Ear Mite Remedies: Q&A

Last Modified on Sep 23, 2013

Medications for Ear Mites

09/23/2013: Traci from Raleigh,nc: "I am wondering if Ivomec can be use on a dog who is already heartworm positive? The quick kill is too much for his system, so he has had one treatment of Ivermectin so far. He is a rescue, who seems to have ear mites too. Looking forward to your reply. Thanks."

09/24/2013: Wendy from Columbus, Oh replies: "I don't know anything about using Ivomec on a dog who is already heartworm positive. In any case, read carefully, and follow, the advice given at this earthclinic link about treating ear mites: http://www.earthclinic.com/Pets/ear_mites.html

I would suggest bringing the dog to a vet to treat and cure the heartworm condition."

09/26/2013: Gert from Al replies: "I use ivomec on my poultry--off label. If you do some research, you can find what dosage to use. The issue w/ using it on an animal who you know is infected is this: if you poison the worm, there may be such a large amount of dead worm(s) now that the animal cannot get rid of them. The decaying worms then produce toxins that harm the animal. For livestock, you typically use a generic worm medicine to kill off the broad spectrum of worms, then wait 10 days or so and then use the potent stuff. Do some research. Heartworm will kill your dog if not treated, so you must treat. Why not use the same thing the vet uses, but get it at tractor supply for lots cheaper? They have the syringes-you measure out the amount and drip it onto your pet, don't inject if you don't want."

Cat with Ear Issues

11/17/2008: Suzie from Coloma, CA: "My 8 month old cat has small dark brown patches of gunk in her ears. I clean them out and it comes back again. I have not seen her scratching her ears or shaking her head. Any ideas as to what it may be?"

11/18/2008: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA replies: "We rescued an abandoned dog last year who also had dark brown patches of "gunk" in his ears. 2 months later it turned into a serious ear infection (lots of scratching and shaking of the head) and I rushed him to the vet. When the goo was put under a microscope at the vet, turns out there were 3 different bacterial strains that had to be treated with custom-prepared, multi-type antibiotic liquid! It went away after 10 days of treatment and he hasn't had a recurrence."

11/27/2008: G from SF, CA replies: "Deidre... What was the "custom-prepared, multi-type antibiotic liquid" made of?"

11/30/2008: Deirdre from Atlanta, GA replies: "Hi, G. Sorry, I was just looking to see if I had kept the bottle from the vets and unfortunately, I think I threw it out a few months ago. However, I don't think posting the contents would have helped much. A vet needs to take a swab from the ears of the cat and find out the type of infection."

Question About H2O2 and Castor Oil for Ear Mites in Cats

07/19/2008: Jilene from Salina, UT: "I have 2 outdoor cats that adopted us, one of them has a severe case of ear mites (oozing from his ear). I'm currently trying hydrogen peroxide to clean his ears (with a Q-tip) and castor oil (just a little on the end of a Q-tip) to apply and remove mite debris. Has anyone else used this type of remedy and is it safe to continue or should I be using an alternate method?"

08/31/2009: Lesley from Ely, Nevada replies: "I use organic olive oil-soaked QTips for ear mites, which is very effective.

However, I have 11 cats that got mange from a stray I introduced into the household. I tried three courses of Ivermectin with only temporary success. I tried Sulfur/Lime dip on the tame kitty, with limited success. What seems to help the most (requiring a knowledgeable classical homeopathic vet) is a homeopathic remedy (very specific to the particular animal), combined with immune boosting (4Life Feline Complete, in my case), and a lot of organic, 10- 15% fat (max) ground sirloin, mixed 1/2 and 1/2 with organic vegetable puree (steamed broccoli, organic carrot, and organic peas lightly steamed) given as long as the animal craves it. I am still fighting the mange to a certain extent, but most of the cats have significantly improved. I also clean their ears with olive oil-soaked QTips once a week or so, when I see black inside.

I have one kitty tame enough to tolerate the borax/hydrogen peroxide solution, but am nervous about using it, since I cannot immerse him; he is 18 years old, diabetic, and I can't risk his catching a cold. Any help anyone can give me would be sincerely appreciated. You can also respond through ranimalsonline.com (if it is permitted to convey this information to the reader. Thanks so much."

Extreme Case

12/24/2007: Jodi from Kentucky: "Ted, what can a person do who seems to have the mites everywhere. I cannot get rid of them no matter what I try! I am not sure which combinations of treatments are safe to do at the same time and for how long. Can you give me a schedule of exact step by step daily routine for the most extreme case! Do you think any drugs are safe? Can these things invade your organs? Is there a name for some type of Doctor' who specializes in this type of thing? I am losing hope! Thank you"

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "The single most important thing is to ge the dog quarantined in a small area inside a house (such as on the second floor patio) where it is 100% mite free. The dog should be shampooed daily at least for the first week of mites and the patio area is disinfected.

As a tip, once the dog is SHAMPOOED, the dog should be sprayed with OFF! or other insect repellent using DEET. This will prevent the mites from finding the dogs again. Usually most DEET spray protects about 12 hours (I doubt that), and therefore it should be technically sprayed two times a day. I actually spray on my dog three times a day.

The other area should be disinfected with a clorox and vinegar solution (50/50) sprayed over the entire area followed by a solution of borax to prevent them from coming back.

Yes I have the same problems, mites keeps coming back in large numbers, in my house, it numbers by the thousands because there is a hive hidden in the crevices of the house. The other thing I found is these mites runs quite quickly from outside when it smells a dog. A dog is a perfect target since they sleep on the floor. The reason why my house has an unlimited supply of mites it that next to my house, is a lumberyard full of old wood where the woods were cuts from deep forest. My dog nearly died of mites infestation, and I have to say that quarantine the dogs against further mites infestation plus the use of insect repellent really did the trick. There were no longer mites and fleas on the second week.

The other thing is everytime my dog goes into the garden, it gets infected with mites, the next day. Hence the garden should be disinfected with a borax and peroxide solution. In the house perhaps a more powerful clorox and vinegar solution.

I don't generally used an insecticide, but if need be, it will likely be permethrin based insecticide, marketed as "odorless" insecticide."

Hydrogen Peroxide for Ear Mites

10/23/2007: Andre : "Update: two weeks later. Kal romps around now without his collar, the mites are still there, as I see a small amount of residue, but clearly they are on the way out. Many thanks to Ted at earthclinic.com for his latest suggestions on using a more concentrated dose of H2O2 (hydrogen Peroxide) for the finish. .. Are there any other suggestions esp. re: diet to finish the ear mites? Maybe the drier air helped ."

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Drier air helps, but most of the mites get reinfested from the surrounding environment as there are mites eggs lying around the house.

While it is impractical to quarantine the cat, the most practical solution I can come up with that has worked very well for me is to spray the animal (mine is a dog) with DEET, which is relatively safe, every 12 hours to prevent reinfection.

If the mites can't find the cat or dog, the mites just won't come back and eventually die. In case the cats do go outside, if DEET were present, the mites won't be running and jumping up on the cat again.

In a more professional way of getting rid of it requires the cat or dog to be quarantined or limit the area of movement, while the small areas are relatively free from mites, which makes for mite control relatively easier. While a solution of borax/pyrethrins is sprayed around the house to prevent reinfestation."

Is Borax Safe for Cats?

10/09/2007: NYC Andre : "Hi Ted

Thanks for the additional information - I have followed your advice.

Update: at this point, half a month later, my cat is still wearing his collar and I clean his ears every other day; last weekend I gave him a shampoo with the special mix, blow drying him gently afterwards, without rinsing with water. Just because I figured there might be mites on his fur, plus he hadn't had much of a chance to clean himself, what with the collar. The mites definitely are not on a growth cycle anymore, and I intend to keep at it until there is no more waxy residue in his ears. I figure given the 3 week (?) hatching cycle of the mites it might take a month or two to clear.

I have two questions you or maybe others could answer if you 'd like to.

1. Much as I try to be thorough, there are areas deep into his ears that I cannot reach with Q tips. I understand that in order to be effective, the mix has to be able to contact the skin directly. So if I cannot clear waxy residues in areas that are unreachable, what can I do? Do veterinarians have more sophisticated tools or stronger medicine to get these last mite (mighty!) strongholds.

2. My cat occasionally licks his fur, which has been bathed with the Borax solution. Is this safe ? I read on the box that Borax is cangerous if taken internally.

Thanks a lot again nycandre""

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Andre: 1. Much as I try to be thorough, there are areas deep into his ears that I cannot reach with Q tips.

A 1% solution of H2O2 with some borax can be sprayed or used as ear drops. Just make sure it doesn't go beyond 1%. The solution used in humans are a 3% H2O2 for the ears, but I believe this might be too strong. A mites if it reaches the ears inside and deep enough, and if not taken care of can my dog to be deaf (mites block their listening).

2. My cat occasionally licks his fur, which has been bathed with the Borax solution. Is this safe ? I read on the box that Borax is cangerous if taken internally.

Borax is safe for mammals. It is only if they take in large amounts that it can be dangerous, e.g. a large amounts mixed with food. But when a solution of borax is on the animal, the amount is too weak to have an effect.

Right now I am experimenting with a more effective solution, which in my opinion causes the mites to dehydrate faster from both the peroxide and the magnesium.

The solution is about 15% Milk of Magnesia, saturated borax in a 1% hydrogen peroxide solution. It seems to have a positive effect in kill off. The problems of a long kill off period seems that mites (at least at my home) is that mites line up to get into my house and attack my dog. The milk of magnesia/borax/peroxide at least this is my favorite anti mite remedy for my dog at the moment.

The LD50 (toxic dose where 50% of the animals die) for borax is roughly 2000 mg/kg so its easy to remember that the toxicity of borax is about the same as salt. "

10/09/2007: Andre replies: "OK - I think I got the answer to Borax tocicity - about as dangerous as soap or laundry detergent, not suggested to eat, but need to eat a lot of it to get sick"

Pregnant Dog

06/21/2007: "Hi Ted, My dog has ear mites. Your remedy for mange helped me so much that I though I'd write and ask your advice. She is a 2 year old pit bull and she's pregnant. I've been giving her vitamin e and vitamin c everyday. And, I've been cleaning her ears with warm water and peppermint soap every other day for the past 2 weeks, then I dry them and put olive oil mixed with garlic in each ear. I cannot tell if it's getting better. She still has the brown greasy discharge from both ears and now she has little red soars all over her face and in one part of her coat she had a brown spec of hair and when I cleaned it all of the hair disappeared making me think she has mange again. I can't take this, what do I do? I have another dog that NEVER gets sick. I don't want him to, but my female seems to catch everything."

Ted from Bangkok, Thailand replies: "Dear Dominique: Use the same mange formula, borax+hydrogen peroxide applied to the ears several times. I would add 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda to the drinking water plus 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt per liter of drinking water. The water will loosen some stools reducing the pus, but the borax+peroxide will kill most of the mites to the ear. No rinsing should be done."



* Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history. More...