Ear Mites in Puppies: Natural Treatments

Black and white puppy scratching it's body in middle of grass field with small white flowers

If you can't get to the doctor right away, try using home cures for ear mites if your dog appears to have them. are extremely irritating for dogs and extremely infectious to other household pets. If one pet has ear mites, the other dogs, cats, and ferrets in the household will need to be treated as well. After your veterinarian has diagnosed the mite, he or she can assist you, but this can be costly, so learning how to treat ear mites at home is also beneficial.

Ear Mite Medications

Using an insecticide similar to that used in flea treatments, clean the dirt and mites out of the ears. The pesticide is frequently mixed in a bland medium, such as mineral oil, which when squirted into the ear helps smother any bugs that aren't killed immediately by the insecticide. As you gently massage the ear base, the solution floats particles out of the ear canal. Ear mites can be treated with a variety of commercial medications; consult your veterinarian for advice.

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Homemade Medications

Commercial medicines work effectively, according to holistic vets, however puppies with ear mites may have additional health issues that require treatment. It could be less stressful to ward off the bugs with natural remedies and leave the rest to the vet. The first step is to clean the ears using calming treatments.

  • Antiseptic Tea Rinse. Green tea is a natural antiseptic. It can be used to flush out all the ear mite debris—that crumbly brown/black stuff that clogs the puppy’s ear canal. Steep a tablespoon of green tea leaves in a cup of hot water for three or four minutes and then strain it. Let it cool to room temperature before using it once a day for a month.
  • Oil Treatment. Oil helps soothe sore ears and also can float debris out. Oil also can suffocate the mites. Holistic vets say it doesn’t really matter what kind of oil you use, although some recommend almond or olive oil. For the best benefit, crush a couple of garlic cloves in a cup of the oil and let it marinate overnight. Garlic naturally kills bacteria that might develop secondary to the mite infection. Remember to remove the garlic before using the oil to treat your puppy’s ears. You’ll need to treat the ears with the oil/garlic solution daily for at least a month.

Warning

Avoid tea tree oil because it can be toxic for cats and smaller pets like young puppies.

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How to Treat Ear Mites

You must treat both ears twice a week for at least three weeks if you use a commercial product from your veterinarian or pet store. Natural therapies, on the other hand, require daily treatment for a month. Because eggs will continue to hatch for at least that long, the ears can swiftly become infested again. To treat secondary bacterial infections, the veterinarian may prescribe steroid medicines to reduce inflammation or antibiotic ointment. Whether you use a commercial or homemade solution, the method remains the same.

  1. Wear old clothes. You’re liable to get the tea, oil, or commercial product all over you when the puppy shakes his head.
  2. Gather your supplies. You’ll need the medicine, an applicator, a clean cloth, and treats. Commercial products come in squirt bottles. For homemade products, you can use an eye dropper or squirt bottle—or try a travel-size toiletry bottle for convenience. A clean, dry washcloth helps clean off excess medicine after the treatment.
  3. Set small pups on a table or counter next to the supplies; kneel beside larger pups. An extra set of hands can be helpful to keep a junior pup from wiggling away.
  4. Pet your puppy, rub his itchy ears, and Baby talk or “poor thing” types of language can cue that the experience will be unpleasant, and you want him to take the treatment in stride. Firmly grasp the pinna (ear flap) with your left hand to expose the opening and keep the pup from shaking his head too soon.
  5. It works best to clean out all the goop before applying the ear medicine, otherwise, the waxy material might protect the ear mites. Use the tea solution first, and then follow up with the oily medication.
  6. Drip several drops of the liquid into the pup’s ear. The dog’s ear canal is shaped like an “L” and travels down and then inward toward the center of his head. Don’t poke anything into the ears; just drip and let gravity move the liquid where it needs to go; otherwise, you risk hurting the eardrum and damaging the pup’s hearing.
  7. Massage the base of the medicated ear. It should sound a bit squishy as the liquid moves inside and loosens the debris. When the ears aren’t too sore, puppies like the ear-rubbing massage and will lean into your hand with moans of enjoyment because it helps soothe that deep-seated itch.
  8. Let go of the pup’s ear and duck as he shakes his head and the debris flies out. Wipe the parts of the ear you can see with the cloth. You may need to do a second application to get all the goop.
  9. Feed a treat to your puppy for putting up with the treatment. Repeat on the other ear.
  10. Your puppy will look a bit oily for the duration. To cure that "wet head" look, a may be called for at the end of the month-long treatment.
If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your pet, know the pet's health history, and can make the best recommendations for your pet.

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