Most dogs with aches and pain in their ear are diagnosed with an ear infection from either a yeast or bacterial microorganism. While an ongoing condition should be treated at the vet, the majority of minor ear infections can be treated naturally at home.
Here at Dope Dog we care about a man’s best friend and want to provide information on DIY treatments to get rid of ear infections.
Treating yeast infection
Using distilled water and vinegar
The first step is to create a mixture that contains a diluted solution of distilled water and apple cider vinegar at a 1: 1 ratio. Dip a Cotton ball in the mixture, and use it to clean the ear. However, if it is a bacterial infection, don’t use this method because vinegar will sting the dog, making him uncomfortable.
Using coconut oil mixture
The coconut oil mixture is also appropriate when treating yeast infections. It involves making a solution of coconut oil and garlic gloves by simmering it and giving it approximately 15 minutes to cool. Use a dropper and squeeze two to three drops in the ear while massaging it for 3 minutes. Dip the cotton in the mixture and swab the inner part of the ear. Coconut oil contains antifungal properties that can clear the yeast infection, and it's available in any local food store.
Natural Remedies for bacterial and mite infections
Using basic ear cleaner
Use lukewarm water and hydrogen peroxide to prepare a solution then squeeze four to five drops in the affected ear while massaging the base of the ear to loosen the ear wax, cleaning it with a cotton ball.
Alternatively, plantain tincture can be appropriate because it is a natural antibiotic, especially if you don't prefer using hydrogen peroxide. All of these products are available at local drugstores and pharmacies, and it works well on bacteria and mite infection.
Use Calendula oil to remove mites or bacteria
Removing the bacteria or mites is simple because all you need is a glass jar of calendula flowers filled with olive oil. Leave this jar for a couple of days for the oil to absorb the calendula then use a liquid dropper to squeeze five drops of this mixture on the affected area. Wait for approximately one minute then clean the cotton swab. Calendula is very reliable when it comes to bacterial infection, and it works great on the removal of mites, which could have been a possible cause of the infection.
Use Boric acid
Boric acid is best used on damp ears after the dog has taken a bath or swim. Wet ears make the dog susceptible to developing ear infections, so it is essential to use boric acid to massage the base of the ear. It is also vital to know that this substance is poisonous, and it should not come into contact with the nose or mouth, so be cautious when using it.
If you happen to notice foreign objects in the dog’s ears, try to remove it using your fingers or tweezers. Alternatively, homeopathic silica can also help to extract it.
Here are some common types of dog infection
Otitis interna is characterized by inflammation of the inner ear. It goes away on its own 50% of the time, but sometimes it can cause hearing loss if left untreated. Half the time, otitius interna is caused by fever.
This is the inflammation of the middle ear that makes up 50% of ear problems. These infections happen when the ear’s eustachian tube becomes swollen or blocked and traps fluid in the middle ear. The majority don’t need treatment, but they can be painful.
This is inflammation of the outer part of the ear, often caused by exposure to water or allergies.
What are symptoms of dog ear infections?
Infection is painful and uncomfortable, which can make it noticeable. Some of the common symptoms include:
- smelly ears
- waxy discharge
- rubbing of ears
- scratching the ears and shaking
- Red skin inside the ear flap
- head tilting towards the side of the infection
Some chronic cases might cause hearing loss, imbalance, and walking in circles. Therefore the first step in the treatment of the infection is to understand the holistic view of the problem. There are over counter drugs such as vaccines and pesticides, but that may not adequately treat the dog because of the wrong dosage and prescriptions.
It is essential to understand the underlying cause behind the ear infection because that is the clue to the proper treatment regime. With that in mind, here are some causes of ear issues:
Weakened immune system
Dogs with weakened immune systems are susceptible to developing an infection. If you think your dog might be sick, check for discharge from the eyes and changes in their bowel movements. These could be signs of bigger health concerns, many of which can lead to ear infections.
Excessive ear cleaning
Some pet owners may excessively clean the ears with constant rubbing, and they are unaware that this can cause inflammation and skin irritation. While under-cleaning can lead to a build-up of bacteria, excessively cleaning your dog’s ears can actually strip their ears of healthy wax, leading to irritation.
The length of time it takes for a dog’s ears to get dirty enough to warrant a cleaning depends on the shape and size of their ears and the dog’s breed and activity level. Dogs who play in dirt or water will need their ears cleaned more often.
Exposing fido to a more natural lifestyle is a way to prevent them from developing an ear infection. Here are some of the lifestyle choices that can prevent a dog from contracting infection:
- Avoid exposure to chemicals and pesticides in the environment
- Be cautious with pharmaceutical drugs.
- Feed the dog with a raw diet, whole foods, or dog food with healthy ingredients.
A bad diet can contribute to ear infections because it introduces various microorganisms to the dog’s body, which develops large colonies in the guts leading to inflammation. As time goes by, the yeast or bacteria can manifest in your dog's ears.
A lot of dog owners looking to keep their companion healthier turn to home-cooked meals. This includes lean chicken and turkey, steamed vegetables, eggs, and organic peanut butter. Here’s some more information about dog-friendly diets.
Prevention of ear infections
Before you think of any treatment methods, you should start by focusing on preventive measures. You can swab the ear canal once a month using olive oil to remove the build-up of wax, which could have led to infections.
Additionally, your dog groomer should not pluck the inner ear hair because, by doing so, leaves small open sores, which can result in bacterial infection.
It is essential to feed the dog with hypoallergenic dog food to prevent skin irritation or allergic reactions. Finally, if the infection doesn't clear up with natural treatment, it is essential to consult your veterinarian for other underlying causes.
Don’t stress yourself with expensive medication yet; it's best to try something natural and affordable such as home remedies that can be useful in curing your four-legged companion's ear infection. Here at Dope Dog, there is nothing we care about more than your dog’s health. Read our story here and find out what our products can do to help treat common ailments.