Treating A Dog’s Ear Infection — Get the Tips

March 3, 2018 in Articles

Treating Your Dog’s Ear Infection

Canine Ear Infections are one of the most common health occurrences today.  There are several ways for treating a dog’s ear infection.  Canine ear infections may also be referred to as otitis externa.  It is quite frustrating for the pet parent as much as it is the dog if this condition is present.  The problem is that this condition seems to come back, over and over again, for some.  This is not fun for your dog, nor is it fun for you, knowing that your pet is in discomfort.  Plus, it can become quite expensive when making repeated visits to the veterinarian’s office.

Vet Examining Dog’s Ear

One way to treat a canine ear infection is the use of antibiotics which will be prescribed by your vet.  This will usually will clear up the infection.  However, the use of antibiotics is just to treat and help short-term since they cause more imbalance in your dog which, in turn, sets the dog up for future ear infections, unfortunately.

Your veterinarian can usually diagnose if your dog has an ear infection by examining the eardrum and ear canal with a device called a magnifying ear cone.  In the event that it is too painful for your vet to examine the dog’s ear, the dog may have to be sedated.  Most likely, the veterinarian will perform a professional cleaning of your dog’s ears and then prescribe either an oral and/or topical antibiotic.  If the case is not complicated, the ear infection will normally clear up within 10 days to a month.  Sometimes, it up can take months before clearing up, and some cases are chronic.

If you decide to go the natural route, before making a trip to the vet, you can try this product that I have used for my dogs and had success with.  This is a natural product for cleaning your dog’s ears should an infection be present.

Click the following link to get the full details: Dog Ear Cleaner Infection Formula

 

Are There Ways To Detect If Your Dog Has An Ear Infection?

So, you’re thinking, how will I actually know if my dog has an ear infection?  There are several symptoms that will reveal that your dog may very well have an ear infection.  Here are some:  1)  If you look inside the ear and notice scabs or crust;  2) You notice swelling;  3) Redness at the site;  4) An odd odor emitted from the ear;  5) Brown or pinkish discharge;  6) Hearing loss.  Another tell-tale sign is if your dog keeps on shaking his or her head or is continuously scratching his ear.  (A common cause for puppies to develop an ear infection would be ear mites and for adult dogs, most of the time it is caused by yeast or a bacteria.)

Your veterinarian can confirm the presence of an ear infection by performing an examination of the dog’s ears.  But, if you notice any or some of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is more than likely that your furry buddy has this condition.  Your vet may also take a sample from the ear that is affected and look at the sample under a microscope.  In this way, the sample will help the vet to determine just what micro-organisms are present.  It is important that an accurate diagnosis is made by your vet since there are multiple contributing factors and causes as to why ear infections develop.

It is best to treat this condition as soon as possible so that it does not worsen nor cause your pet to experience discomfort.  Unfortunately, this is a painful condition for your dog and most dogs experience an ear infection at some point in their lives.

I’m Just Fine

 

What Are Some Reasons That My Dog Might Develop This?

By now, you may be wondering, “So, what might be causing my dog to get an ear infection?”   Usually, this condition is secondary to some underlying condition.  This underlying condition brings about an unhealthy environment for your pet’s ears.  For the very reason that dogs’ ear canals are mostly vertical, it is easy for dirt, debris, and moisture to be retained in the ear canals.

There are several reasons for your pet to develop an ear infection.  Certain diseases or disorders may be the main reason for ear infections to occur in the first place.  These can include dogs who have allergies (which is the number one cause of ear inflammation), bacterial or yeast overgrowth, ear mites, skin disorders (such as seborrhea), polyps or tumors in the ear, thyroid disease, and exposure to lake water.  If your dog lives in a humid climate, the occurrence of otitis is approximately 50%.  Otitis is inflammation or infection of the dog’s ear.  About 80% of dogs who have allergies will develop ear infections.  Sometimes, just a change in your dog’s diet can make a positive difference for improved health!  If you are too tired or just do not have time to wash and cut up raw meats and veggies and fruits for your dog, here is a product that I recommend.  It is freeze-dried raw dog food with Organic fruits and vegetables.  Click the link below to get all the info on this freeze-dried raw dog food:   Instinct Freeze Dried Raw Market Nuggets Grain Free Lamb Recipe Natural Dog Food by Nature’s Variety, 14 oz. Bag

Example of a Raw-Food Diet

If ear infections recur and are left untreated, this can lead to permanent narrowing of the dog’s ear canal (which will make it difficult to treat), and scar tissue will develop.  Sometimes external ear infections can lead to progression into the middle ear and inner ear, which causes additional problems for your dog, and pain as well.

Genetics can influence the thickness of hair growth in the dog’s ear canal.  Dogs with a thick amount of hair in their ear canal are the ones who are most prone to developing this condition since they have the poorest air flow.  There are some breeds that are more likely to develop ear infections because of their thick ear hair.  These include:  Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, Maltese, Lhasa Apsos, Pekingese, and Shih Tzus.  In addition, dogs who have long, floppy-type ears or dogs who have tiny ear canals are very prone to developing an ear infection.

Sometimes an ear infection will cause the eardrum to rupture.  Normally, a ruptured eardrum can heal within three (3) to four (4) weeks when treated properly.

How Can I Prevent A Recurrence?

Keeping the inside of your dog’s ears clean is important.  Be sure to be diligent about cleaning the dog’s ears once the infections have cleared up.  If moisture is the contributing factor, make sure that you dry your dog’s ears thoroughly (cotton balls are very helpful for this) after he or she takes a swim or after you bathe your pet.

Use can use a cotton-tipped swab (such as a Q-tip) to clean the folds in your dog’s ear flap.  Makes sure you do not stick the cotton-tipped swabs into the ear canal.  This can push excess debris deeper into their ear canal and pack it in which will cause a problem and would then require the care of your vet.  However, if the underlying issues (such as skin disorders, like hot spots, and allergies) have not been addressed and resolved, recurrences of this infection can keep happening all too often.

Changing your dog’s commercial dog-food diet to a raw-food diet can dramatically improve your dog’s immune system and, therefore, have a lesser chance of getting sick, which includes an ear infection.

You may prevent an occurrence by using organic, virgin COCONUT OIL to clean your dog’s ears, in addition to adding a 1/2 teaspoon or so a day (depending on the dog’s weight) for added health benefits!  Coconut oil is antifungal and also antibacterial.

To apply the coconut oil (as an ear cleaner), you can heat this oil in a saucepan and once it is in liquid form (be sure to let it cool a bit!), dip a cotton ball into the liquefied coconut oil and then gently wipe and clean your dog’s ears.  Do this twice, daily, for 6 – 7 days.  When the infection has cleared up, you can do this just one time a week to prevent future occurrences. Make sure you don’t put the cotton ball deep inside the ears, however.

The following link is for an Organic, Virgin, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil that can be used to clean your dog’s ear (as described above).  But there are many more uses for this product, such as using it for cooking, as a skin moisturizer for humans, adding it to your pet’s food as an antibacterial/antifungal product (to prevent parasites), or for enhanced oral hygiene in humans, as well.  There are tons of great uses coconut oil offers, and I always go with an Organic, Extra Virgin, Cold-Pressed Coconut Oil, preferably in a glass jar.  Click on this link to get more info: Organic Coconut Oil 33.81 Oz Extra Virgin Cold-pressed for Hair, Skin, Beauty and Cooking

Coconut Oil

Conclusion

Some pet owners may feel that an ear infection is no big deal.  In reality, it truly is!  If the infection is not treated, it can lead to more problems for your loving dog, plus having ear infections causes pain that no loving pet owner wants for their dog.

Be in-tuned with your dog and observe if he or she is displaying any of the above behaviors, such as scratching of the ear, non-stop shaking of the head, redness in the ear, a bad odor coming from the ear, or any of the above-mentioned symptoms.  It is advised to take your dog to her or his veterinarian for their normal check-ups and, especially if you suspect that your pet has an ear infection.

Keep your dog’s ears clean by wiping them with the cotton-tipped swab or coconut-oil dipped cotton ball  (as explained above), and not exposing your dog to lake water, and also avoiding getting water into the dog’s ears if moisture seems to be the culprit.

So, if you believe your dog has this condition, it would be best to visit the vet who can diagnose, begin treating your dog’s ear infection and help you to understand what measures to take.

Prevention is always best!  Your precious pet will thank you for the loving care you give her or him!

Boy and His Dog Happy Together

Treating A Dog’s Ear Infection — Get the Tips

6 Comments

    1. Steven Cook says:

      Hi Cath,

      Thanks for sharing your Treating A Dog’s Ear Infection post. We had a German Shepherd dog who once had an ear infection and I remember how much pain he was in, but was difficult to detect as obviously they can’t tell you. But I remember him being very tired all the time and just wanted to stay indoors.

      I enjoyed reading your post and is very helpful to anyone who has animals and is having these types of issued.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Steven,

        Thank you for the comment!  Sorry to hear that your dog had been in pain from the ear infection.  I know ear infections do cause discomfort for the dog.  I’m glad that you now know what to look for (and do) if this ever happens again, in case you currently have a dog.  : )  It’s great to know that you enjoyed reading the article!

        Thanks, again!

        Cathy  : ) 

    2. Lyndsay says:

      Great article! I am so hypersensitive to my dog’s health, this is a great article to reference. I am always checking their ears and I totally agree with you on recommending a natural product. I avoid antibiotics in myself and I wouldn’t want to give them to my dogs. I healed Kennel Cough by using natural anti-virals and they healed up just fine! Antibiotics are tough on animals system and in some cases you might cure the one issue, just to ruin the strength of their gut to fight off other infections. We feed our dogs raw, so I love that you mention Natural Instincts freeze dried brand. I feel aligned with your recommendations, so have favorited your site so if I have any pet questions, I will be sure to check in here first.

      • Cathy says:

        Hi Lyndsay,

        I’m so glad that you found this article to be of use!  Yes, I agree that antibiotics are not the best choice — since they destroy the “good” and the “bad” bacteria, and we do not want our beneficial flora wiped out!  I ALWAYS try to cure the ill with natural remedies (herbs, homeopathy, things from our earth), just as you do.  That is SO great that you cured your dog’s kennel cough with a natural product — bravo!  Our bodies (pets included, of course) were created to heal themselves, by giving them the raw materials they NEED.  It is vital to keep the gut healthy, and I learned this back in 1993!  I’m happy that you feed a raw-food diet as well.  Thanks for putting my site down as a “favorite” of yours!  

        Warm regards,

        Cathy  : )

    3. Matt's Mom says:

      My dog Teddy gets ear infections easily. I have learned that when his ears look red inside, I have to run him to the vet. His problem is that moisture traps in his little floppy ears and causes the infection. I am very careful now to dry his ears good after his bath, or after coming in if it has been raining. Great information! I also have changed his diet and actually use the food you recommend! He gets nausea easy as well, and this food seems to help.

      • Cathy says:

        Hello Matt’s Mom,

        Thank you for the comment!  I am glad that you are aware to keep his ears dry after bathing or when coming in from a rainy day!  : )  This will help.  And, changing the diet makes a difference as well.  Glad it is work out for you and Teddy!

        Sincerely,

        Cathy

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Treating A Dog’s Ear Infection — Get the Tips

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