Ear mites in dogs (Otodectes cynotis) Causes, Symptoms Treatment 2022

Ear mites in dogs (Otodectes cynotis) Causes, Symptoms Treatment 2022


  1. Description and development of dog ear mites
  2. Symptoms of ear mite infection
  3. Diagnostic
  4. Treatment for dog ear mites
  5. Prevention

Description and development of dog ear mites

The parasite Otodectes cynotis (ear mites)dog ) belongs to the family Psoroptidae and inhabits the ear canals of meat-eating animals. It is the most common mange mite in these animals.

The Otodectes cynotis mite develops in about three weeks, going from an egg to the larval stage, then two nymphal stages, the proto-, and deutonymph, and then becoming an adult mite. The entire development of mites occurs in the dog’s external auditory canal.

The female mites stick their eggs to the skin of the ear canal. All stages of development of the mite feed on the tissue fluid and skin cells of the dog. Adult mites have a lifespan of about two months. They are transmitted by direct contact with infected animals, from infected mothers to their puppies or puppy to puppy. Mites can sometimes be transmitted through earwax and ear crusts when the dog is shaking. Adult animals are less frequently affected.

Otodectes cynotis occurs worldwide and is not host-specific, meaning it can also be transferred from one species to another, for example, from cats to dogs. The ear mite is especially common in places where many animals live together, such as animal shelters, houses, or farms.

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Symptoms of ear mite infection

The mites cause skin irritation and inflammatory reactions in the dog’s ear by eating, moving, and piercing the skin. They cause an accumulation of earwax, inflammatory secretions, blood components, and mite excretions, which has a brown-black and crumbly coffee-like appearance in the ear canal. An infection with ear mites typically causes severe itching in dogs. He then scratches his ears and constantly shakes his head.

The inner ear can be very red and swollen, and the dog sometimes scratches itself. The itching can also spread to other parts of the head, such as the cheeks. Often, but not always, the mites affect both ears of the dog. In rare cases, Otodectes cynotis can also be found on other body parts, such as the forehead and back. It can lead to dermatitis, which looks like an allergic reaction.


The dark brown or black coffee-like crumbs in the dog’s ear canal are the first indication of ear mites. It is often easy to see the mites move around by illuminating the inside of the ear. However, a smear of this friable mass must be taken for a reliable diagnosis of ear mites. Eggs or mites can then be looked for under a microscope. If the inflammatory reaction is very pronounced and bacteria have added to it, the parasites can sometimes no longer be detected.

Treatment for dog ear mites

Due to the high risk of infection and transmission, treatment of the sick dog and all susceptible animals in the household is recommended. The veterinarian can offer you different treatments for dog ear mites. Non-insecticide ear treatments may also work but will take longer to work. Before treatment, the ear canal should always be carefully examined, and whether the eardrum is intact should be checked. The ear canal should also be cleared of deposits resembling coffee grounds. Depending on the type of treatment, it may need to be repeated several times to kill all mite development stages.


A drug treatment containing acaricidal active ingredients can prevent an infestation of Otodectes cynotis in dogs. The Topical antiparasitics and medications in tablet form are particularly suitable for this purpose. Contact with infected animals should also be avoided.

Ear mites in dogs (Otodectes cynotis) Causes, Symptoms Treatment 2022

Detection and treatment of mite infestations in dogs

Unfortunately, mite infestation is a common problem in dogs that many owners face. Mites are arachnids that feed primarily on the dead skin cells of their host animals.

If a dog is suffering from an infestation of troublesome parasites, this is especially evident in the form of skin and coat problems. Below we explain how to recognize and treat a mite infestation in your dog.

Types of mites found in dogs

There are different types of mites. If your dog is suffering from a mite infestation, it is most likely one of the following species:

  • ear mites
  • Mangy mites
  • Food mites
  • Lawn mites
  • Demodex mites

ear mites

Mites are highly contagious and especially common in dogs. They are specialized parasites that almost exclusively attack the ears. 

Ear mites are especially prevalent in animals with long ears, especially in young animals and older dogs. Transmission takes place through bodily contact with an infected Artgenossen.

Mangy mites

Even scabies mites are highly contagious and can be transmitted through contact with an already infested species or fallen skin components, such as dandruff.

The mites are also gravel mites because they burrow into the infected dog’s skin. There they multiply and feed on keratin and tissue fluid. 

Food mites

Mites can nest in your dog’s dry food. From there, the mites and their droppings are transferred to the four-legged friend and can lead to allergic reactions and skin problems.

To avoid this as much as possible, you should always keep your dog’s food in a dry and wind-protected place. In addition, once the food has been opened, it must be consumed quickly.

Grass mites

The mites are mainly found in meadows, at the edge of forests, or in gardens. Their larvae usually attack the dog’s paws. However, they can spread from there to the four-legged friend’s body.

A grass mite infestation is not only possible in dogs but also in humans. Parasites can be transmitted directly by walking or bodily contact with another infected animal.

Demodex mites

Demodex mites or hair follicle mites often live a lifetime in dogs and other mammals’ hair follicles (hair follicles). This mite infestation often goes unnoticed and has no consequences for the affected quadrupeds.

If the dog’s immune system is weakened, thus can change quickly. Also, in this case, the Demodex mites cause the typical skin problems of a mite infestation.

Symptoms of a mite infestation in dogs

The exact symptoms of mite infestation in your dog can vary depending on the type of mite. However, since mites cause severe itching in dogs, frequent itching is a typical symptom. 

Over time, this can lead to bald spots in the coat, dandruff, and skin crusting. The longer the mite infestation goes untreated, the more skin and coat problems spread in the affected dog.

If you suspect your furry friend is suffering from mites, you can comb his coat with a flea comb. However, the parasites are very small and not always easy to spot.

In the case of a mite infestation, the itching is limited to the animal’s ears. You’ll likely see your dog shake his head often if your dog is affected. Additionally, there are likely brownish to black crusts in his ear canals, which also indicates the presence of mites.

Infected dogs should be treated promptly.

A mite infestation in your dog is not something you should ignore as an owner. On the one hand, parasite-related skin irritations are extremely unpleasant for your four-legged friend. On the other hand, mites can lead to other diseases in your dog in the long term, such as anemia or demodicosis.

In addition, dust mites are contagious. Some species can infect other dogs and even humans and cause similar symptoms. 

Mites in dogs are a case for the veterinarian.

If you suspect your dog is suffering from mites, you should have him checked out by a veterinarian. The veterinarian can verify your suspicions and, at the same time, determine what type of mite it is.

The veterinarian determines the necessary treatment measures based on the test results. Preparations containing cortisone such as creams and injections are often used. Treatment with itch remedies is often sufficient in the case of more harmless mite species. 

The mites can be killed locally with appropriate preparations, while the inflammations they cause can be treated with antibacterial agents.

Regardless of the type of mite and the treatment required, it is important to thoroughly clean and disinfect the blankets, pillows, and brushes your pet comes into contact with. Otherwise, it’s only a matter of time before your dog gets infected again.

Preventing a mite infestation in your dog

If you want to avoid the consequences that a mite infestation can have for your dog, you should pay sufficient attention to the topic of prevention. 

The risk of grass mite infestation can be avoided, for example, by regularly mowing your lawn in the garden and not letting your four-legged friend romp in tall grass while walking.

You should also ensure proper hygiene and regularly clean your dog’s sleeping area, blankets and pillows. 

Another important aspect that plays an important role in mites in dogs is the immune system. A strong immune system cannot prevent a dust mite infestation. However, you can ensure that this does not have major consequences for the affected animal. 

Ear mites in dogs (Otodectes cynotis) Causes, Symptoms Treatment 2022

To strengthen your dog’s immune system, we recommend avoiding excessive stress and ensuring a species-appropriate diet. In our store, you will find a large selection of high-quality dog ​​food with exclusively natural ingredients.

In addition, we recommend a dietary supplement with Bell for Immune if necessary. The food supplement provides your four-legged friend with valuable micronutrients and important amino acids and supports his immune system naturally.

Point preparations against mites in dogs

In addition, various point preparations are available to prevent mite infestation in dogs. However, they often contain insecticides that can harm the mites and your dog’s health.

The use of these products against mites in dogs is therefore not without risk, so we advise you to limit your prophylaxis to natural methods.

Our products against mite infestations in dogs

In the Bell for the range, you will find several natural care products to help combat mite infestation in your dog. 

  • Bell for anti-mite sprays with neem oil and insect fat to prevent grass mite infestation.
  • Bell for diatomaceous earth mite stop to counter a manure mite infestation
  • Bell for Mite Drops with Castor Oil and Insect Grease for Dogs with Ear Mite Infestation

Mite infestation in dogs: the most important things at a glance

A mite infestation in dogs is often associated with severe itching and skin and coat problems. The longer the mites go untreated in affected dogs, the more discomfort they cause.

A visit to the veterinarian will tell you about the exact type of mite and the treatment required. When it comes to prevention, proper hygiene is important, among other things. 

In addition, a strong immune system helps minimize the possible consequences of mite infestation on dogs’ health. Conventional mite remedies, on the other hand, are often associated with additional health risks for the four-legged friend due to the insecticides they contain.

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Ear mites in dogs (Otodectes cynotis) Causes, Symptoms Treatment 2022