Ear infections in dogs are one of the main reasons why dogs visit the veterinarian. There are so many dogs in the world suffering needlessly day in and day out shaking their head, itching and often whimpering in pain when they could be content and playing outside.
My sweet Rosa Doodle was plagued by ear infections. Once the ears cleared up another one popped up. It reminded me of the carnival game Wack A Mole- I couldn’t keep up. Not to mention the cost of the astronomical vet bills piling up. I assumed there must be another way to tackle this persistent problem.
This discussion will address natural strategies to the problem and examine the environment in which your dog lives, what your dog eats, and your pets lifestyle.
Typically, the best approach is to use natural treatments and conventional medicine when necessary. One cool aspect is that with occasional use of natural remedies for general maintenance the situation can and will be under control and hopefully no more ear infections for your dog!
Symptoms of Ear Infections In Dogs
- Redness of the ear flaps
- Extreme ear scratching and itching
- Head shaking
- Slight tilt of the head
- Sharp, yeasty odor from the ears
- Dark reddish brownish waxy film around the ear folds and maybe into the canal itself.
Causes of Ear Infections In Dogs
Ear problems correspond with many issues including environmental, food-based allergies, and possibly an internal issue going on with another system in your pet’s body, in which case you should see your vet immediately.
- Your dog’s breed may be the culprit. Many dogs naturally have long ears that hang down and wiggle to and fro. Dog’s like spaniels, retrievers, doodles and setters can be predisposed to ear infections and the yeasty buildup inside of their ears.
- The lifestyle of your best friend could be an issue too. Is your dog a swimmer? If yes, the ears should be gently dried out afterwards. This one step can eliminate many ear infections for those pups who love to swim in the pool, lake, ocean or river. Water dogs aren’t the only dog with lifestyle hazards. Do you enjoy camping, hiking, or frolicking in the woods with Fido? Well, you may have another set of problems. Running around outside may bring unwanted grass seeds or fox tails inside your dog’s ears. Seeds can cause severe pain and may require surgery to remove.
- The diet eaten by your dog may be a cause of ear infections in dogs. Food just may be the problem when both ears are infected. If your dog’s diet consists of an excess of grain (sugar), it actually feeds the yeast which grows naturally in your dog’s ears. This excess sugar can cause a yeast overgrowth which explains the dark, yucky film inside the ears. Try a grain free diet and you should see a difference. What if your vet prescribes an antibiotic? It’s good to add a good probiotic supplement with acidophilus to help keep the good bacteria in balance.
- Those pesky parasites can be the culprit too. Mites can invade the ear and travel down the canal and wreak havoc on your dog’s poor ears. If these darn bugs invade, try some plain mineral oil. Chronic and straightforward remedies often work, but if not, this may require a quick visit to the vet.
Altering the pH of the dog’s ear is the #1 way to combat yeast & bacterial infections
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Natural Remedies to Combat Ear Infections In Dogs.
Altering the pH of the ear is the number one way to combat yeast and bacterial infections. A primary cleaner made at home similar to the one I found on The Honest Kitchen site is so easy yet useful. I’ve used this same recipe with Rosa numerous times, and it’s helped immensely. Use this mixture to wipe out the excess goop from the visible parts of the ear.
Mix 1 cup warm water
2 Tablespoons of one or more of the following:
Apple Cider Vinegar
Natural Products To Try To Comfort Ear Infections In Dogs
- Calendula Lotion is a product to use for topical use because it has healing properties and feels comforting while being applied. Products that contain tree oil are helpful as well as Gentian Violet. Gentian Violet is the purple dye that’s used to stain for microscopy and medically as a bactericide & fungicide. It’s no wonder that Gentian Violet is ideal for cleaning the ears. Some holistic veterinarians use Mullein Oil for primary infections, and Colloidal Silver is another option worth trying.
Ear infections in dogs may be due to many things including the breed of your dog; the diet fed, lifestyle and parasites. Ear problems are the number one reason pet owners see the vet. Often this two-prong approach is the best to follow – holistic treatment and conventional medicine to gain and keep it under control.
Does your dog suffer from ear infections? How do you tackle this pesky problem? I’d love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.
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