How to Get Fleas Out of a Dog's Ears

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Fleas are a nuisance to your canine companion, making them itch and scratch, but unfortunately, they can be a danger to your pup's health. Fleas carry diseases such as tapeworms, cause health conditions like anemia, and produce allergic symptoms in some sensitive animals. Fleas in the dog's ears can be especially irritating, and require extra cleaning and eradication steps to get rid of them for good. You can begin with a home remedy for fleas in dogs ears, but you may need professional dog ear mite treatment from a veterinarian.

Veterinarian examining a dog's ear.
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Fleas in dogs ears symptoms

Fleas are small copper-colored parasites that infest your dog's skin and hair and reproduce quickly. Their bites draw blood and flea saliva can be an allergen to some dogs, creating flea allergy dermatitis, an intense itching that presents with a red bumpy rash, and sometimes flaky skin. This intense itching can also cause hair loss or secondary skin infections in dogs. When fleas infest your dog's ears they may cause the ears to look dirty, hence the term, "flea dirt." Ear infestation will look like a sprinkling of black pepper flakes in and around your dog's ears.

Home remedy for fleas

A dog who has fleas in their ears probably has them everywhere else on their body.
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A dog who has fleas in their ears probably has them everywhere else on their body, as fleas like to jump about on a warm host. Use a commercial flea bath or powder or a castille-based peppermint-scented soap to bathe your dog. Use a cotton ball to gently clean the insides of their ears with a commercial ear cleaner. When you're done, apply a commercial topical flea agent, like Frontline, that starts killing fleas right away. If you prefer a natural remedy, use food-grade diatomaceous earth. When sprinkled on your dog's body and bedding, diatomaceous earth will dry up the fleas within a week.

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Flea removal from house

When your dog has fleas, your household environment probably has fleas as well. Eradicating the flea eggs, larvae, and adult fleas will stop the infestation. Use a fabric-safe flea powder on your carpet and upholstery, or use food-grade diatomaceous earth per the manufacturer's guidelines. Vacuum your entire home, including couches, carpets, and hardwood floors, including hard-to-reach areas. Wash all soft items such as bedding (both human and dog beds), pillows, and blankets in hot, soapy water. You may need to repeat the process or use an indoor flea fogger to ensure total eradication.

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Veterinary dog ear mite treatment

If your dog has a severe flea problem and conventional home treatments don’t work, see your vet for a dog ear mite treatment.
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If your dog has a severe flea problem and conventional home treatments don't work, see your vet for a dog ear mite treatment. If your pup creates open wounds from aggressive scratching, they could need an antibiotic to prevent against infection. Your vet may prescribe a topical anti-itch cream or an antihistamine to stop the itchiness of flea bites. Your veterinarian may give you a flea dip. Once the problem is taken care of, ask your vet about an appropriate flea prevention method, such as a collar, topical ointments, or powders, to protect against infestation in the future.

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