Friday, February 19, 2010

Horse Health Care – Treating Ear Mites and Ticks

Does any of your horses shake their heads, rub their ears on posts or fences, or otherwise make you think they have an irritant in their ears? Take your index finger and run it around the inside of the ear and gently scrape then check to see if you can scrape out some mites or maybe even ticks if they are embedded too bad. You may be able to check with a flashlight to see if you can see any ticks embedded in the ears.

I use a pre-moistened diaper wipe/hand wipe type of rag to clean the inside of my horses ears. If I suspect mites and/or ticks, I’ll use a concoction of half campho-phenique and half mineral oil and drip that into the ears. It helps to do this as they are eating some grass so their head is down and they are more relaxed. Be careful not to place your head directly over theirs as they can rise up quickly and give you some free un-planned dental work. A horse’s head is generally harder than your jaw, I’ve come to know.

I buy a 6 ounce or so sterile water squeeze bottle, a bottle of campho-phenique and a bottle of mineral oil at the local drug store, then empty the sterile water bottle and re-fill with a mixture of half campho-phenique and half mineral oil. Used and cleaned out enema bottles work well too.

You will have to hold the tip of horse’s ear up and squirt a few drops into the inside of the ear flap so it can slowly drain down the sides. Don’t squirt a bunch if it directly into the ear canal. That’s worth repeating – don’t squirt a bunch of it directly into the ear canal.

The next thing you’ll have to do, pretty dog done quick too, is to get out of the splatter range as the horse will shake their head and undoubtedly fling mineral oil-campho combo in your direction, which I can tell you will spot up a new Silver Belly hat.

I also suggest asking your Vet about this. They have probably heard of this home remedy but may have some newer and natural type medication that they recommend you use instead.


  1. I have read sooo many articles about earmites and this was, by far, the most helpful, easy to understand, plus humorous!:) Thank you