Along with ticks, mold mites and dust mites, ear mites are a member of the class Arachnida. These are tiny parasite invertebrates that tend to go about their business daily almost undetected. They usually live in soil and water, but do make their home on pet dogs as well.

Cleaning a dog's ears

image courtesy of Animal Kingdom Pet Hospital flickr

What to Do

What do you do when you notice that your dog isn’t as lively as you know it is?  There must be something wrong.  After bringing it to the vet, you are told it has ear mites.  Yikes!  The question in your mind probably is: How did that happen and how do you make sure that it never happens again? 

Picked Up Through the Paws

Dogs pick up everything through the middle layers of their paws.  If you walk your dog often in a not-so-clean-environment, then chances are this is where your dog picked up the mites.  These are nasty creatures that can cause severe amounts of pain on your dogs and may even affect the balance of your dogs.  To avoid this, here are a few simple tips for you to practice. 

Alcohol or Soap Solutions

Firstly, after walking your dog outside your home area, you’ll have to clean its paws.  A moistened cloth with mild alcohol or with soap and water will have to be applied on your canine friend after every walk.  This is to ensure that whatever nasty bacteria or virus your dog stepped on will not be hiding in between the crevices of his paws and fur.  If this is too much bother for you, a mat outside your door moistened in the same formula will do.  Think of it like a foot-bath type of mat.  That way, before entering your home, your dog’s paws are already partially clean.  There are powders available in the vet’s clinic that you brush on your dog weekly to protect them form unwanted mites.  You might want to invest in this. 

Religious Ear Cleaning

Another thing that you’ll need to do religiously is to clean dog’s ears.  No need to go to the groomers for this as you can do it yourself.  With a tissue rolled around a finger, hold the ears of your dog gently but firmly and wipe inside.  You’ll be surprised at the amount of goo in there.  That can be another cause for ear mites to stay.  The more times you do this to your dog, the healthier it will be.   Stay away from the inner ear and you’ll have a mite-free, happy, healthy, tail-wagging dog.


Mark Perry is a dedicated veterinarian for Canada Vet with over 20 years experience. A farm boy born and breed, Dr Perry loves all animals but he has a special place in his heart for working animals, particularly working dogs and horses.

Filed under: Dog Care

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