Otodectes Cynotis


"Otodectes Cynotis is caused by a mite infestation in the dog ear. Your veterinarian will prescribe a miticide and the area where the dog lives should be cleaned with a miticide as well."

Overview and Symptoms

Dog ear mite infestations look as if there are coffee grounds or debris in the ear canal.

Ear mites are large, white and freely moving with four pairs of legs extending beyond the body. The ear mite life cycle lasts 3 weeks. They lay eggs with a type of cement which sticks it to the ear. After 4 days of incubation, a 6-legged larva hatches and feeds for 3 - 10 days, then rests a day and hatches to the protonymph (8 legs, last pair very small) and later molts into the deutonymph.

This disease is curable when a miticide is applied (something that kills the mites) with excellent results.

Otodectes Cynotis
Otodectes Cynotis (dog ear mites) - magnified picture
Source: Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine


Diagnosis by your veterinarian is done with a device called an Otoscope which lets the doctor visualize the ear drum and see if it is intact. The veterinarian will also do a microscopic evaluation of debris from ear swabs suspended in mineral oil.

Your veterinarian might also recommend a miticidal treatment to see if mites are the cause of the condition.


Your veterinarian will use anti-parasitic agents such as ivermectin to treat this condition. If your vet suspects that your dog has a mite condition, then a topical ointment that kills mites (miticide) will be recommended.

To ensure that the environment where your dog lives is free of mites use a cleaner specifically designed for killing mites such as Benzarid.

Treatment will take up to 4 weeks.


The Patient with Otitis Externa
R. S. Mueller
Department of Clinical Sciences
College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences
Colorado State University
Fort Collins, CO, USA

Pathophysiology of Otitis Externa
R. M'ller
Ludwig-Maximilians-Universitaet Muenchen, Germany