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Vaseline for ear mites in dogs

Vaseline for ear mites in dogs


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Vaseline for ear mites in dogs. A new study has found that a popular household brand of petroleum jelly may help in fighting ear mites, which can have a long-lasting effect on a dog's hearing.

Credit: Stockphoto

Vaseline for ear mites in dogs. A new study has found that a popular household brand of petroleum jelly may help in fighting ear mites, which can have a long-lasting effect on a dog's hearing.

Credit: Stockphoto

Veterinarians say a popular household product, Vaseline, may help keep ear mites from returning to dog's ears.

It’s no secret that Vaseline — petroleum jelly for the ears — helps keep fleas and ticks from sticking around, and now a new study published in the journal Vaccine has shown that the petroleum jelly helps keep ear mites from returning to dogs’ ears, as well.

Ear mites are fairly common for dogs, and they can cause all sorts of problems. They can be annoying, as the tiny bugs burrow in the ear, causing itching. But they’re also a bit of an earache, as the mites can eat away at the delicate skin and drum. The mites can last quite a while in the ear canal, as well, with dogs sometimes scratching their ears to try to get rid of them.

“Ear mite infestation is one of the most common problems with dogs,” said William Kibbe, DVM, a veterinary parasitologist at the University of Missouri College of Veterinary Medicine and the study’s lead author. “Most dogs can have a mite infestation once or twice in their lifetime, and it’s a very frustrating and costly problem for many of those dogs and their owners.”

The study showed that after one month of treatment with a topical drug called selamectin, a common flea and tick preventive that kills ear mites, the number of ear mites decreased by about 55 percent.

To be sure, this study used a small sample size — 12 dogs, who were randomly assigned into three groups to test out the effectiveness of the product. However, Kibbe said, in the real world, the product is probably very helpful in helping dogs who develop ear mites the first time around, because it can help prevent the mites from returning to the ear canal.

If left untreated, ear mites can cause an entire host of problems for dogs, including hearing loss, a common problem for both puppies and older dogs. It can be frustrating for owners who want their dogs to hear well for their entire life.

“A lot of people are looking for a product to help prevent these mites from coming back,” Kibbe said.

As for dogs who are already infected with ear mites, the topical product did not seem to offer any additional benefit. In some dogs who had been treated previously, the mites grew back, and in others, it took longer for them to see the results of the treatment. The study did not look at how long the product stayed in a dog’s ear, and the study did not look at how the drug affected a dog’s hearing, so there’s not much more that can be learned about it in that regard.

The study did have some drawbacks, Kibbe said, as there are a lot of variables to consider. Ear mites come in all shapes and sizes, so it’s difficult to know how many to treat and in what concentration. It’s also possible that the treatment was not the only variable involved in the study, he said.

“For instance, how often the dogs were treated and with what frequency was not standardized. This is particularly important because frequency of treatment may be a factor in which dogs develop a mite problem,” Kibbe said.

As with any product, there may be side effects or other problems that arise when using the product on a regular basis, and veterinarians need to weigh these potential issues carefully when giving a treatment. Still, this is a new and promising product, which Kibbe hopes will have more widespread use in the future.

“I’m really glad that the researchers looked at a very common product in the home, which is in my opinion probably going to be used more often,” Kibbe said. “In the real world, we’re going to see more of these kinds of studies.”

More information

To learn more about ear mites and how to control them, visit the WebMD blog “Ear Mites: Prevention and Treatment.”

More from Vetstreet

I had the same issue about 3 years ago and I went to a vet for treatment. He did the traditional scraping to get rid of the mites in my ear, and they came back. I was then switched to something different and it worked for me. You really can’t take chances with these parasites that can be very stubborn. It would be better to get your dog on a good medication that will keep them from coming back, than to just hope they don’t come back.

April 20, 2014 8:16 pm

Dee

“A lot of people are looking for a product to help prevent these mites from coming back.”

You’re going to have to be very careful about the “product” you use.

There are two ways to handle ear mites – “quick and dirty” and “quick and right.”

The quick and right method requires an experienced veterinary technician and can involve some unpleasant side effects (for the pet).

However, the quick and dirty method has much better odds of getting rid of the problem and does not involve any side effects.

I’m a dog groomer, not a vet tech, so I won’t provide any instructions – but there is a whole world of knowledge out there for anyone who has the time to educate themselves.

I just recently got a 5.


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