How to treat a dog ear infection?

by Anja S. on July 09, 2019

Does your dog excessively scratch his ears, whine and shake his head? If the answer is yes, then he definitely developed an ear infection.

Dog ear infection affects 20 % of dogs of all breeds, and if left untreated, it may cause even a loss of hearing and coordination. Therefore, every dog owner needs to spot a number of symptoms that follow this condition.

How do dogs get an ear infection?

Dogs may develop an ear infection caused by an allergy, yeast, ear mites, hair grown inside of the ear, ear wax buildup, bacteria, and plant stuck in the ear

Unlike people, dogs have L-shaped ear canals that are prone to collecting dirt and liquids. Due to this fact, their ears act sensitively to different environmental allergens and other ear infection triggers. It’s important to mention that canines that suffer from a skin allergy will probably develop an ear issue.

Dogs with naturally flopped ears also fall under this category because they are unable to easily get rid of a foreign object stuck in their ears. On the other hand, dog breeds with wide open ears such as Boston Terriers and French bulldogs are also prone to collecting pollen, dirt, and mites that are the most common allergy triggers.

Tip: Regular cleaning of debris and wax buildup by using a cotton ball sprayed with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide will help prevent dog ear infection.

Yeast overgrowth is another trigger to a dog ear infection. Since this fungus is already a natural resident of their skin, its growth is an expecting outcome when the dog rubs and scratches the ears. Note that fungus and bacteria search for dark and moist places to hide, and the ears are one of the best.

Ear mites are definitely one of the most persistent creatures that affect developing an infection. They like to feed on the vax from a dog’s ear and have a lifespan of approximately 3 weeks. Once they enter your dog’s ear canal, they search for the place to breed and cause severe itching, pains, and damage. When we talk about dog ear mites vs yeast infection, the ear mites are more difficult to solve. It’s because the mites can mate over and over again and produce colonies of different life cycles.

Regular cleaning the dog’s ears from wax and debris is also highly important in escaping an ear infection. Other causes that can affect the health of the ears are different thyroid and endocrine disorders, drug contraindication, and autoimmune disease.

What are the symptoms of a dog ear infection?

Luckily, the symptoms of ear infection are easy to spot. A dog will start rubbing the ears, scratch them excessively and will often shake the head.

Dog ear infection symptoms Source:

Another important symptom is that the inflamed ear will become red, irritated and painful on touch. Like in people, the pains arise in bouts, so it’s very common to see your dog’s whining out of despair.

A bad odor, smelly and dark discharge point out that a dog suffers from an infection for a long period of time. Since this type of condition is extremely painful to our four-legged friends, the first shown symptoms should not be ignored.

How to treat a dog ear infection?

Besides using an antibiotic ear drops that your vet should prescribe you, you can help your pooch by trying some of the best natural remedies for dog ear infection.

We advise you not to buy antibiotic drops for human use because there are specially made drops that are suitable for canine usage. In some cases, when a dog developed a severe infection, a vet may include both oral and topical therapy.

At a veterinarian check, your furry friend will go through a physical examination that includes otoscope check, X-ray check (in some cases), microscopic examination and palpation.

The microscopic examination serves to discover if there is a bacterial or fungal infection present, while otoscope and X-ray should determine for a foreign object stuck in the ear. The resulted antibiogram test should tell what type of antibiotic should be used for treatment.

Another important step is to tell your vet everything about your dog’s habits. It includes the statements of how often you clean his ears, do you trim the excess ear hair regularly, and how often you bathe your pooch?

Home remedies for dog ear infection

When we talk about how to treat dog ear infection without a vet, there are dozens of natural home remedies that can help in easing the symptoms.

However, we always advise every dog owner to first check with a vet if the infection is severe. Note that home remedies can work only in mild cases or when is used together with prescribed therapy.

Apple cider vinegar has shown as one of the best natural ingredients for treating dog yeast ear infection. You should make a 50/50 solution made with water and to treat the inflamed spot.

Yogurt presents a natural source of probiotics that can actually eject the bad bacteria from your dog’s body. So, adding a few spoons of yogurt into your dog’s diet will really do a lot!

Boric Acid has wide usage in treating different issues and ear infection is one of them. It’s known for antiseptical benefits so putting a few drops of boric acid (find the one that is safe for eye usage) will surely help a lot.

Consider changing your dog’s diet. Since inappropriate nutrition often leads to a number of issues, we recommend you to include more fresh and raw ingredients into your dog’s diet.

Melted coconut oil (not warm) is also good for treating a dog ear infection. You should put a teaspoon into your dog’s ear canal, gently massage the ear for a few minutes, and then let your pooch to shake the head. Use a dry cotton ball to pick up the left oil and repeat the treatment daily.

How to clean dog ear infection?

Despite using the appropriate treatment for solving your dog’s issue, many dog owners are not aware of the fact that their dog’s ears require special care too. Dog ear care includes regular cleaning of debris and wax buildup by using a cotton ball sprayed with 3% Hydrogen Peroxide. It is used as an antiseptic for treating wounds, abrasions and removing dirt.

Another important step is not to let the water to enter your dog’s ears. While some canines are able to eject the water by shaking their heads, dog breeds with flopped ears such as Cocker Spaniels and Beagles are not able to throw out it completely. Therefore, you need to use a dry wipe and to pick up the excess water stuck in your furry friend’s ears.

How to prevent dog ear infection Source:

Trimming the hair inside the dog’s ears should also become a daily routine. Ear hair can pick up dirt and other potential allergens and cause irritations in your dog’s ears.

Interested in natural dog care? Check out our Tips to go natural with your dog.

Want to receive latest pawsome Flora 4 Pets news? Join our mailing below 😘.