Myth: mineral oil will get rid of ear mites. Truth: Mineral oil does suffocate them, but the ear mites will crawl to the outside of the ear and will cause a problem as soon as you stop using the mineral oil twice a day. This can also lead to build up of bacteria and cause a bacterial infection or worse.
What are ear mites?
Ear mites are tiny bugs that live on the skin surface of cats, dogs, rabbits, and ferrets. They are often found in the ear canal of pets.
Ear mite Signs
- Dark brown, crumbly discharge
- Bloody wounds from scratching
- Head shaking
Can I see them on ear swabs?
Ear mites are microscopic, but it is possible to see the white bodies moving on the swabs. It would be best to look under a microscope as to not mistake them for another parasite. Looking under a magnifying glass can give you a good idea if you know what you’re looking for.
What if I don’t treat them?
If ear mites go untreated it usually leads to swelling and itchiness. They can cause bacterial infections and possible partial or total deafness. Leaving ear mites untreated can ultimately lead to systemic infections.
What Products To Use
Otomite or Eradimite are going to be your best over-the-counter products. They are both products that will have to be put in the ear frequently. If you want a product that you use once and forget about, talk with your Veterinarian. There are various products that can be used once or use off-label for ear mites, such as Advantage Multi and Revolution. Also, various flea/tick preventatives like Nexgard, Bravecto, Simparica, and Credelio reliably kill ear mites.
What else could it be?
- Ear infection
Your Veterinarian can take a swab and look at it under the microscope for various bacteria such as:
The right ear can be different from the left ear and they can even have a double ear infection. I’ve even seen a few ears with all three! I like to call it “The TRIFECTA!” Granted it’s not the best for the pet and is generally really painful, but I have to keep things interesting somehow.
Going to the Vet and getting the right prescription is vital to fixing these ears. You can always try an ear mite medication, but if it doesn’t seem to be helping it would be best to have them seen.Eradimite – 1 oz Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment, 0.5-Ounce