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ChristineLVT, Veterinary Technician
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 3307
Experience:  Licensed veterinary technician (B.S. Mercy College), 10 yrs in animal medicine and training
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how does vinegar help get rid of ear mites

Resolved Question:

I just read here at this site

"What you can do at home is make a solution of white vinegar and water (50/50) and flush the ears every 12 hours for 2 weeks. After that, it can be done as needed for maintenance. The vinegar helps clean the ear and restore the pH while keeping it dry."

My question is what is it about this vinegar that helps the dogs ears and gets rid of ear mites?

What is the process? Can someone break this down so I understand how it works?

Submitted: 9 years ago.
Category: Pet
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 9 years ago.


Just Answer (the site you are asking your questions) does no have artcles of any sort in which you could read this, but you likely saw it on on of the sites we advertise on and were able to ask directly from that site that was sent to us. But I can answer this regardless.

If vinegar is to be used, it should be in a 1 to 10 parts water solution and not for long term use. The consistency of the vinegar can help break up chunky hard to remove debris that can be found in very waxy ears, like those seen when ear mites are a problem. Breaking up the debris is an important step in getting mites out of the ear. However, they can still be deep within the canal and eggs still growing (and hatching within 4 days) unless the problem is treated with an OTC or prescription ear mites medication which will actually kill them at all stages of their life cycle. Trying to just break up debris and clean all wax for this long of a time needed to get them all out will result in destroying the ear's natural pH and drying out the ears too much. The normal ear canal should have natural oils in it, which mites can live on, and drying it too much will result in chronic ear inflammation and further itchiness and problems. This also gives way for a difficult to treat bacteria- friendly environment. It is better to use a dog safe pre-made ear cleaner sold in pet catalogues and stores.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to ChristineLVT's Post: yes i read it here )not a site you advertise on (I know the difference)

can you tell me what is in in vinegar that breaks up the debris?

Is there a medical term for the debris? what do you mean by debris?

Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 9 years ago.

This is not an advertisement but the opinions of that pet expert written for that one customer. Many statements she writes from back then are incorrect, such as "using antibiotics make ear mites thrive"; this is not a statement to take literal. The true explanation of how mites may live is written to you above.

It also explains getting a culture done after flushing the ears twice daily. This is not going to work. Debris should be left in the canal 12-24 hours before sufficient build up occurs in which to get a sample and thus culture.

The answer given above is how vinegar mixed with water can break up debris and help in this cause. It does not kill mites. And a 50/50 solution is so strong it will dry up the ears very quickly and thus cause substantial irritation to the ear itself.


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
I never said it WAS an advertisement.

But YOU said I did not see this on the "justanswer site" but probably on a site justanswer advertises on. I have no idea why you found this relevent to bring up.

In any case, I was merely pointing out that I did in fact see it here on this site.

can you please answer...

can you tell me what is in in vinegar that breaks up the debris?

Is there a medical term for the debris? what do you mean by debris?

thank you
Expert:  ChristineLVT replied 9 years ago.

Sorry my answer wasn't clear. It is nothing in the vinegar but the consistency (oily) that breaks up debris.

Debris just means the build up, anything from wax, to dirt, to grime. The chunky or wet gook build up in the ear.

The medical term would be not as general, depending on what exactly the debris consisted of, which would only be known with a culture or cytology done.

There is a tendency by customers to think things read elsewhere before they receive an answer is what we wrote, which is why I described to you that what you read before I wrote your answer was not what I was writing. Sorry for the confusion.



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