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Ear Mite Remedies

Last Modified on Nov 28, 2015

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Posted by Mona (Woodstock, Va) on 09/21/2010

I tried every way to find the formula on your site. I looking for the amounts to use borax, vinegar, water. Thank you for your help.

Posted by Lady Raven (Colo. Spgs., CO) on 07/03/2009

Question on Borax & Prevention:

First I'd like to say that I'm really glad I found this site. I am a big-time advocate of natural & "alternative" healing for humans & pets alike. My young daughters & I each have a kitty that calls us "Mom." There's 2 yr.old Bubba and 6 mo.old Stormy, who are both indoor/outdoor cats. Then there's 3 mo.olds Midnight & Maddox, who are still indoor kittens, as we live off a very busy street & I don't feel comfortable letting them out unsupervised just yet. Stormy ended up bringing home ear mites & now they all have them! My question is, once I get rid of the mites in/on our babies, how do I keep them from getting reinfected, since 2 of the cats still go outside. (My yard is also somewhat overgrown, which I know doesn't help, but as I'm physically disabled, there's not much I can do about it. Also can't afford to hire anybody.) My 2nd question regards using a Borax solution around the house. Should I just make a liquid solution & spray the carpets & furniture? Maybe wash linens with a bit added to the wash water? Any help would be greatly appreciated!! Feel free to email me on this or any other pet issue. Thanks! Lady Raven Silverwolf

Replied by Werknut
Cincinnati, Oh
[YEA]   ___ ___ ___ Borax is a miracle cure for getting rid of fleas and from keeping flea eggs from hatching. You buy it in the grocery store in the laundry aisle. Just sprinkle it on your carpeting and then vacuum it up. The residue will stay in the carpet and will kill fleas and keep flea eggs from hatching. It is more effective than any bug spray or expensive flea spray from the vet. And it's cheap! One box will last a long time. It's non-toxic to pets and it will leave your house smelling fresh. I used it when I lived in Florida, where fleas are plentiful and they are so hardy, they seem to be bionic. I swear by __ ___ ___Borax, and everyone I've ever recommended it to has had the same marvelous results I had.
Replied by Froopy Dude
Orlando, Fl
Absolutely true. Borax was recommended by a very humane vet. He said that it is the same substance vets sell for over $50. Borax is not quick - can take up to six weeks - but it truly does kill fleas. As stated, just apply it to carpet.
Replied by Margo
Mulberry, Fl
why would you EVER let cats out if you live near a busy road. they WILL wander into traffic and be killed sooner or later.
Replied by Rastamom
Vancouver, Wa
[YEA]   The lady is right about Borax! Used to use it on my carpet in Calil.... Love all the questions and remedies! Very helpful, thanks.

Boric Acid
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Posted by Kara (Harrisonburg, VA) on 01/06/2009

[YEA]  My Cat has suffered with ear mites forever and I have tried everything my local vet has recommended and nothing has worked. So..I recently started using a wash of boric acid & warm water swabed out with cotton ball then a few drops in each ear of sweet oil! Seems to be working so far. However, I discovered through reading everyone eles's posts that I probably should continue treatment for approximately 1 month in order to kill the mites.

I grew up with a lot of ear infections and my grandmother always treated me with a lil boric acid and in no time, I was better. My bestfriend grew up on sweet oil for ear infections; so I figured it couldn't hurt to try it.

I use about a tablespoon of warm water to an 1/4 tsp boric acid; soak a cotton ball and swab out the ear. Then I use an eye dropper and apply 4 or 5 drops of sweet oil to each ear. I usually do this every other day. The washing usually only has to be done once per treatment. Use judgement based on look of ears.

Replied by IVORY COAST

EC: Olive Oil, but we've seen small bottles of sweet oil in many pharmacies and grocery stores in the wound care section (often on the top shelf, near the spirit of turpentine and iodine).

Replied by Mparsons
Port Richey, Fl
[WARNING!]   I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening. Do you realize that boric acid can kill cock roaches and other pests that regular pest control won't? Please research what boric acid does to the NERVE system of the cock roach to rid it for good.

Also, another comment was that using mineral oil for a couple of days rids your problem. Not so. Ear mites RAPIDLY reproduce and this takes much longer and regular cleaning to even get ear mites under control. However, after using for 3 weeks, I still bring crust up and mites from my kittens ears, as well as the brown wax, telling me they are still there. Once, my kitten is 12 weeks old, I will be using medication and still checking with mineral oil for traces of ear mites.

Replied by Roseanne
Bellingham, Wa
In regards to your concern on Boric Acid. Haha, It has been used by hundreds of thousands of people as an eye wash, and as a suppository to treat yeast infections... Now if those areas are safe for boric acid I guarantee its safe for the ear! Perhaps you need to do a little more homework. As for it treating ear mites, I dunno? Couldn't hurt!
Replied by Arro
Joy, Grace
Mparsons said "I read one of the comments of using boric acid as part of a formula. This is frightening... "
Mparsons I don't know what exactly is frightening you? Are you frightened about the way Boric Acid kills cockroaches??? Why exactly? Mamalian biology is quite different from insect biology. But anyway... Boric acid is so very slightly toxic to mammals that it can indeed be used topically.

This from wikipedia: "Based on mammalian median lethal dose (LD50) rating of 2, 660 mg/kg body mass, boric acid is poisonous if taken internally or inhaled in large quantities. However, it is generally considered to be not much more toxic than table salt. "

With long term exposure or regular consumption it might lead to problems. But it has amazing properties as an antiseptic and insecticide that is really, all things considered very safe to apply to mammalian skins. So you can rest your fears, dear, except, of course for those poor, poor cockroaches and all their suffering!

Replied by Lady
Milwaukee, Wi
[YEA]   Remember the liquid soap sold in health food concerns back in the hippie days? The one w/ writting covering the entire label w/ talk about God? Dr. B's All One? Came in Pepermint, Almond, and now I have been using the excelllent LAVENDER. (Bronner). I mixed a bit w/ water and gently cleansed my cat's ears of mite debris and massaged the suds in his ears and all around his ears, really making it a good experience for him! LAVENDER is helping... He is perked up and no twiching so far. I shall continue this as needed throughout the summer and whenever he needs it!! It's GREAT!
Replied by Kmk
New Orleans, La
[WARNING!]   The recipe is for BORAX not BORIC ACID
Replied by Chris
Birmingham, Alabama
No, boric acid is correct, not borax. You can get pharmacy grade boric acid. It soothes and prevents itching also. I use Pro-Pet Antiseptic Medicated Spray I got at WalMart for tick removal on myself and pets because it kills them and prevents itching when you remove them. Boric acid is an ingredient in the original "Blue Power" ear infection treatment, but a vet has to check the eardrum before using Blue Power.
Replied by Melissa
Oklahoma, US
I would like to know if anyone remembers a remedy for earmites containing Boric acid, Genetian violet, and alcohol? I've used it for years with good success, but forgot the amounts to use. I got it off this site several years ago...


EC: Hi Melissa, did a little searching and found the recipe for you.

* 16 Oz. Isopropyl Alcohol
* 4 Tablespoons Boric Acid Powder
* 16 Drops Gentian Violet Solution 1%

Look under this heading for the entire treatment regimen: Rubbing Alcohol, Violet Solution, Boric Acid

Replied by Melissa
Oklahoma, US
Thank you so much for the info. I've used this remedy for several years with good success for any type of ear problem. Appreciate all the info. on this site. Have found many remedies that work wonders for me and my dogs!!

Campho Phenique
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Posted by FeFe (Miller Beach, IN) on 04/17/2007

[NAY]  I appreciate the NAYS on your format. I had just bought the Campho-Phenique and given ONE treatment to my cat to cure her ears of suspected mites. Next thing you know, I am reading how this particular "cure" is TOXIC to cats in particular. If not for this NAY, I would have continued administering it to her. Thank you NAY Poster for saving Phoebe's fragile liver!

Posted by Kim (Frisco, TX) on 03/16/2007

[NAY]  Campho Phenique is toxic to cats, though I have used it successfully with rabbits. Cats do not have the necessary enzyme to break down any type of Phenol, so it builds up in the liver. Phenols, also contained in many household cleaning products, are also toxic to dogs. We used room temperature Colloidal Silver (I think 5ppm) to eliminate ear mites in our cats (half the dropper, every 24 hrs for 7 days). It didn't kill the eggs though, and the mites appear to have hatched, so must be dealt with again. Perhaps we should have continued treatment for the gestation period of the mite eggs?

Posted by Gayla (Odessa, TX)

[YEA]  I have raised rabbits and dogs for over 30 years and have to deal with ear mites each summer. I have always used Campho Phenique to kill the mites and heal the ears. I even bought a rabbit once with ear mites so bad the entire ear was nothing but a red inflamed mass of scabs. I pour in a few drops of campho Phenique and massage the base of the ear to get it in and repeat for 2 days on a really bad case and just once for a mild case. Try it, you will be amazed how well it works.

Replied by Jody
Stowe, VT, USA
[WARNING!]   Just a reminder that felines are radically different, physiologically, from both dogs and rabbits. Cats are able to absorb many things through their skin, including oils and other solutions, and even many essential oils can be harmful to them, whether by inhalation, ingestion, or absorption. Just because Campho Phenique works on a dog or rabbit does NOT mean it is safe for use with a cat ;o) Their livers are unable to process these things in the same way other species can, and it can quickly toxify their system. I am using warm water with a few drops of witch hazel, and a drop of gentle pet shampoo to cleanse my cat's ears. I gently wipe out, then use slightly warm olive oil to soothe.
Replied by Dianna
Austin, Tx
the VERY best thing i have found for ear mites in cats, rats, etc. is olive oil mixed with garlic oil. usually i just rub the olive/garlic mixture on their ears and then do it again a few days later.

i've also had pretty much the same results with just olive or coconut oil by itself if you are afraid to use garlic. i personally don't believe garlic is poisonous to cats but some people do. also, i had rats that had ear mites and rubbed VCO all over them ears and everywhere and did it again a few days later (it doesn't hurt them to lick it off) and the mites were gone.

Replied by Dianna
Austin, TX
pine tar soap also works very well on mites as well as fleas. lather it up very well and let it sit a few minutes. it will be necessary to do it a few days later. i would use this in addition to VCO or garlic oil.
Replied by Shellisha
San Jose, Ca, Usa
WARNING!!!!!! You should never use garlic oil or any kind of product containing garlic on your cat. Garlic is toxic to cats!!!!!! Many other types of oils can be used! Please use an acceptable substitute like olive oil, vegetable oil or almond oil.
Replied by Virgogirl333
Manchester, Nh, Usa
Garlic is NOT toxic to cats! In fact, I fed it to my cat in every meal for 15 years and he never had any fleas, ticks or infections. I used about a tablespoon of crushed garlic. He lived a long and happy life. Don't spread misinformation please.
Replied by Jo
Orlando, Florida
I too have given my cats Garlic for many, many years, for fleas... Not sure where your info came from but, it is NOT toxic 2 cats!
Replied by Rainy
Garlic is at the top of the list of well-known toxins for cats. It can cause severe life-threatening anemia (Heinz body anemia). Some cats seem to do okay with very small doses, but many have died from regular use of garlic in their diets.

Castor Oil
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Posted by Sunny (Centerville, Iowa) on 06/04/2010

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  My dog has ear mites he caught from an infected cat. I'm an ER RN and we treated wax build-up with a name brand laxative drops... waited for the wax to soften, then used warm H2O to rinse. So I have started tonight with Castor Oil in the ears, and tomorrow will use H2O2 with the Castor Oil. I used the Castor Oil a week ago 3-4 days, and he was feeling so much better that I slacked off. I clearly didn't understand the little beasts would be so hard to get rid of, until reading some of the horror tales on here. I used the Oil an hour ago and the dog is sleeping. Anyone tried Castor Oil ? The oil should smother the mites, loosen the wax, and the H2O2 will help work wax and ear mites out. My main concern is not to cause harm. I think this treatment will be more successful than some I've read about.

I'll let you know.


Replied by Joann
Ny, US
My saint caught mites from a cat friend..and she is miserable..the vet and I were treating her for a fungal infection because she gets them every so often...but she now has some irritation on her butt. she is moaning and rubbing her ear on the floor and now I see the brown stuff...what is best? please as she does not tolerate fleas and certainly not these horrible mites. Thank you. I cleaned her ears thoroughly and used peroxide on a q tip then q tipped some oil in her ear and she stopped moaning. HELP
Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Joann!

If this were my dog and castor oil was my option, I would FLUSH the ear with liberal amounts of oil. Really work it down into the base of the ear and all over the orifice. Dabbing with a Q-tip IMHO will not suffice to get rid of ALL of the mites. You may need to treat your dog daily for up to 30 days to eliminate all of the mites.

Replied by Om
Hope Bc Canada
For ear mites try neem oil. The mites disappear within days of treatment. Neem oil disrupts the breeding cycle therefore no need to go on for a full month. Except now and then use it to prevent new infections.

No need to warm the semi solid oil as the body warmth does it and also it is easier to pack the oil into the orifice. For kittens the neem oil has to be mixed with coconut oil as their skin is too delicate for neem on its own. On EC was another post on this, confirming my own observation on the shorter duration of mite treatment.

Namaste, Om

Coconut Oil
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Posted by Linda (Wayn, PA) on 02/03/2009

I was just wondering if anyone has used coconut oil for ear mites instead of mineral or vegetable oil? Since coconut oil has so many healing properties, it seems like a good choice, but I haven't seen any posts about it. Does anyone have any thoughts or personal experience with this?

Thanks everybody for sharing your stories and thanks EC for bringing this wonderful site to us!!

Replied by Chi2x
Manila, Philippines
I'm currently using virgin coconut oil on my pup, pooch. She's like been scratching a lot especially at behind the ears and she keeps shaking her head. i also looked inside her ears and found red-black debris in there. so i think it might be ear mites. she's also been scratching her legs and biting herself which resulted in dandruff like substances in those areas she scratches. a friend of mine suggested applying virgin coconut oil on the needed areas and put some in her ears while massaging it after. im currently trying it now. hopefully it works. she has been scratching less but we'll see what happens. 1 month is it for ear mites??

this is site is great. :P i'm learning so much.

Replied by Dianna
Austin, TX
[YEA]   i have used both VCO and olive oil and garlic oil (from capsules - the smelly kind not the deodorized). i have pet rats and sometimes they will get ear mites. at first i tried putting VCO in their ears for several days and then also rubbing it all over their fur til it reaches their skin. while this seemed to work you have to do it again in a few days to make sure you get the new ones that hatch. i have also used olive oil for this and what i think worked the fastest was squeezing a garlic capsule in either VCO or EVOO and using the garlic flavored oil on their ears and around their ears. just don't get the garlic oil in their eyes! you must re-apply in 3 days and then in 3 more days to be sure. good luck!
Replied by Lanissa
Arkansas, US
I just tried using coconut oil in my cat's ears to get rid of ear mites. I placed a few drops then massaged the lower ears. He began shaking his head and pieces flew out then his ears began bleeding!! Is this common??? I'm scared now!!!
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
Lanissa -- I always had lots of cats and deals with ear mites. You did the right thing but long term untreated, ear mites can cause bleeding.

With my cats I use neem oil after cleaning the outer ear. Then repeat every three days or so. Because neem oil interrupts the productive cycle of these mites, there is noticeable improvement. I keep checking though. Kittens need the neem oil diluted with another oil because of their delicate skins. Coconut oil is also good for sensitive ears with a touch of turmeric powder if bleeding. Turmeric stops bleeding internally and externally.

For the bleeding I use turmeric powder in small amounts as it also is a natural antibiotic. For fluid in the ear I use turmeric powder and alum in 1 - 20 ratio to dry out the ear, later following up with coconut oil. This will prevent inflammation and provide cooling for red hot ears. Hope this helps.

Namaste, Om

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Lanissa!

What you describe is not un-common. You might try a looser oil, such as olive oil and steep a crushed clove of raw garlic in that over night - and then use that in the ear twice a day for a few days; this will help heal the broken skin. You could do only the oil for treatment but going that route will take time - 12 weeks perhaps. You could also try a tincture of Black Walnut in the ears and some have found good results with Ted's Mange Remedy used for demodectic mites when used on ear mites.

Colloidal Silver
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Posted by Eleruth (San Diego, CA) on 06/16/2009

[YEA]  My kittens have earmites. Has anyone used collodial silver ( sprayed) into the ear? This is a marvelous product for humjans, even better than tea tree oil.

Replied by Laurie
Kentville Nova Scotia, Nova Scotia Canada
I use this for me and my children and am wondering if anyone has used it on there pets? My sisters dog has ear mites really bad she is yelping and shaking her head and crys when she digs at them. I have on hand olive oil which I am going to use to clean her ears to relieve some irritation. However I am looking for a non evasive treatment to rid her of these pesky mites! If anyone has had sucess with the Yellow Dock Root method and the Psorinum or Sulphor please let me know... I am visiting with my two cats and a dog and will treat them all!

Thank you in advance, Love and Light

Replied by Sharon
Wesley Chapel, Florida
[YEA]   l have used colloidal silver for years for ear mites in dogs. 2 drops directly into the ear and massage. Quick relief. Treat daily for a week, then once every 4 days if needed for hatching eggs. Doesn't burn. Keep in mind that the cheaper versions may not be the real deal.

Diatomaceous Earth
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Posted by Susan (Las Vegas, Nv) on 03/11/2014

I have 3 indoor-only cats. Somehow, my Bengal got a case of ear mites, then the Snowshoe and the Maine Coon got them at about the same time.

The Maine Coon is the one that has been affected by them with the worst symptoms-- ear scratching, ear tilting, head tilting and shaking, and looking plain miserable. Of the 3, his ears showed the least amount of the telltale coffee ground ear wax. In fact, his ears were almost free of anything at all. The other 2 had some of the brown stuff, but I've seen worse. Fortunately, he has been the easiest to treat, holding still for us when we doctor his ears. The Bengal is a whole different story!

I've treated all of them with Food Grade Diatomaceous earth. I've put it directly into their ears, onto their ears, into their fur, onto and rubbed into their bedding, I've spread it all over the house and furniture... in fact, I've followed all the things recommended on this site as well as on various Diatomaceous earth sites.

The Maine Coon seemed to get quick relief from the DE whenever he started the cycle of itching and head shaking. This all began about 6-8 weeks ago, and the battle hasn't let up.

Due to the Maine Coon showing the most irritation and been the easiest to treat, I began applying the DE to him on a daily or every-other day basis for about a week to ten days in a row. I'd put a pinch into each ear, then rub a fair amount into his fur, especially around his neck area and outer ears.

Then one day we noticed his fur suddenly appeared to be thinning on each side of his neck, below his ears. Within a couple days, they became obvious bald spots. He loses his winter coat every year, but not like this!

That started about 7-10 days ago, and now he's rapidly losing hair down to bald skin in a pattern around his neck, as if he had been wearing a 2" wide collar and it had rubbed all his fur off (except he doesn't wear a collar! ) The skin is baby-smooth, no redness, bumps, welts, or discoloration of any kind. It does itch him though! 2 weeks ago I was admiring how beautiful his coat was looking- now he's starting to look like Bill the Cat.

I brush him daily to help with the winter coat shedding, and it might be my imagination, but it seems like his coat is starting to thin in other areas too. He seems to be itchy all over, not just in the ear and neck areas, but also along his sides. His winter coat is naturally thick, shiny, long and fluffy and he still has most of that except he is going bald in that 2" wide "collar" area, and also a little in front of his ears (between his eyes and ears), and on the backs of his ears too.

I applied DE pretty heavily in these areas (except for between the eyes and ears.) Could the DE have rubbed his fur off? I can't find anything about side effects.

I stopped using the DE when I noticed the rapid balding, and increased itching. I treated his ears with an ear wash last night, followed by Vitamin E oil mixed with Olive oil to see if that would help sooth his ears. Now he's back to shaking his head and scratching at his ears and surrounding areas. I don't want to use DE in case that's the problem, so I might try a little ACV and water.

Any ideas? I am at a loss and am trying to find a way to stop this rapidly expanding balding thing before it gets worse. He is a very healthy, energetic, inquisitive, loving and playful cat. His personality, eating habits, energy level etc have remained the same.

I would love to hear any suggestion or maybe thoughts on what this might be and/or why it's happening. Thank you for any suggestions, advice or opinions!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Susan!

The bald behind the ears/at the base of the ears sounds like it could be from scratching due to the ear mite infection. That you are still dealing with a mite infestation after treating for 8 weeks with DE tells me that the DE is not working - its not the right remedy in this case.

Read up on EC for ear mite remedies:

Ear mites spread from animal to animal, and do not typically spread from surfaces to animals. So while a thorough cleaning is in order - wash bedding and the like - you shouldn't have to sterilize the entire house - whew!

It may help to bathe the cats using Ted's mange remedy - scroll down as it was posted very recently.

Treat the ears with an oil remedy, use the oils to flush out particulates and debris as the gunk in the ear will cause to itch also. Keep at the ears on all cats am and pm, for at least 5 days to start. The life cycle of the mite is 21 days, so you should really plan on treating for 27 days to ensure you have eliminated all the mites.

Hair loss does seem related to the mites, but you report naked skin and not scratched up and bleeding skin. The mange baths will help determine if its another mite that is the problem. Barring external parasites diet should be considered - what are you feeding?

Many questions but do start with the ear oil remedy and see what results that brings.

Replied by Susan
Las Vegas, Nv
Hey Theresa! Thank you so much for replying to my post in March and helping me try to solve the problems surrounding my cat's ear/ear mite issues.

Unfortunately, I'm still fighting the war and now I'm desperate!

Any advice from anyone here is more than welcome!

This is their diet: Free-feed Orijen kibble, canned Organix grain free, fresh meats like chicken and beef, canned salmon, but they also get "junk" food like Whiskers treats, Meow-mix treats or Pounce treats. I'd created three cookie-monsters by giving them too many junk-food cat treats that the Bengal is totally obsessed with! I hate to admit I went overboard with giving them cookies too many times a day. But those sneaky little cats totally took advantage of me and trained me to their benefit! Now I have gotten a grip and although they still get cookies, it's in moderation. I've also switched their litter to Dr. Elsey's dust-free, hypoallergenic litter.

I used the oil (olive+vitamin E) in Trouble's ears (he's my Maine Coon with the hair loss around his neck) and got the last of the larger particles of "dirt" out of his ears. There might be some deep in his canals, but there's nothing visible. When I wipe out excess oil, pinhead-sized brown particles are on the cotton-ball. Of the three cats, his ears have the least amount of "dirt" and they actually look completely clean. The Snowshoe's and Bengal's ears both have a little visible dark-colored "wax" and it returns a couple days after putting the oil into their ears. Those two have intense reactions when treating their ears-- they cry and scratch their ears like crazy! Trouble does that a little, but not like the other two.

I didn't give them a bath. Trouble has had a couple "sponge" baths. Putting the oil in their ears once a day caused too many reactions that concerned me, so I didn't use oil as often as suggested.

Trouble is suffering the worst since he's still itching and shaking his head, twitching his ears, holding them sideways, and looking quite forlorn. The balding areas around his "collar" have widened, but the skin isn't red, isn't crusted, and is just regular-looking skin. If I'm not mistaken, it looks like the fur is coming back. It's peach-fuzz-like and there's only a couple dime-sized totally bald spots. The area is still itchy and I scratch it for him using my knuckle and he enters a state of nirvana! He has never had skin problems before this, ever!

I've read all the remedies on EC for ear mites, ear problems, and skin problems as well as info from other resources. I have the following products on hand: DE; pure organic Neem oil; H2O2; 100% organic pure coconut oil; Vitamin E oil; pure virgin olive oil; colloidal silver (gel) ; Borax powder; organic ACV; Dr. Bronner's baby shampoo; purified H2O.

Besides the oil, here's the remedies since the last post: I tried watered-down ACV but that stung Trouble's ears so I only tried that once (on his outer ear skin.) Then I tried Neem oil, warming it and applying it into their ears with a dropper. So, that seemed to help all of them at first: the next day their ears were considerably less itchy. Before I used it, Trouble's ears had become irritated and the inside skin on the ear-flap was almost red. Two days after applying the Neem oil his ears were almost light-pink again. I waited another day then re-applied the Neem oil to the Snowshoe and Trouble. I couldn't catch the very elusive Bengal. (Another story.)

When I applied the Neem oil the second time, both cats had bouts of crazy itching inside their ears, unlike the first time. Trouble's ears turned bright red, his ears really bothered him! Snowshoe's ears also bothered her and she sort of hid out for the day. Then I noticed two scratching-wounds on her cheek area! I applied colloidal silver to those patches and they heal up quickly, but then she scratches the scab off and we have to start over.

Since their reaction to the Neem oil was so intense, and it didn't seem to help them like it seemed to the first time, I let their ears rest for a few days. Since Neem oil is supposed to kill mites along with being an anti-inflammatory, anti-biotic, anti-viral and anti-fungal oil, I don't know why they had this reaction.

I don't treat everyday with these cats due to behavioral and physical reactions -maybe I should.

So, after a couple days I went to the next concoction: coconut oil mixed with colloidal silver applied with a dropper into their ears. Again, negative reactions at first. Then it seemed as if Trouble's incessant ear twitching, tilting, scratching, head shaking and misery subsided a little, but then the next day (yesterday) he was totally miserable! I've never seen him like that! His ears were/are making him totally miserable. He couldn't sleep because his ears kept twitching and itching, and he's holding them sideways, shaking his head. His eyes were squinting. His ears turned very red and tender. He even hid under the bed which he's never done before. The other two cats are not having these issues. I am just having other difficulties with treating them which is another story.

Tonight he is in better shape: he has more energy, his ears still twitch but he's not constantly shaking his head and looking as miserable as he looked yesterday. His ears still bother him but are more upright, they itch but aren't as red and his eyes are not squinty.

Of all the treatments, the least "harsh" seemed like it'd be the coconut oil/colloidal silver mix, so I was surprised at the reaction. Both have anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, anti-mite, anti-everything properties, so I don't get it.

Maybe the treatments were too close together when I transitioned from the Neem oil to the coconut/silver one. Or do I need to treat more often?

I gave Trouble a good brushing, shedding out his winter coat, and found some tiny white particles of dandruff on his back. I looked at it under a high-powered jewelry loupe and I don't think they are bugs since they didn't move. I also saw some dandruff on the Bengal's coat but it didn't move either.

Again, the only hair loss is on Trouble and it's only on his neck. The only itchy parts are Trouble's neck, and ears on all cats. No one's ears have any bad smells coming from them.

The DE has not caused any negative reactions on the other two cats, but to be honest I have been concentrating on Trouble more than them since he's the one with the most pressing problems.

Anyone have any ideas about what's going on, or if I need to do things differently?

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Susan!


My first thought on reading your update was that it doesn't sound like you are dealing with ear mites as you certainly have done all the right things to get rid of mites and the symptoms persist.

My next thought is ZYMOX otic with 1% hydrocortizone, enzymatic ear solution. Google it, order it, its not spendy. The hydrocortizone helps calm the skin and the enzymes 'digest' the yeasts that may be in the ear. You should dose once per day, but you don't have to dig around and clean the ears so it is easy to use.

Hair loss around the neck and ears indicate itchy ears - usually. And your cats do have something going on with their ears so it would make sense to see this hair loss. But just in case its something way off the mark check out these sites and see if anything makes you go "Hmm...."

Replied by Susan
Las Vegas
Thanks again Theresa! I followed the links you provided, read through the info, and nothing made me go "hmmm..."! (Those are great resources, by the way). He has no crusty skin, no scales, no sores, no redness, no pustules, no oily skin, no odor: nothing but hair loss and itching. The backs of his ears have lost fur too, and they are inflamed (although better today.)

I was giving them an abundance of junk food cookies, and thought maybe that had something to do with his hair loss. But the ear thing is being passed around, and it began prior to my OD'ing them with cookies. His hair loss may just be from scratching. He doesn't use his claws when scratching, therefore his skin isn't broken/scratched or bleeding. The other two use their claws and that's why when the Bengal is scratching his ears he cries.... and that's why the Snowshoe has ripped those scabs off when she's itching.

The Big Question is: What is contagious, causes intense ear itching, head shaking, back legs thumping when I scratch their ears for them, dark brown wax, no odors, etc., that can be contracted by an indoors- only cat and passed to the other two?

Trouble is looking much less distressed this morning. Ears are still itchy but he is back to acting like himself... same shenanigans and same little troublemaker as usual. I haven't put anything into his ears since the coconut oil/colloidal silver stuff. By tomorrow I will guess he'll be miserable from itching again because that's the pattern, with one ear being worse than the other, holding it horizontally and then giving me that "meow" letting me know he's miserable.

I am so grateful for this website and the help I have received because I don't know if I'm treating this problem correctly since I've never personally dealt with an ear mite problem. The only ear problems I can remember dealing with on my own animals was a GSD's ear infection due to those big donkey ears getting stuff blowing in and another GSD had a foxtail in his ear. With all my dogs over the last 4+ decades being swimmers, not one even got a bacterial or a yeast infection! Have had lots of cats in the past and just lucked out I guess because no ear problems with any of them either!

Now it's three cats getting this thing all at the same time and each one is hard to treat in their own way so I guess my luck temporarily went on hold!

I will look up the meds and order some today. I hope it works, then I hope they never have to go through this again.

Thanks again!

Replied by Theresa Donate

Mpls., Mn
Hey Susan!

I am just not picking up on mites. you could maybe use your jewelry lope to examine the gunk to see if there are mites, but the treatment didn't work - all the treatments didn't work, so again I rule out mites when I think on it.

The only thing that I can think of that could *appear* to be contagious to all cats/get's passed around would be inhalant /allergic reactions - be it from allergens in the breeze blowing pollens from CA over to you, or from the junk food treats you abundantly fed. I know around this time of year I see allergies in my pack; it shows up as gunky ears: best I can figure it's the molds and mildews from the spring melt that come into play and while it seems to affect all of the dogs, the way the allergic reaction is expressed in each dog varies greatly. This could be the same deal with your pride. Feeding the wrong foods will cause one of my dogs to get swollen lumps that act like abcesses and ooze and weep, while another dog might get gunky ears and another might break out in itchy hives. Feeding the wrong stuff can set up a chain reaction on the inside allowing yeast to over grow in the GI tract which often expresses as skin allergy, but might also express as gunky ears.

I would go ahead and get the Zymox; I would also try alkalizing the water by adding 1/2 teaspoon baking soda to 1 liter of pure water; if you can build it up to 1 teaspoon do so, and dose 1 teaspoon per liter for one week. In addition I would consider adding probiotics of some sort - ie DDS with FOS. As with yeast over growth, if you have too much of one flora in the GI tract the whole system fails [you see skin problem or ear problems] so rotate the probiotic flora species around - when you finish 1 bottle, replace it with a new formula, and so on.

Also consider the chemicals in your house. From what you have shared I get the idea that you likely would use green chemicals for kitty safety, but things like scented plug ins can cause all sorts of problems for cats, along with the type of laundry soap you use to wash their bedding. So have you purchased new cleaning products in the last few months?

Replied by Shala
My main coon was losing fur in spots and he had a bladder infection and a cheap diet. Some anti biotics and good food and he was all Better! Good luck
Replied by Kim
Susan, Sometimes when cats have flea allergies called flea dermatitis, they can lose their fur that leaves a bald spot. My cat experiences this every summer, so I always get flea medication such as Frontline or Revolution to stop the allergy. The hair grows back normally once you kill all the fleas....
Replied by Gia
Please if your cat is losing hair and you have already attempted some home remedies fight all means, take him to a vet he needs an examination. If his hair is falling out the diatomaceous earth is probably drying out his skin and if that isn't the case he might have an internal infection or deficiency of some sort. If you truly loved your family member, your pet, you would act on it. If you yourself were scratching for months and hair was falling out eventually you would go to a doctor please if your cat is losing hair and you have already attempted home remedies, please, he needs an examination.
Replied by Cherie
Please make sure you are using (FOOD GRADE), not (POOL GRADE)....pool grade has added chemicals for the pool and will hurt your pets!!

Posted by Lynn (Gulfport, Florida) on 01/21/2009

[YEA]  My male cat had scratched his ears so much that the ear developed a huge bubble and separated the ear skin/flesh. I had to take him to the vet for expensive treatment and surgery. It was due to ear mites. The ear is now permanently disfigured and ruined his appearance. I used diatomacious earth (food grade) mixed with a little water for transport, and and eye dropper, and put it in his ears when the mites came back. The water will evaporate and leaves the DE in the ear for ongoing treatment, as it is a powder and coats the inside of the ear a little. You don't need much. He stopped scratching by that night, and he hasn't had a problem since. That was a couple of years ago. My other cats are having problems though, and I am going to use it on them. I HATE ear mites and see how my cats can suffer with them. You can buy it (food grade) online or sometimes in a plant nursery (they use it to kill insects). It pays to remember that there may be an infection in the ears as well, and without a proper examination, you can't know. As much as I don't like vets offices, checking for an infection is worth it, especially in severe cases. One of my cats had mites and an infection. Her energy picked up after treatment for the infection, and I felt guilty that maybe she'd had it all along and it was painful. It's important to find a vet you like. Talk to people and get a referral for one you trust. Treatment can utilize both natural and standard treatment when appropriate.

Replied by Gwenda
Gulfport Fla, Fla
thanks for this info, my dog a cocker has ear problems all the time, the vet was charging me a fortune for a cream that as soon as it was used up immediately returned, i came looking online just in case there might be a remedy and i have the diamomceous earth at home here and will try you see i too live in Gulfport fla
Replied by Rachael
Fountain Valley, Ca
Only use food grade DE as any other can be hazardous to you and your pets.
Replied by Chris
Birmingham, Alabama
[YEA]   I use DE for ear mites but it is a desiccant which means it can dry out the skin and ear.

I just dip my forefinger and thumb in and put it on the outside and inside of the ear but not all the way down into the ear canal. Mites travel so they will get up to it. I rub some around the base of the ears and some at the base of his tail. (not sure how much good that does but read that mites will travel to the base of tail area like fleas. ) That is the only thing animal related that DE seems to work for. I had no luck for fleas. It does work for roaches and seems to discourage ants.

Replied by Chris
Birmingham, Alabama
I use Diatomaceous Earth for ear mites but it is a desiccant which means it can dry out the skin and ear.

I just dip my forefinger and thumb in and put it on the outside and inside of the ear but not all the way down into the ear canal. Mites travel so they will get up to it. I rub some around the base of the ears and some at the base of his tail. (not sure how much good that does but read that mites will travel to the base of tail area like fleas. ) That is the only thing animal related that DE seems to work for. I had no luck for fleas. It does work for roaches and seems to discourage ants.

Posted by Amazon Thyrteen (Fresno, CA, USA) on 11/09/2008

First of all I want to say "NEVER" try anything on your pets you won't try on yourself. I won't give anything to my pets that I wouldn't take myself. The best rule of thumb is use human grade (whatever)you're using on your pets! I've noticed a lot of comments on Diatomaceous Earth. I would like to say that the only grade that is good for animals is the same grade that humans use, Freshwater, food-grade DE. If it doesn't state on the package that it is certified, food grade then you don't want to give it to your pets, period! I also noticed that on this site someone mentioned the use of "Neem Oil" it is a really good oil to use that is 100% natural. If anyone is interested in finding out more about Neem Oil go to, or call 1-888-989-Neem(6336). This oil is good for human use also for dry skin and scalp treatments. The one that I use is Thera Neem ,skin soothing 100% pure cold pressed. I'm one of their customers and have no affiliation with this company and I'm not getting anything for this endorsement, this is just great stuff!

Replied by IVORY COAST
Replied by Webuddy
Bangor, Me
I use Diatomaceous Earth. FOOD GRADE kind. It is mined from fresh water deposits and does not harm people or animals. Dont breathe in the dust while you are applying it as it is unsafe for your lungs. Once it is applied it is fine.

It is amazing! My daughter and I both drink about 1 Tbs a day with plenty of water, or sprinkled in yogurt. It has helped our digestive systems as we both have issues with constipation and diarrhea depending on the day.

I also made a paste with 1 Tbs DE, 3 Tbs water,1 Tbs olive oil and 1 drop of peppermint oil and used it as a face mask.Rub on gently and let dry for about 5 minutes and wash off-smooth and soft!

For my pets I use DE to get rid of fleas. I brush it into their fur making sure it doesn't get in their eyes or face. I also mix a couple teaspoons in their wet food to get rid of worms. I do this every other day. Also, I put it on my rugs and the bedding and leave it there a few days then vacuum up a couple times a month. This has taken care of a severe infestation that has not returned since started.

This is a product that is worth doing a search on the internet about. DO NOT USE POOL GRADE. ONLY FOOD GRADE.

Replied by Brad
Diatomaceous Earth is NOT glass. Saltwater derived DE has a high sillica content and is only used as a filitration catalyst. It is neither suitable for consumption nor useful as an insecticide. Food-grade DE has little or no crystalline sillica. I've used it on chickens, cats, dogs and for general insect control in many applications. It's non-toxic and has little impact on beneficial species outside of the applied area.

Posted by Marisa (San Jose, USA) on 04/18/2008

[YEA]  My cat was miserable and his ear stank. I put a pinch of diatomaceous earth (swimming pool filter grade)in each ear. He seemed to be a bit better in about 40 minutes. He has stopped shaking his head and seems less lethargic. We'll see if he needs something more,(if he has a bacterial infection. His ear smelled like feces. ewwwwww!

Replied by Missy
Toronto, Ontario
[WARNING!]   Pool filter grade diatomaceous earth has been heat and chemically treated and will poison an animal or human who ingests it, so it is always of utmost importance to only obtain food grade diatomaceous earth to use in and around your household.

Quote from: Wolf Creek Ranch web site:

Replied by Marsha
Wichita Falls , TX
[WARNING!]   FYI! I lost a beautiful German Shepherd and the sweetest kitty because they ingested pool grade diatomaceous earth. Keep it away from your beloved pets!
Replied by Joey
Kingston, Ontario Canada
this is a wonderful product... My mixed breed collie has always had ear infections which I presumed were mites and were treated with steriod liq from the vet, only to return in 8 wk. my vet then took a swab and it came back as a YEAST infection. I then researched online and found a treatment for this:

4 oz witch hazel, 1 tbsp boric acid, 4 drops gentian violet, shake well. put several drops in ear and massage, use 2 x per day for 1 week then 1x/dy for a week. Use longer if required. this is not a permanent cure but sure did last longer than the steriods.

About the Dia. Earth 'dirt': I bought a bag (35 lbs! ) at our local farm centre - ensure you buy food grade. I take a teasp daily for colon health..... It is also good for your pet health - worms - have seen the results. I use it in the garden for grubs, use in the basement to control spiders. Since we can no longer use pesticides this is the best all round product for home/garden that is safe.

Replied by Melissa
Kamloops, Bc
[YEA]   Diatomaceous earth is amazing! It works wonders as a dust bath for fleas on my dogs and I even had a friend that used it for bed bugs! Bed bugs is apparently a huge epidemic right now and so I thought I would share what my friend learned from her experience. As everyone has suggested make sure you use food grade d.e. but also make sure that it is in a powdered granulation... Not fine! And most importantly she was told not to put it right on top of the matress but rather to put it in the cracks and crevices, in the boxspring, on the headboard, etc. Where the bed bugs will hide!
Replied by Deborah
Prattville, Al
D.E. is NOT GLASS! Diatoms are actually made up of mostly calcium and other minerals and are the food grade is safe for humans and animals internally as well as externally.
Replied by Laura
Lawrenceville, Ga
I can't imagine that it would feel good, to put vinegar on inflammed, irritated skin. Vinegar is very acidic.

If you have to do this, please rinse afterwards with water and put something soothing on there, like aloe.

Posted by Lynn (Jeannette, PA)

[YEA]  I have found that putting a pinch of food-grade diatomaceous earth into the dog or cat's ear kills the mites. I do it daily for about a month since that is how long the mites can take to hatch. Within a few days though the animal has absolutely no symptoms of mites and it is completely safe for pets of all ages and sizes. It is also a great way to get rid of mites on birds and to rid a pet of internal parasites.

Ear Mites and People
  User Ratings

Posted by Artie (Queens, NY) on 02/25/2009

Can Canine Ear Mites Get under Human Skin?

My friend's Rottweiller has ear mites and 3 vets tried to treat her but she wouldn't let them -- (this is what I'm told?) but she's such a sweet dog and I roughhouse with her almost every day and I've broke out in a rash and I feel a crawling sensation and tunnels on my hands AND my ears are being bitten-up. OF COURSE NO DOCTOR WILL EVEN LOOK but only gave me topical medication for scabies - AND I DO NOT HAVE SCABIES.

My question is: is it possible I got infected by canine ear mites? All this stuff sounds crazy to me but it's the only thing that makes any sense. I'd appreciate whatever help I can get and thanks so much! Artie G.

Replied by Bev
Mt. Juliet, TN USA
Black walnut hulls in the form of drops is effective on parasites, about 7 drops per day in a small glass of water for 3-4 weeks. I learned about this from a holographic health practitioner.
Replied by Barb
Syracuse, NY
I think it is possible that cat mites go onto humans. The scabies treatment will work as well, they are similar mites. Chlorine water from a pool is great, just make sure you keep the mites to yourself, should you visit a pool. You can suffocate the mites on your skin with cream, but they might keep hatching, so you have to be persistent.
Replied by Jen
Monona, Iowa
I've used this web site before and its great. I would see if your friends dog will let the owner put veggie oil in his ear that is infected.just a few drops.and massage the bottom of the ear. it wont kill the eggs but it does get ride of the live ones. clean with a cotton ball. it works i have used it on my lab. he was so happy!
Replied by Joy
Austin, Tx
Animal mites do infect humans. I have found one website very helpful, and there is a regular email forum. It's called
Replied by Jus1chance
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
I'd like to post a comment to Bev from Mt. Juliet. What exactly is a holographic health practitioner? Is it someone who practices medicine on holograms? Do you know what a hologram is? Or did you mean homeopathic health practitioner? Or is it someone who practices medicine through the use of holograms? I'm confused.
Replied by Sharon
Wesley Chapel, Florida
The correct word is holistic, not holographic. It means a person who is interested in the integration of all types of healing for the whole body.
Replied by Utahowl
Salt Lake City, Utah Usa
Replying to Artie G: Yes, humans can get mites from their dogs, cats or bunnies. My friend got a terrible infestation that gave her a huge immune reaction - hives & itchy rash in multiple places. You need to STAY AWAY from that dog (sorry! ) for at least 3 weeks because that's how long the eggs take to hatch & then die. Cheyletiella - check out