Ear infection in dogs is one of the most common health issues dog owners have to face.
May dog owners get furious when they discovered that their dogs’ ear infections have returned, but that’s the reality of ear infection with dogs; they come back, often.
To minimize the possibility of this happening, you need to do two things: to identify it early and treat it right.
To identify it early, you need to keep checking your dog’s ears, at least once every week. Your dog may also give you a couple of warning signs like:
- Tilting their head, a lot
- Shaking their head, a lot
- Rubbing their ear on things
- Constant scratching around their ear
You don’t need to wait until they display these behaviors to check their ears. In fact, you shouldn’t.
Regular examinations can save you time and money and save your dog from the pain. A simple, 1-minute examination is enough. Simply hold their flap and look inside.
But, what to look for?
The Symptoms of dog ear infections:
- A Reddish or brown discharge
- Crusts or scabs inside their ear
- Odor in the ear
Remember that regular cleaning of your dogs’ ears can significantly reduce the risk for ear infections. It’s probably a good idea to take a minute to learn how to clean a dog’s ears in 7 easy steps.
What Causes ear infection in dogs?
There are several causes of ear infections in dogs, and they include:
- Long periods of swimming
- Dirt or hair in their ear canal
- Hormone imbalances
The first two are the most common causes of ear infections, so let’s learn a bit about them first.
Dog Ear Bacterial infection
Bacteria is easily the most common cause of ear infections. Normally, there’s a balance between the harmful bacteria in your dog’s ears and the good, beneficial bacteria. This balance is necessary, but sometimes this balance is ruined and the scales tip on the side of the harmful bacteria.
This can also happen if your dog’s immune system is stressed, and it can be the reason behind the recurring infections.
Dog Ear Yeast Infection
Fungi also live peacefully in your dog’s ears, in harmony with all the bacterial colonies living in there, too. However, also like bacteria, it can grow out of control if your dog has a leaky gut or if their immune system isn’t working properly.
Should You Even Treat Your Dog’s Ear infections at home?
If you catch it early and not too severe, yes. Most ear infections in dogs happen in the outer ear, and they can be treated at home.
When should I see the vet?
If the problem is more severe, and your dog shows symptoms like:
- Walking in circles (more than usual)
- Strange eye movements
- Having troubles with balance
Then it’s time to take them to the vet. Your vet can check for a deeper infection and treat it safely. Remember that ear infections can be painful for the dog, so you don’t want to risk making it worse.
If you think your dog’s infection is severe, you should absolutely take them to the vet as soon as you can.
You should also take your dog to the vet if the infections are a recurring problem, because it may e the results of their immune system not functioning properly. In this case, your vet can identify the underlying problem and treat it, which will stop the ear infections from coming back.
3 Home Remedies to treating Dogs Ear infections
The following are 3 of the tried and tested home remedies that many dog owners, including myself, trust. The ingredients are inexpensive, and you can get them from anywhere, or you probably already have them in your house.
Coconut Oil is a natural antibacterial and anti-fungal at the same time, according to a 2008 study that proved its effectiveness.
How to use Coconut oil?
- On a saucepan, place 2 tablespoons of coconut oil, add two fresh garlic cloves for extra bacterial power
- Simmer it on low heat until the oil is liquid
- Let it cool slightly – the oil shouldn’t be too hot for your dog’s ears
- Put it in a dropper and place two or three drops in the dog’s ear or dip a cotton ball in the mixture and clean your dog’s ears with it.
How often to do that?
It’s recommended that you would want to do this twice or thrice a day for 5 days to a week until the infection is gone.
You can also use it after the infection is gone. Repeat this once a week to keep your dog’s ears clean and prevent future infections.
Apple Cider Vinegar
An apple a day keeps the doctor away, and the acetic acid in apple cider vinegar helps with that as well by killing yeast and bacteria. It also helps that it removed dirt and debris along the way, of course.
How to use Apple Cider Vinegar to treat your dog’s ear infection?
- Mix the vinegar with distilled water in a glass – 50/50 split.
- Put it in a syringe and squirt little in each ear
- Alternatively, you can soak a cotton ball with the solution and clean the dog’s ear flap gently with it.
Important Note: Never use Apple Cider Vinegar (or any dog ear solution that’s acidic in nature) if your dog’s ears are red or sore as it can be very painful for them.
Oregano oil is another effective dog ear solution that has antibacterial abilities, but be careful to never use it undiluted.
How to use Oregano to treat your dog’s ear infection?
- Add one drop of the oil to 0.5 OZ of pure aloe vera juice
- Use a syringe or a dropper
- Drop a couple of them into your dog’s ears
Alternatively, use a cotton ball and soak it with the mixture and swab the dog’s ear flap gently with it.
Never Use Q-tips when cleaning your dog’s ears. They can not only push dirt, debris, and bacteria further down their ear, but they could also seriously harm or even, in the worst-case scenario, rupture the dog’s eardrum.
Well, that’s it. Now you have three easy recipes that you can apply today! Go ahead and be an awesome pet parent, and keep coming back, because we will always have more for you!
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