Top 5 Best Ear Mite Medicines for Dogs (2020 Review)

Are you looking for the best ear mite medicine or treatment for your dogs?

Then you've come to the right place!

In this Pest Strategies product review you can expect to learn:

  • What are dog ear mites?
  • The key signs of a dog ear mite infection
  • How dogs get ear mites
  • How to prevent ear mite infections for your dog
  • The best way to treat ear mite infections for your pup
best ear mite medicine for dogs
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Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment
There aren't many ear mite treatments on the market that don't require you to clean your dog's ears before using them, but this is one of them. It makes everything so much simpler that way.
FEATURES
  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
ImageProduct
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Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment
  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
View on Amazon
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Curaseb Infection Treatment
  • ​Works on both dogs and cats
  • ​Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-yeast
  • ​Gently cleans and flushes ears
  • ​Works on both dogs and cats
  • ​Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-yeast
  • ​Gently cleans and flushes ears
View on Amazon
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Zymox Plus Otic HC
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • ​Inflammation relief
  • ​Advanced formula
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • ​Inflammation relief
  • ​Advanced formula
View on Amazon
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Hartz UltraGuard
  • Easy to use
  • ​Works quickly
  • ​Kill ear mites on contact
  • Easy to use
  • ​Works quickly
  • ​Kill ear mites on contact
View on Amazon
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Adam's Ear Mite Treatment
  • ​Kills ear mites on contact
  • ​Contains aloe vera and lanolin
  • ​Works on both dogs and cats
  • ​Kills ear mites on contact
  • ​Contains aloe vera and lanolin
  • ​Works on both dogs and cats
View on Amazon

Ready to get started!?

Our Overall #1 Rated Pick

(updated as of 9/27/2020)

  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
  • No cleaning required before treatment

Of all the ear mite medicines and treatments we researched and reviewed, our top pick goes to Zymox Otic.

Why?

There aren't many ear mite treatments on the market that don't require you to clean your dog's ears before using them, but this is one of them.  It makes everything so much simpler that way.

Unless you want to take your dog to a veterinarian and pay the high price of acquiring professional help, this is the money saving way to go that will give you veterinarian results.  Pets all over America have been treated with it for the simplest reason in the world – because it works.

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5 Best Dog Ear Mite Medicine

Short on time or just want a quick answer?

Check out our list below for a summary of our results. Keep on reading to learn more about medicines and treatments for ear mites.

  1. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment (our #1 pick for speed and effectiveness) 
  2. Curaseb Infection Treatment (very effective against fungal infections)
  3. Zymox Plus Otic HC ((added antibacterial and antifungal properties)
  4. Hartz UltraGuard
  5. Adam's Ear Mite Treatment

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What are Dog Ear Mites?

Ear mites are known by the scientific name Otodectes cynotis. As members of the spider family, these microscopic critters have eight legs and look like white ticks

Ear mites, as their name implies, are parasites that live primarily in your dog's ears, feeding on the ear wax, debris, and oils that naturally accumulate inside the said organ.

What are the Signs of An Ear Mite Infection In Your Dog?

If your dog has ear mites, you'll notice some changes in his behavior before you see anything else. 

Common symptoms will include scratching at the ears more than normal, shaking the head over and over again, or rubbing their ears on the carpeting or fabric furniture.  If this continues for more than a few days, your dog may be exhibiting signs of an ear mite infection.

The next stage will be a dark brown or black secretion coming from your dog's ears, especially one that has a waxy appearance.  

Deeper inside your dog's ears may be a build-up of debris that resembles coffee grounds.  If your dog's ears are also red and inflamed with a strong odor, they've probably been infected with ear mites.

ear mite medicine for dogs did you know

What Happens If Your Dog's Ear Mites Are Left Untreated?

Untreated ear mites can lead to a more serious secondary infection that could result in ruptured blood vessels or hearing loss.  

Sometimes complications may arise that become serious enough to require surgery if your dog has an immune hypersensitivity reaction.  So if you suspect your dog has ear mites, don't wait.  It only gets worse if you do.

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How do Dogs Get Ear Mites?

Ear mites are parasites. Normally, the only possible vector is through socialization with other dogs or cats.  

These microscopic arachnids are very contagious and are passed from one animal to another through direct contact.  If your dog is playing with a stray dog, he could be exposing himself to an infection.  

Ear mites are also carried by a number of prey animals dogs love to chase - cats, hamsters, rabbits, mice, and so on.  If they catch them they can be infected, whether they kill the other animal or not.

Occasionally ear mites will travel short distances away from their hosts. During such time, these parasites could come into your house the same way any other pests could.

They can easily infiltrate your home through the cracks and crevices around the windows and doors.  It doesn't happen often, but it's not impossible.

How Do You Prevent Ear Mites?

There are only three possible ways to prevent your dog from getting ear mite: isolation, yard sprays, and preventative treatments.  Let's look at each one separately.

Isolation

Isolating a dog isn't as easy as isolating a cat.  Cats can be kept inside and trained to use a litter box, although after the first time or two, there's very little training involved.  

But dogs, especially bigger ones, don't use litter boxes.  That means they have to go outside where all the critters that carry ear mites are typically around.

Even if they don't come into direct contact with the squirrels or rabbits or whatever, your pet can still get infected with ear mites. If there are enough of them that are infected, some of their ear mites could jump off and wait until another host comes along. Presumably, your dog.

Completely isolating your dog from contact with other animals is extraordinarily difficult.  You'd be better off assuming it can't be done.

Yard Spray

Earlier, we said that ear mites are a member of the spider family. This means that treating the yard with a standard insecticide that is labeled to kill spiders is an excellent method of preventing an ear mite infection.  

There are a number of different pyrethroid insecticides that are suitable for this purpose.  You can use Permethrin SFR or a Bifenthrin insecticide or something else to spray the entire yard.

This will eliminate all kinds of bugs in the yard, as well as ensure that any ear mite that jump off from its host animal will either be dead or dying by the time your dog comes near them.

Read Also: What is bifenthrin and is it safe?

Preventative Treatments

Studies have shown that fipronil is a very good preventative topical treatment.  Fipronil is found in Frontline Topical Medication, which is a prescription treatment available only from a veterinarian.  The drops are put in your dog's ears to kill invading ear mites.

Read Also: Click here to learn more about fipronil.

If your dog already has ear mites, this treatment may not be as successful as it would be before the ear mites got in.  

The simple reason is that preventative treatments don't have to be as strong as regular treatments because they're only dealing with mites that are weakened by their journey from one host to another.  Once the mites are in place and have regained their health by regular feeding, preventative treatments just won't be able to stop them.

What Home Remedies can Elminate Ear Mites In Dogs?

There are a number of home remedies that claim to be able to get rid of ear mites.  A few of them are:

  1. Corn Oil
  2. White Vinegar
  3. Almond Oil (with Vitamin E)
  4. Yellow Dock Root Extract
  5. Sulfur
  6. Mineral Oil
  7. Hydrogen Peroxide
  8. Olive Oil

How well do these methods actually work?  That's a good question and the answer depends largely on who you ask.  

Scientifically, there is no definitive proof as to whether or not these solutions work one way or the other.  Maybe they work, maybe they don't.  No one has actually conducted any rigorous studies to determine their efficacy.

Anecdotal evidence (“Hey!  I heard that so-and-so used this and it worked great for him!”) is, by its very nature, extremely subjective.  A large enough group of people claiming to have had good results will eventually become seen as good evidence. However, when and where will the line be drawn between “not enough” and “large enough”?

We're not in the business of making those kinds of decisions so we'll simply list the claimed methods and let it go at that.  What you choose to do with it is your decision.

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Can People Get Ear Mites from Dogs?

No.  

Our ears are very different than dog ears or cat ears.  The environment in our ears won't support ear mites.  They can't live in our ears.  

Like all parasites, they can sense an appropriate host when they come near, and stay away from the ones they can't live on.  You don't need to worry about getting them from your dog.

How do You Get Rid of Ear Mites In Your Dog?

You have to treat your dog's ears with medicines that are, essentially, pesticides for the ears.  There are a number of them on the market today and we've gone through them to pull out the top five. 

Read Also: What're the best bed bug covers for mites?

Be aware that most of them require your dog's ears to be cleaned prior to treating them.  You can use Dog Ear Cleaner Wipes for that purpose.

The video below shows how a veterinarian cleans a dog's ears.

Ear Mite Medicines for Dogs We Reviewed

Now that you've gotten a good sense of what dog ear mites are and your chances at removing them, let's have a look at each product we reviewed.

  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
  • No cleaning required before treatment

The active ingredient is a Hydrocortisone 1% which acts directly in treating inflammation on the ears.  There is an Enzymatic Solution that attacks the ear mites while the Hydrocortisone provides relief from the itching and burning that drives dogs crazy.

This easy to use treatment solution doesn't require any pre-treatment cleaning.  It is applied directly to dirty, untreated ears.  Massage the ears gently to work into the affected areas, then wipe away any excess solution.

Repeat this treatment once a day for seven days in a row.  It will destroy any antibiotic-resistant organisms in your dog's ears, and contains no antibiotics.  Flush the ears after each treatment.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Only one treatment per day
  • No cleaning required before treatment
  • Provides quick relief for itching and burning

Cons

  • Rather oily
  • Messy to clean up
  • Works on both dogs and cats
  • Anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-yeast
  • Gently cleans and flushes ears

The active ingredient is ketoconazole 1% which is used to treat fungal infections.  This medicine stops the itching that creates the head shaking behavior.  It also controls the smelly discharge created by the ear mites.

Put this in your dog's ears, rub them for about ten seconds, and then let them shake it out.  Do this twice daily and the ear mite problems will be taken care of.  

The stinky ear problem is relieved in about a week to ten days.  It is really an amazing difference.

Unfortunately, some dogs are allergic to ketoconazole.  It winds up making things worse for them.  

There isn't any way to tell ahead of time which dogs will be allergic to it. There isn't any test for that so you won't know until you try it.

Pros

  • Stops the itching
  • Cleans out the ears
  • Eliminates the smell
  • Controls the discharge

Cons

  • Some dogs are allergic to it
  • Has to be done twice each day
  • Anti-fungal and anti-bacterial
  • Inflammation relief
  • Advanced formula 

This is the same as the regular Zymox but with added broad-spectrum antibacterial and antifungal specifications and properties.  

Additionally, it attacks resistant microbes such as Staph and MRSA. Those added properties come at a price though, nearly double compared to the regular stuff.

The added functionality is great, but it doesn't get rid of the ear mites any quicker.  It just adds an extra range of problems that it can address.

You use it the same way.  Apply a few drops into your dog's ears once daily and massage them to work it in.  Then let them shake it out.  

Again, the medicine is rather oily so you should consider doing the treatment in a room with tiled flooring that is relatively easy to clean. The kitchen or bathroom would be best.

Treat daily for seven days, following the instructions on the label.  After that, you should see a significant improvement in the condition of your dog's ears.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Cleans out the ears
  • Stops the smelly discharge
  • Attacks a wide range of fungus and bacteria

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Liquid is oily
  • Contains aloe vera
  • Kills ear mites on contact

The active ingredient is pyrethrins, a well-known insecticide that kills ear mites on contact.  It offers quick relief by killing all the live mites.  It won't affect the eggs though.  

You need to continue using it until all the eggs have hatched so the hatchlings can be killed as well.  There are three treatments in each package.  It also contains aloe to offer quick relief to irritated skin.

Be careful not get the solution in your dog's eyes, mouth, or nose.  It's an insecticide after all, and some dogs may have a mild allergic reaction to it, mainly excessive drooling, but some vomiting is possible.

Results can be very fast, sometimes in as little as two days.  Most dogs will see relief in within the first 3-4 days.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Works quickly
  • Kill ear mites on contact

Cons

  • Won't kill the eggs
  • Some dogs may be allergic
  • Kills ear mites on contact
  • Contains aloe vera and lanolin
  • Works on both dogs and cats

Once again we have pyrethrin as its active ingredient, but with aloe and lanolin for quick pain and itching relief for your dog.  

This will kill ear mites once they come into contact with it, but won't do anything to the eggs since they are airtight and impermeable. Once the eggs hatch, the hatchlings will be vulnerable to it.

This particular formulation seems to be slower acting than it should be. Although the percentage of pyrethrins is the same as the Hartz UltraGuard, it takes longer to show results.  

Sometimes it can be three times longer or more.  It works, but it is definitely slower.

The pain and itch relief seems to be effective but the slowness of the results can lead you to believe it's not working at all.  You'll have to give it some time.

And, as with any pyrethrins, there will be some small percentage of dogs who may exhibit mild allergies to it.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Good pain and itch relief

Cons

  • Won't kill the eggs
  • Very slow working
  • Some dogs may be allergic

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Our Top Pick: Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment

There are a lot of ear mite medicines on the market today.

We were actually surprised to find so many different kinds out there.

Overall, our pick goes to Zymox Otic.

This treatment is one of the simplest ones to use because it doesn't require you to clean your dog's ears before applying it.  Simple is good.

It only requires one treatment to be applied per day.  It works the way it is supposed to without any extra effort or hassle on your part.  That kind of product deserves to be number one.

A close second is the Curaseb Infection Treatment because it aggressively attacks the fungus infections that ear mites can cause.

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