Does your dog have itchy, gunky, smelly or even painful ears that don’t seem to get better? You’re not alone. Dog ear infections are one of the main reasons people take their dogs to the vet.
But there are safe and effective natural remedies for dog ear infection treatment. Here’s how to manage dog ear infections.
How and When to Clean Your Dog’s Ears
To keep your dog safe and healthy, you should inspect your dog’s ears and clean them weekly. Inspect the ear for signs of dirt, irritation, infections, or parasites.
Redness or irritation could be minor, or it could signal the beginning of an infection. Watch it closely. If you detect any signs of an infection, see a veterinarian immediately.tb1234
Clean only the external parts of the ear. Do not use a cotton-tipped stick or anything else inside the dog’s ear. Start with a cotton ball and wet it with our homemade dog ear cleaning solution. Wipe the outside of the ear and the parts insideof the ear that you can see and reach on the outer flap.
Wipe the inner ear with a new cotton ball and cleaning solution. Do not put any cotton into the ear canal. Place a dropper full of the homemade ear cleaner for dogs into the dog’s ears and give your pet a gentle massage at the base of the ears. After a minute let him shake it out.
Shaking will loosen ear wax and other debris inside the ear. Use a clean, dry cotton ball to wipe it out of the ear. Repeat the drops and wiping as needed until no more wax comes out. Then give your pup hugs and a treat, he’s earned it.
This vinegar solution works to not only clean the ear, but it also adjusts the pH within the ear so that yeast, fungus, and bacterial infections cannot grow.tb1234
Use it to clean the ears of dogs who have frequent infections. Use apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar for this recipe.
Hydrogen Peroxide Dog Ear Cleaning Solution
Hydrogen peroxide is a natural disinfectant. It destroys the cell wall of bacteria, but it can also damage the dog’s ear tissue if used too often or too strong. Use this wash after infections or as directed by your veterinarian.tb1234
Use only the 3% hydrogen peroxide found in the drug store for this recipe, not the higher concentrations used for industrial applications.
What Causes Ear Infections In Dogs?
These are some of the most common types of ear issues for dogs.
Yeast Overgrowth Yeast exists naturally in healthy ears, but can get out of balance causing a yeast infection. If your dog’s ears are yeasty-smelling with a dark brown discharge, it’s often yeast overgrowth. Yeasty ears may be itchy but are usually not painful.
For dog ear yeast infection treatment options, visit: How to manage dog ear yeast ear infections …
Bacterial Infection Your dog can also get bacterial infections in her ear. You may notice a bad-smelling yellow or greenish discharge.
Foreign Bodies Your dog can pick up grass seeds or foxtails, a bug, water from swimming, dirt in her ears or even Iicks, maggots, and bee or wasp stings.
You may see her shaking her head … but debris in the ears can cause irritation, bacteria or yeast overgrowth.
Aural Hematoma If your dog shakes her head or scratches it too hard, she can cause an aural hematoma. It’s when a pool of blood forms between the skin and the ear flap cartilage. Most vets will recommend surgery … but don’t rush into it! There are gentler treatment options.
Ear MitesEar mites are a parasite infection that’s a type of mange Dogs with ear mites will often shake their heads and scratch their ears. They’re common in young dogs and very contagious, so you’ll want to treat them fast. You can usually identify mites by the “coffee-ground” discharge they leave in the ear. The outer ear may also have reddish crustiness.
But an ear infection is rarely just an ear infection. Like other skin conditions, ear infections are often a symptom of an deeper problem.
These are some things you can change to help prevent your dog’s ear infections. These are very important changes to make if your dog gets recurring or chronic ear infections.
Diet Diet is a huge factor, especially if your dog eats kibble, which is high in carbohydrates and synthetic ingredients. Starchy foods feed the natural yeast in your dog’s body so it grows out of balance. It’s always important to feed your dog a fresh, raw and organic diet if you can.
Supplements If you give your dog supplements, choose natural food-based products without fillers or additives. The most important supplement you can give to help support your dog’s overall health is pre and probiotics.
Minimize Pharmaceuticals And Other Chemicals Dogs who live a more natural lifestyle are less likely to develop ear infections. Try to minimize exposure to chemicals in your dog’s environment, indoors and outside.
Vaccines, antibiotics and other medications, and chemical pest preventives all harm your dog’s gut health and disrupt her immune system. Make sure you only give the vaccines your dog really needs to protect her. Use natural alternatives to antibiotics and other medications when you can, and use natural pest prevention to keep the bugs off your dog.
You can also reduce toxins by minimizing chemicals at home and in your yard. Choose natural shampoos to bathe your dog, avoid toxic cleaning products in your home, including your own body cosmetics and other products with artificial fragrances.
Immune Support If your dog has chronic ear infections, a food allergy or intolerance, or environmental allergies, her immune system needs support. You’ll need to get to the bottom of your dog’s allergies to resolve her ear issues. There are many ways to help manage your dog’s allergies but, like ear infections, you need to find the root cause. Gut health is the foundation of immune health.
Manage Gut Health Ears are a window to your dog’s digestive health. When something is wrong with your dog’s ears, it means her immune system needs help. About 90% of your dog’s immune system lives in her gut … so gut health leads to overall health.
One problem you’ll want to rule out is leaky gut. Many dogs with frequent ear infections have leaky gut. Toxins and bad bacteria in the body harm the cells that line your dog’s gut. This lets unwanted food particles, bacteria and toxins into the bloodstream, which can lead to many chronic health problems.
Excessive Ear Cleaning Healthy ears shouldn’t need cleaning. A little wax in the ears is normal so it’s better to leave them alone unless your dog is uncomfortable. Over-cleaning disrupts the delicate balance of bacteria in the ear and can lead to skin irritation and inflammation. It’s especially important to avoid using a medicated or veterinary cleaning solution.
If you do need to clean your dog’s ears, wipe them out with a little organic witch hazel on a cotton ball. Never use anything smaller than your finger inside your dog’s ear (don’t use a cotton swab or you’ll risk damaging the ear canal).
Other Chronic Disease A chronic medical condition like hypothyroidism or autoimmune disease can also contribute to ear infections. You’ll want to work with your holistic vet to manage these problems.
Any dog can get ear infections, but they’re more common in floppy eared dogs. These dogs’ ears create a cozy environment for bacteria. Some dogs like Poodles get them because dense hair traps moisture in the ear canal. Cocker Spaniels have more secretory glands than other dogs. And ear conformation in breeds like Shar-peis is also a factor.
If your dog has frequent ear infections, follow the prevention steps above and make food and lifestyle changes that’ll help you get rid of the problem. You may want to work with your holistic vet to find the best approach for your dog.
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