Dog Ear Mites vs Ear Wax: How to Tell if Your Dog Has Ear Mites

Ear mites and ear wax can appear similar, that’s why it’s important to correctly diagnose them. Keep in mind, that early detection will help with accurate treatment. So is it ear mites or dirty ear wax?

Dog ear mites vs ear wax

How do you tell if your dog has ear mites or just ear wax?

The first step to treating your dog’s ear mites is to determine whether or not your dog actually has ear mites. The easiest way to do this is by looking at the discharge from your dog’s ears.

Ear wax is made up of dead skin cells and excess oil secreted by glands in your dog’s inner ear. It looks like a brown or yellow substance and is usually present on a cotton swab when you remove it from your dog’s ear canal.

Ear mites are tiny insects that live in the dark, warm environment of an animal’s ear canal. They feed on the blood and skin flakes that build up inside the ear canal. They also produce an odor that can be quite unpleasant for humans to smell when they are in the vicinity of an infected animal.

It can be difficult to tell whether or not your dog has ear mites without examining their ears closely with a magnifying glass or microscope. A veterinarian can examine a sample of wax from your pet’s ears under high power magnification and give you an accurate diagnosis based on what he sees on his examination slides.

What do ear mites look like in dogs?

Ear mites are tiny, eight-legged creatures that can cause a lot of trouble for your dog. They live in the ear canal and feed on the wax, oils, and dead skin cells that accumulate there. Dark brown or black debris at the base of the ear is made up of waste products from the mite’s digestive system and dead mites themselves.

How to tell if your dog has ear mites

If you think that your dog may have ear mites, there are some signs to watch out for. These include:

  • Scratching or rubbing at the ears
  • Dark brown or black debris at the base of the ear
  • Redness or swelling around the ear canal
  • Dry, flaky skin on the outer edge of your dog’s ear flaps

How can I treat my dog’s ear mites without going to the vet?

The first thing that you need to do when treating ear mites is clean your dog’s ears with an ear cleaner. You can buy these products from your local pet store or online. Make sure that you clean both sides of the ear thoroughly before putting any medication in them.

There are some over-the-counter medications that can help dogs with ear mites.

  • Zymox Pet King Brand Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone
  • Otomite Plus Ear Mite Treatment
  • Hartz Ultraguard Ear Mite Treatment For Dogs
  • Adams Ear Mite Treatment
  • Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy
  • MISTER BEN’S Original Ear Cleaner for Dogs Care Kit
  • VetWELL Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats
  • Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser

Home remedies for ear mites in dogs

Castor oil is a traditional home remedy for ear mites in dogs that works well if you catch the infestation early enough before it has become too severe. Castor oil also helps soothe irritated skin and eases pain caused by inflammation and soreness from scratching and biting at the ears.

Neem oil is another natural treatment that can be used alone or mixed with other oils to make them more effective against ear mites. It contains azadirachtin, which has insecticidal properties that help kill the parasites within the first few days of use.

Aloe vera gel is another effective way to treat ear mites naturally because it contains antibacterial properties that fight bacteria in the ear canal and kill off yeast fungi. Aloe vera gel also has anti-inflammatory properties that help treat redness around your dog’s ears caused by irritation from mite infestation.

Conclusion of dirty ear wax vs ear mites in dogs

Ear wax is produced by glands in the ear canal to protect the ear from bacteria and other foreign substances that could harm your pet’s health. Ear wax also helps to trap dirt and debris so it doesn’t enter the ear canal.

Ear mites are tiny, eight-legged creatures that infect the ears of dogs and cats, causing irritation, inflammation, and infection of the ear canal. Ear mites cause intense itching in pets, which causes them to scratch and shake their heads excessively.

If your dog has an ear infection or ear mites, it’s important to treat it right away before it gets worse.

Ear Mites SOLVED Naturally!
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Hannah Elizabeth is an English animal behavior author, having written for several online publications. With a degree in Animal Behaviour and over a decade of practical animal husbandry experience, Hannah's articles cover everything from pet care to wildlife conservation. When she isn't creating content for blog posts, Hannah enjoys long walks with her Rottweiler cross Senna, reading fantasy novels and breeding aquarium shrimp.

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