Your Dog’s Ear Infection
Updated: Aug 13, 2018
By knowing what to look for, you can detect ear infections early.
Dogs are prone to ear infections because of the anatomy of their ears. They have a horizontal and a vertical component to them, so it is hard for anything in to drain out.
Signs of an ear infection include excessive head shaking, yellow to brown oozing in the ears, or a yeast-like smell. Additional signs of ear infections include redness and swelling.
There are several causes of ear infections. The most common cause of ear infections are due to allergies. Some dogs are more prone to allergies than others; therefore they get more ear infections. Also some breeds of dogs that are prone to ear infections include breeds with large ears that flap over the ear canal, and breeds of dogs that have a very small canal. These dogs need their ears checked often.
If your dog does have an ear infection it is important to properly clean your dog's ears before applying any medication.
Excessive ear scratching
Redness of the ear flaps (otitis)
and subtle signs of an underlying ear problem
Slight tilt of the head
One ear being held at a slightly different angle than the other
Pungent, yeasty odor emanating from the ears
Dark reddish brown buildup of waxy substance around the folds of the ears and deeper within the ear canal itself.
Take care of the growth of your pet’s hair. Trim all the hair growing inside the ear canal. Hair restricts the flow of air into the ear, causing canal to be dry and more susceptible to infection.
Diet is also important. A raw or natural diet is very helpful to tackle ear problems. Give vitamin C regularly to your dog, as it will boost the immune system and also increase the secretion from adrenal glands, which fights the ear infection.
A grain-free diet is almost always helpful in combating chronic yeast infections. Grains contain natural sugars which yeasts can feed upon, and multiply.
A raw or natural, minimally processed diet can be very helpful in combating ear problems, because it provides the natural, whole-food nutrition that the dog’s immune system needs in order to regain strength.
To clean your dog's ears, start by placing a few drops of an ear cleanser into the ear and massage the ear to help loosen any debris that is in there. Then use a cloth or cotton gauze to wipe the dirt out.
After your dog's ears are thoroughly clean, you can then apply your medication. Follow your veterinarian's advice about how much medication to apply to the ear, usually a few drops.
1) Herbal remedies
- Chamomile. A warm tea bag of chamomile when applied on an infected or irritated area gives soothing sensation. The anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antiseptic and sedative qualities render calming and relaxing effect to this herb.
- Calendula. Calendula promotes healing of wounds. Take 1 cup of warm water, one teaspoon calendula tincture and half teaspoon sea salt. Mix them. Gently drop ten drops of this mixture in the infected ear. Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, and then remove your hand and let your dog shake its head.
- Vinegar. Vinegar acts as an antiseptic. So it helps reduce the pain and discomfort that your dog is experiencing. Take 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water, mix it well and pour it into a spray bottle. Now, use this mixture to wipe out the excess debris from the visible areas of the ear.
2) When infection gets more serious
The treatment your veterinarian will prescribe will vary depending on the cause of the ear infection. For yeast infections, they might prescribe anti-fungal medication. For bacterial infections they will probably prescribe antibiotics. Normally, treatment is applied directly into the ears, but in severe cases systemic treatment may be needed. This usually means having to give your dog pills orally.
Things to Remember
Clean inside of the ear flaps regularly.
Restrict your dog’s activity when it is having an ear infection.
Dry your dog’s ear thoroughly after swimming or bathing.
Ensure good hygiene and bathe your pet frequently.
Don’t wash your dog’s ear frequently and vigorously.
Do not use alcohol for cleaning, it can inflame the tissues.
Avoid keeping your dog indoor for a longer time; indoor dogs are much likely to have ear infections.