rolling your pet on one side and inserting a few drops of the mix into the ear can return amazing results. Caution would need to be exercised so as to ensure that the debris and destroyed material does not fall into the ear. This could well be ensured by wiping the ears in an upward direction.
There is more to these sanitizers then just keeping your hands free from germs. Squirt the ear with the sanitizer a couple of times. This is then followed by gentle massaging of the base of the ears.
Although, this simple home remedy has many takers, care and caution must be exercised. In simple terms, this means that one must ensure that hand sanitizers are not used in pets who have an inflamed or scratched skin.
Irritated skin can be further aggravated due to the presence of alcohol in the sanitizer.
Apple Cider Vinegar
This remedy is great for rabbits. Mix a few tbsp of apple cider vinegar with olive oil. Pour 6-7 drops of this solution into the rabbits ear using a dropper. Hold the ear flap closed for couple of minutes so the mixture wouldn’t fall off with head shaking.
Honey works well in treating ear mites in rabbits. Honey is antiseptic and antibacterial. Mix 3 tsp of honey with 3 oz of warm water. Get a bulb syringe and pour the mixture into the rabbits ear. Hold the ear in the upright position and make sure the solution covers the whole inside of the ear.
These remedies should kill the ear mites and give your pet a much needed relief. If for some reason a personal hygiene, oils, root extracts among other cures listed do not work, conventional medical treatment may well be adopted. Call the vet immediately if the symptoms worsen or the pet seems more irritated.