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Treating horse ear mites

There are a number of horse health issues that are important to spot and treat early. Here at Horsemart we have a large number of advice articles and pages, which offer you plenty of information on a number of severe and not so severe conditions. And, in this article, we’re going to tell you all about the problem of ear mites in horses.


- Purchase any regular domestic flea treatment that you can access in a local supermarket or vets.


- Use a mineral oil to mix it with, so that you can put the solution into a dropper or a syringe.


- Carefully use equal amounts on each of the horse's ears, working carefully from top to bottom making sure your horse doesn’t spook or become restless.


- Make sure the solution reaches right inside the ear for maximum effect.


- Repeat on a monthly basis or more often if you require.



These little critters won’t threaten the life of your horse, or anything that serious, but they’ll cause the animal plenty of annoyance and can be very uncomfortable. However, it’s always worth bearing in mind that your horse most probably won’t take kindly to having its ears poked and prodded, so when checking for ear mites be very cautious and do so with care.


As I previously mentioned, though these mites won’t harm your horse too badly, it’s always wise to ensure you get them treated quickly. If you don’t then your horse will be uncomfortable for an unfair amount of time.


There are a number of remedies that are available over-the-counter and are effective in clearing up equine ear mites. Once you’ve spoken to an expert and found the perfect solution for your horse, you’ll want to go about commencing with treatment. If this is something that you don’t feel comfortable doing yourself, then you can always speak to a vet or get a more experienced horse owner to help you out - maybe someone at your livery yard or a friend. If you’re going to take on the role of treating yourself, then here’s a step-by-step guide on how to do so safely.

Close up of Horses Ears


How to Treat Equine Ear Mites


  • The medication that you’ll need to use in order to treat the mites is essentially any flea treatment that’s intended for domestic animals, such as cats or dogs. These are readily available over the counter and aren’t too expensive. You must ensure that you purchase it in liquid form and is the type that you’d usually drip onto the animal’s back.

  • Once you’ve bought the flea treatment, you’ll need to mix it up with a solution that’s suitable for the horse’s ears. You should mix the flea treatment with mineral oil and then find yourself a syringe or an ear dropper to use for applying the substance.

  • Remember that the horse probably won’t enjoy having the solution in its ears, so you’ll need to persevere and not give up until you’re confident you’ve applied enough. You should hold the base of the horse’s ear when applying the remedy as this will ensure that the horse keeps its head still.


  • You’ll want to use half of the solution on each ear. Try to begin at the very tip of the ear and continue working down until you’ve covered the entire ear. Covering all of the interior of your horse’s ears will work towards a more effective treatment.

  • After this, release a bit of pressure on the bottom of the horse’s ears in order to allow the solution to penetrate down into the base and begin working. It’s important not to let go of the ears completely as the horse will shake his head and spill the solution everywhere. If this does happen then you might have to start the whole process over again.

  • Obviously, the frequency of treatment will depend on the severity of your horse’s condition. However, on average, once a month is a suitable option, to ensure the ear mites have disappeared.


Extra tips and advice

Here are a few other tips that might help you when it comes to the distribution of the liquid. Follow the step-by-step guide above closely and keep these points below in the back of your mind and you’ll have no problems treating your horse’s ear mites.


  • When it comes to letting go of the horse’s ear, you’ll want to move away from the animal quickly. The horse will most probably shake its head, and you won’t want to get any of the solution on you. There is also a possibility that the horse’s head could hit you, which could obviously be painful.

  • If your horse has a large number of aggressive ear mites, then you can always tackle this by replacing the flea solution with a deworming product that contains ivermectin. This should be more powerful and effective on worse infestations.

  • It’s vital that you always ask your vet before going ahead with any treatment. Never just go straight ahead and start work, some substances could be detrimental to the health of the horse.


So, there you have it, our complete guide to treating equine ear mites. Do you have any other tips or advice that might come in useful for your fellow horse lovers? Why not let us know in the comments section below?