Dog Ear Mites vs. Ear Wax

Dog Ear Mites Vs. Ear Wax: How To Spot The Difference

Dog ear mites vs. ear wax is a pretty common debate. Sometimes, people misjudge ear wax as ear mites and vice-versa. Although, they are completely two different things. While ear wax only needs cleaning, ear mites require removal and treatment. Here, we will discuss them in detail. Let’s see the difference between ear mites and wax.

What Are Ear Mites in Dogs?

Before getting into the differences, we need to understand what they really are. Here, we are talking about ear mites in dogs. Dog ear mites don’t attack only dogs. There are also cat ear mites that are the same. This type of mite attacks both cats and dogs. So, what are ear mites?

Ear mites are a type of pest that feast on the host’s skin and wax-like substances. That explains why the ear is safer and more convenient as their hideout. The ear environment is also quite favorable to dog ear mites. These mites are hard to notice with naked eyes. You may feel like something is moving, but it is quite hard to identify them. So, what do ear mites look like in dogs? Dog ear mites under microscope look like small dark coffee beans or wax particles.

These mites rapidly increase their number by laying eggs. They also start feasting on the skin. Surprisingly, these mites complete their full life cycle in the host’s body. So it is hard to notice them moving outside. Even more, they only exchange places from host to host.

If your pet gets ear mites, another host pet is likely responsible for it. Thus, you better identify their presence before the invasion gets deeper. It can also spread to other pet animals nearby. That makes these ear mites quite an annoying pest.

What Is Ear Wax in Dogs?

Discussing dog ear wax vs. ear mites, we will now talk about the wax. Wax is pretty common to us as discharges. But, it’s better to learn about the identity of ear wax. You might be surprised to know that ear wax protects the outer layer of the dog’s ear canal.

Scientifically, it is also known as cerumen. It has the properties of oil emulsion. Thus, it keeps the moisture out of your dog’s sensitive ear skin. Do you know why? Because it has water-repelling characteristics. It comes from glandular secretion. A dog’s body automatically adjusts the amount considering the coverage area.

Looks like the ear is quite important and helpful for dogs. Then, why are we worried about it? Because the amount can be excessive. Having too much earwax can cause many issues. Not only does it invite different pests and parasites, but it also causes itchy issues. In some cases, it can also cause some hearing problems. In most cases, it assists in major problems. Let’s see ear mites vs. ear wax in dogs comparison.

Dog Ear Mites Vs. Ear Wax: What to Look For

So, do you understand the difference between dog ear mites vs. ear wax? Now, how do you identify them! It is a bit harder because dog ear mites are pretty close to ear wax. It’s hard to tell the difference between them unless you use a microscope.

A with dog ear mites

But, you can easily identify the situation by observing the possible symptoms. Then, you can go for the necessary treatment to handle the situation. But, you need to do these as fast as possible. Both ear wax and ear mites can become a severe issue if they stay for too long.


Dog Ear Mites Dog Ear Wax
Too much scratching Red marks around the ears
Constant head shaking Discharge leaking
Inflammation Ear scratching
Dark discharges Strong and unpleasant odor
Ear droppings Head shaking
Pus Ear rubbing
Infected eardrum Swollen ear pina

Table: Dog Ear Mites Vs. Ear Wax Symptoms


For dog ear mites vs. wax, the diagnosis part is a bit similar. You can diagnose ear mites, but it is better to go to a vet. Checking your pet’s health at home is not easy. Because you can’t be sure of the condition. Several external tests are necessary., Not only do you have to ensure the invasion but also the current condition. If the attack is severe, treatment will be pretty hard.

Although, the ear wax condition is not as vulnerable as a mite attack. You can diagnose it at home through symptoms and wax color. So, what does dog ear wax look like? Usually, it is a white, yellow, or light brown ear wax dog. Sometimes it can be black ear wax in dogs, but that can also be a symptom of ear mites. Let’s see the treating dog ear mites procedures along with dog ear wax removal.


Dog ear mites are a parasite. You do know that, right? So, the basic treatment is using parasiticides. Surprisingly, ear mite treatment for dogs is pretty similar to a cat’s ear mite treatment. Home remedies for dog ear mites are the most common solution to handle these mites.

Among them, Vaseline for ear mites in dogs is one of the most popular solutions because you can easily apply it at home. Although, there are other solutions as well. For dog ear mites, home remedy olive oil solution or essential oil is also pretty effective. Don’t worry. If you are not sure about them, just go to a vet. They will provide a list of possible treatments for your pet. Some might ask, are dog ear mites contagious? The answer is yes. So, be careful.

As for the ear wax, it doesn’t need deep treatment unless there is any severe condition. You can easily remove ear wax from dog to clean them off. Besides, you don’t even need to remove them that often. Once in a month or a few months is more than enough. But, you should check the wax condition to be sure. If the color changes more than usual or the odor comes out, it has to be caused by some issues.

For the procedure, you need to get the necessary vet-approved items for the wax cleaning solution. These solutions can easily break down the wax and make the removal process easier. Use a drop to put the solution into the dog’s ear. Make sure to do it comfortably. Wait 30-40 seconds to let the solution work. If possible, shake the dog’s head a couple of times. Use cotton or a soft pad to remove the wax. Do it a couple of times as necessary.

How Do You Prevent: Dog Ear Mites or Wax Happening Again

We mentioned dog ear mites vs. ear wax issues, right? So, can you prevent them in the first place? It is not entirely possible, but you can take some steps to make it less possible. These mites come from another host. So, make sure your dog’s companions are healthy. Besides, a healthy dog is less targetable.

So make sure to follow regular dog exercises to keep their health at peak. A good immune system always helps to recover from any health issue. As for the wax, just remove it once every couple of months. That should be enough. Just use authorized solutions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Now, we are done with our dog ear mites vs. ear wax comparison. So, how about answering some important questions? Let’s check them out.

Q- How do I know if my dog has ear mites or just dirty ears?

You should check the ear mite symptoms. If any of them are available, visit a vet. They will clear your confusion.

Q- Should I clean my dog’s ears if he has ear mites or wax?

You can clear them at home. Even though ear wax removal for dogs is easy, mite removal requires extra steps. So, visit a vet for mite conditions.

Q-Do dog ear mites or ear wax infect people?

Usually, no. It has to be a very rare case for them to affect people.

Q- What treatment is there for ear mites?

Natural home remedies like oil, Aloe Vera, Vaseline, and similar items are the best.

Q- What treatment is there for ear wax?

Just removal is the only option if ear wax accumulates too much.

Final Thoughts

Dog ear mites vs. Ear wax is a confusing matter for the owners. Ear mites have similar symptoms to wax issues. Thus, people often mistake ear mite invasion as just a wax issue. Anyway, we have mentioned all the necessary information you need. Follow them, and your dog will be just fine. Don’t forget to visit a vet for any abnormal condition or behavior.

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