Treating Ear mites in dogs

Ear mites might be small, microscopic parasites, but they can be very irritating for infected pets.

Living primarily in the ear canal and surrounding skin, they cause intense itching so affected dogs are usually shaking their head and scratching their ears with their paws, which is very annoying.

How to identify ear mites in your dog

A dark brown crumbly coffee ground like discharge is often seen in affected dogs, which is what causes them pain and irritation, so it is important you take them to the vet if you notice them shaking or itching around their ears or head.

A swab and microscope examination by your vet will provide a diagnosis. Sometimes secondary bacterial or yeast infections can also be present secondary to the mite infestation, which makes the itch even worse!

How much is too much itching?

If your dog is shaking it’s head or scratching around it’s ears more than once a day then there is probably an issue. And, if as the owner you start to actually notice them doing this when you hadn’t before, then that is usually a sign something is going on.

Treating dogs with ear mites

Your vet will confirm the diagnosis of ear mites and prescribe the appropriate treatment to kill off any pesky invaders as quickly as possible. Nexgard SPECTRA is a parasite control that can both prevent and kill ear mites.  Your vet may also prescribe ear drops for any additional infections.

Preventing ear mites

Ensuring your dog is kept up to date with their parasite protection is the easiest and best way to prevent ear mites.  Youʼll want to make sure the one you choose covers against all the other important parasites as well, such as fleas, ticks and intestinal worms.

I usually suggest Nexgard SPECTRA to my clients as it can be used on puppies from 8 weeks of age and weighing over 2kg.


Dr Melissa Meehan is a highly experienced and respected veterinary surgeon with over 14 years experience. Dr Melissa obtained her Members in Small Animal Medicine through examination in 2008 and now runs her own veterinary ophthalmology service.

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