Does Your Dog Have Ear Mites?

Filed under Dr. Dym's Vet Blog
One of the most common misconceptions amongst both animal guardians and veterinarians is the overdiagnosis and overtreatment of ear mites in their dogs and cats. While ear mites are certainly seen, especially in newly acquired kittens/puppies, and sometimes in adult animals who spend a lot of time outdoors, ear mites are actually rare in my experience as a cause of ear itching, head shaking and ear odor/discharge in adult cats and dogs. And while trying an over the counter ear mite medication such as those available on 1800PetMeds can sometimes be tried, it is more appropriate to have a proper vet exam and evaluation of ear discharge under the microscope, as most of these pets have an overgrowth of yeast and/or bacteria in the ears, usually secondary to underlying seasonal inhalant/contact allergies and/or food allergies.


One of my favorite products that is very safe to use in most pets is one called Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution with Hydrocortisone, which not only can help with yeast and/or bacterial overgrowth in the ears, but can also help lessen inflammation and is usually quite safe to use long term and is available without a prescription. However,  if ear problems worsen or persist, it is best to have a proper vet exam, diagnosis and possibly prescription topical and/or oral antimicrobial ear medication prescribed, as well as usually an allergy workup to get at the underlying causes of relapsing ear inflammations in our pets.


  1. Posted July 31, 2012 at 5:54 am | Permalink

    Such a cool page and such a cool company for doing this!!!( )

  2. Bonnie
    Posted July 19, 2014 at 11:31 pm | Permalink

    I have read about Revolution as a topical cure for earmites in dogs and am concerned about the side effects listed . What other information and how bad are these side effects and are they hazadous to my dog.
    Also my dog is on trifexis and I was wondering if there was any drug interaction of these two meds if I were to get and use Revolution . Please advise .

  3. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    I would not assume your dog has ear mites, which is rare in adult dogs in my experience. HAve complete vet exam. I would not use revolution and trifexis, as combo a bit strong at same time. I have found topical revolution generally better tolerated than oral trifexis in my experience.

  4. Posted November 17, 2014 at 4:54 pm | Permalink

    My dog has red ears and bumps and he shakes his head

  5. jessica
    Posted November 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    My puppy is 7 weeks old n her eyes are red? No dainage or discharge n i dont see her scratching at them yet what could be wrong ?

  6. jessica
    Posted November 23, 2014 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

    Not her eyes sorry her ears

  7. Dr. Michael Dym, VMD veterinarian
    Posted November 26, 2014 at 12:41 am | Permalink

    Red eyes may be allergy or infection. Best to have vet exam and evaluation for proper diagnosis and treatment plan

  8. Posted June 10, 2015 at 1:22 am | Permalink

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  9. Posted June 10, 2015 at 3:30 am | Permalink

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