A dog ear infection can be easily spotted if your dog shakes its head more than usual, scratches behind the ear, and gets agitated without any apparent reason. Dog ear infections are caused due to many reasons that include bacterial infections, ear mite infestation, food allergies, fungal growth, unhealthy environment, or improper dog hygiene.
This infection can be of three types, outer ear infection, middle ear infection, and inner ear infection. An outer ear infection is easier to treat than a middle and inner ear infection. An outer ear infection can be detected by inflammation and bad odor of the waxy discharge. In case of middle and inner ear infections, it is best to take your dog to the vet for further treatment.
Dog breeds with large, floppy ears are more prone to ear infections. This is because the large ears tend to trap moisture within due to poor air circulation. This leads to the growth of microorganisms in the ear, leading to infections. Also, mites get an opportunity to hide and grow within the ear. The hair growth in the ears also blocks the air circulation. These factors, along with improper pet care, lead to ear infections in dogs.
You can prevent an ear infection in your dog by taking some good home care. You need to clean the dog's ears, especially large, floppy ears, regularly to prevent the development of infections. This also helps in detecting early infections and you can try some immediate home remedies for the same. The following are a few home remedies for dog ear infections that are popular among many dog owners.
The first ear infection home treatment should be cleaning the dog's ear. You need to use a cotton ball or soft tissue and dip it in a special dog ear cleaning solution. There are some OTC cleaning solutions available, but you can also make a homemade cleaning solution.
The best cleaning solution recommended by vets is made of apple cider vinegar. To make it, you need one part apple cider vinegar, one part hydrogen peroxide, and one part water. You need to fill the dog's ear with the solution by rubbing at the base of the ear. Allow the dog to shake its head and then clean the ear using a cotton ball or tissue. Using sharp scissors and holding the dog steady, cut the hair within the ear. This will help curb the growth of bacteria or yeast. This is a very effective home treatment.
The next dog ear infection home remedy is the application of a warm compress. This is very beneficial as it helps reduce the pain, inflammation, irritation, and redness of the ear. Other home remedies include the use of cod liver oil or vitamin E oil. This is very good for middle and inner ear infections. You need to put a drop of cod liver oil or vitamin E oil into the dog's ear. You can even use vitamin E soft gel capsules and break them open. The oil inside can be used to clear the ear infection. This will help relieve the pain the dog may be experiencing.
Another home remedy includes use of macerated garlic. You need two cloves of garlic macerated in olive oil. Let the mixture stand for two weeks and then strain it. You need to put 2 or 3 drops of the warm oil mixture into the dog's ear. You should apply it daily till the infection is totally treated. This home remedy is very useful if your dog is prone to developing ear infections often.
Yeast Infection Remedy
In case your pet has developed an ear yeast infection, you can try the following remedy. You need to get a tub of organic, natural, probiotic yogurt. The packet should state that it contains active strains of probiotic bacteria. Apply a small amount to the ear and rub in well. This is a very helpful dog ear infection treatment as the natural, good bacterial solution helps fight off the yeast infections.
Neem oil is known for its antimicrobial action and you can use it as a remedy. All you need to do is follow the instructions below and make a neem oil ear cleaner. You will need the following.
- 1 oz Neem oil
- ½ oz Olive oil
- 1 teaspoon Tea Tree oil
- ½ teaspoon Eucalyptus oil
You need to take a dropper and put 10 to 20 drops of this ear cleaner into the dog's ear. Gently massage the ear base to help the oil spread. This is a very effective dog ear infection home remedy as the neem oil helps soothe the inflammation and reduce infections. Tea tree oil and eucalyptus oil have antibacterial and antiviral properties that help in treating dog ear infections.
Ear Mites Infection
Dog ear mites can also cause ear infections. You can try clearing the ear mite infection using a regular flea powder. You can even use a special herbal flea powder containing rosemary, wormwood, rue, eucalyptus, and pennyroyal powder. You need to sprinkle the powder over the body of the dog after a bath as a few mites will be clinging to the dog. This is an effective home treatment for getting rid of ear mites in dogs.
These were a few home remedies for dog ear infections. You should clean your dog's ears regularly using cotton balls and the apple cider vinegar cleaning solution. You should follow this precaution whether or not your dog has an infection. You should not use any over-the-counter medicine without the advice of the vet. If the dog's ear problem does not seem to reduce, speak to the vet immediately.
Disclaimer: The information and opinions given here are not to be substituted for professional veterinary diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your veterinarian before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested. Your dog's veterinarian can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your pet's unique needs, or diagnose the condition based on your pet's particular medical history.