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Dog Ear Mites vs Ear Infections: 9 Cheap Ways to Treat Both

Dog ear mites vs ear infections are two different things.

If your dog has ear mites, it’s considered an infestation. However, an infestation of ear mites can cause an ear infection.

Ear infections are common in dogs and can be caused by a number of things including allergies, yeast, mites, and more.

If your dog is anything like mine, he/she spends a lot of time digging and scratching the ears.

It makes you wonder if your dog is going to draw blood or scratch an eye. As dog parents all we really want is for our dogs to be happy, healthy, and itch free.

A lot of dog parents look for home remedy recipes to treat dog ear mites and ear infections.

The problem with that is that unless your veterinarian has approved the recipe, and you know exactly how much to use, you could easily buy a superior product over-the-counter. There are a number of holistic medications available that are perfectly safe and non-toxic.

They generally come with a dropper or syringe which makes application much easier as well.d

This post is designed to point you to the top products for the least money while providing useful information on how ear infections develop.

It’s estimated that about 20 percent of dogs have some form of ear disease…

Central Texas Veterinary

How Do You Know if Your Dog Has an Ear Infection or Ear Mites?

Your dog might start with ear mites which then lead to ear infection. It’s not that the ear mites themselves cause the infection, it’s usually a result of your dog clawing at his/her skin. The constant claw-digging will eventually create a sore that leaves the skin open to bacteria. Once that happens, you’re left with two problems: ear mites AND skin infection.

Signs that your dog might have ear mites include:

  • vigorous ear scratching
  • Shaking head
  • Discharge from the ear (dark like coffee grounds)
  • Skin abrasions around the ear

Ear mites cannot be seen with the naked eye and cannot be killed by simple ear cleansers or by flushing the ear. Ear mites can’t live on their own which means they have to find a host. They are extremely contagious from animal to animal.

If you have one pet with ear mites, there’s a good chance that all of your pets have ear mites. It’s very important to get rid of them so that your pets don’t end up with serious ear infections.

How Do I Get Rid of Ear Mites in My Dog?

It’s always best to seek veterinary care for diagnosis and a treatment plan; however, if you believe your dog has mites and can’t afford the services of a veterinarian, you should start by regularly cleaning/flushing your dog’s ears. This can be tricky because of the delicate eardrum.

Always use caution and a gentle touch when dealing with a dog’s sensitive ear.

Many of the home recipes found online may be okay for occasionally flushing the dog’s ear (for cleaning), but likely won’t kill the ear mites. Over-the-counter treatment options can work, but only if you follow the instructions closely and not miss one dose. If you are not consistent with over-the-counter treatments, you won’t kill all the mites.

The most efficient way to get rid of ear mites is through a veterinarian prescription. In most cases one dose will clear all of the ear mites. After that, it’s just a matter of maintaining a regular monthly routine to prevent them from coming back.

IMPORTANT TIP: Ear mites can get into bedding and carpets (kind of like fleas), so be sure to clean those areas thoroughly.

The Best Non-Prescription Treatment for Ear Mites in Dogs

Not everyone can afford to take their dog to the veterinarian for every little thing that comes up. While ear mites can become chronic and lead to serious ear infection, it is possible to catch an infestation early.

The key is to maintain regular ear cleaning to prevent an infestation from coming back. The following is a list of some of the most popular treatment options on the market.

When using over-the-counter treatments for ear mites, please follow instructions carefully. Consistent application is vital. If you miss a dose when using an over-the-counter treatment for ear mites it’s possible the mites will come back or won’t be totally eradicated, leading to a vicious cycle. It’s better to treat the mites in the first round rather than have to continuously use the medication.

The following are 9 cheap ways to treat dog ear mites versus dog ear infections.

#1. ProLabs Ear Mite Killer Lotion (6 oz)

You can find this non-prescription treatment for less than $10.00. This is an effective treatment containing Pyrethrins. For more information on Pyrethrins and how they work, click here: National Pesticide Information Center.

#2. ZYMOX Pet King Brand Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone

Zymox is a particularly good brand to use if you’re looking for something over-the-counter. Claims to provide a “safe, natural alternative to antibiotics with 1% Hydrocortisone for itch relief”. NOTE: This product may be more successful as a cleaning solution and to soothe inflamed ears. You may require another product to kill the ear mites. Read the instructions before use.

#3. Miracle Care R-7M Ear Mite Treatment 4oz

This is another great, inexpensive option to treat ear mites in dogs. Again, this product contains Pyrethrin which is a safe and effective way of killing ear mites.

#4. Aloe Ear Mite Treatment For Dogs

This product consistently ranks 5 stars on Amazon and claims to kill ear mites. On closer look, the active ingredient is Pyrethrin which is something to look for when buying an ear mite treatment for your dog.

#5. Vetoquinol Ear Cleansing Solution for Dogs and Cats

This product is best used AFTER you have successfully eradicated ear mites in dogs. This product is not intended to kill ear mites but with regular use can help keep your dog clean and eliminate a breeding ground for mites.

If you haven’t heard of CherryBrook Premium Pet Supplies you should have a look at their site.

They have a fantastic assortment of products to choose from in prices that you can afford.

Oticlean-A Medicated Ear Lotion is designed for cleaning and odor control of the ear canal for dogs and cats. OtiClean-A has a low pH of 3 with no antibiotics or corticosteroids.

This product will not kill ear mites but will help maintain clean, healthy ears to prevent future ear mite infestations.

#7. R-7M Ear Mite Treatment Kit

R-7M Ear Mite Treatment Kit is sold through CherryBrook Premium Pet Supplies for $9.99. Ships within one business day. Definitely worth checking out for their premium grade pet supplies.

#8. Vet’s Best Dog Ear Cleaner Kit | Multi-Symptom Ear Relief | Wash & Dry Treatment | Alcohol-free

This product is a good choice because of the alcohol-free formula. You might think alcohol would help in the treatment of ear mites in dogs. Unfortunately, all it does is cause pain to inflamed skin.

#9. Four Paws Ear Mite Remedy

This product is designed to kill ear mites quickly and effectively using Pyrethrin as its active ingredient.

Dog Ear Mites vs Ear Infections

There are a number of different kinds of ear infections to watch out for. Generally, the most common ear infections occur in the otitis externa (outer ear canal). If not treated, these infections can become chronic and can develop deeper into the middle or inner ear. When this happens it can cause nerve damage and facial paralysis.


  • Redness inside the ear
  • Signs of pain (whining, etc.)
  • Vigorous pawing at the ears.
  • Ear is warm to the touch.
  • Pus or discharge from the ear
  • Yeasty smell (could smell sour or rancid)

Dogs can develop ear infections quite easily, especially breeds with long ear flaps. Those ear flaps tend to trap moisture in the ear and that moisture can breed an overgrowth of yeast. Yeast infections can be hard to treat .

Why Dogs Get Ear Infections

We’ve talked about ear mites but we haven’t talked much about ear infections in dogs. Ear infections are common in many dogs, especially dogs who spend a lot of time in the water, aren’t regularly treated for parasites, or dogs who have underlying skin allergies.

If your dog is like mine, he/she probably likes to roll on dead things, get muddy, wade through dirty puddles, or get in play fights with other dogs. The problem with all of that is the bacteria present in nature. Dogs who scratch a lot tend to have broken skin where bacteria can enter. This is where dog ear infections are borne.

Yeast forms naturally on the skin, but when the pH balance is off the yeast can overgrow causing infection. Sometimes a yeast infection is caused by secondary conditions such as allergies, bacterial infections, ruptured eardrum, trapped objects, or even tumors or polyps.

What You Should Know

At the end of the day, we just want healthy and happy dogs. These days, we are all trying to save money for good reason. Out dogs’ health is important, but we all need a little help getting the best products at the best price.

This post outlined a few things about how ear mites develop and why infections can take over. When using over-the-counter treatments for dog ear mites, please be careful. Never squeeze a bottle too quickly into a dog’s ear because the force can cause pain and could even damage the delicate ear drum.

A gentle touch is recommended.

Keeping your dog’s ears cleaned (even the parts you can’t see) is important maintenance after the ear mites have been eradicated. Large dogs with floppy ears tend to harbor a lot of moisture so be sure to use products designed specifically for that purpose. Some home recipes may leave your dog’s inner ear with more moisture which can lead to an overgrowth of yeast and a breeding ground for mites.


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