As a pet owner, you need to know the essentials of taking care of your dog. And maintaining its ear hygiene and cleanliness is a part of it.
Dog ears are unique as they come in all shapes and sizes. But their long ear canal with vertical and horizontal components creates a J or L shape that easily traps debris and often causes ear infections.
So, how to treat dog ear infection without vet? Use yogurt drops, apple-water cider vinegar solution, coconut oil, oregano oil, green tea, and other natural ingredients to treat your pet’s ear infection. Also, avoid excessive hair cleaning as it can cause inflammation.
Dog ear infections are one of the most common dog conditions. In 2018, it was listed as third on the top five dog medical conditions list.
They are common in dogs, especially those with floppy ears like the basset hound and Cocker spaniel breeds.
Also, dogs that love swimming sports are more susceptible to ear infections. So, if you want to know more about treating ear infections in your dog, keep reading this article.
What is a Dog Ear Infection?
A dog ear infection is similar to a human ear infection, where one or more parts of the ear canal are inflamed and infected. Dogs with long ears frequently suffer from several ear infections as their ears are covered most of the time.
The covered ears that are dark, warm, and moist make it an ideal spot for breeding bacteria or yeast and may lead to smells and discharge. In addition, chronic ear infections are a sign of deeper trouble for dogs.
Various Dog Ear Infections
Before you treat it at home, you need to know about the various types of ear infections dog.
When an external part of your dogs’ ears is infected, it is Otitis Externa. It causes redness and inflammation around the ears and is common in dogs that swim a lot like the American Bulldog. Symptoms are severe ear pain, liquid discharge, and itchiness in the ear canal.
It is an infection in the middle ear. In many dogs, the external infection spreads to the middle ear. It happens when a foreign object gets into the eardrum. This ailment causes extreme effects like loss of balance in dogs.
The infection in the inner ear is called Otitis interna. The main symptom of Otitis interna is the titling of your dog’s head in the direction of the infected ear. Besides, it can lead to deafness and signs of peripheral vestibular disease.
Persistent Ear Infection in Dogs
Chronic infections are the most time-consuming and annoying infections for pets and owners. Unfortunately, many dogs have frequent infections due to genetics and ear shapes.
A few categories of dogs that suffer from chronic ear infections are given below.
- Dogs like Cocker and Springer Spaniels get chronic infections due to long, floppy ears and many ceruminous glands.
- The dog breed Shar-Peis has small ear canals, and debris gets trapped easily.
- Dogs like Labrador and Retrievers are vulnerable to allergies leading to chronic or recurrent infections dog ear.
- Due to idiopathic congenital disease, German Shepherd and Beagle breeds can develop ear infections.
- Schnauzer dogs and Poodles have excess hair deep in the ear canal, which may cause ear infections if not cleaned properly.
How to Diagnose an Ear Infection in Your Pet Dog?
The ears of a healthy dog are dry and clean, and it is normal for small amounts of bacteria and yeast to reside in the outer ear canal. However, when the debris built-up, the bacteria and yeast overgrow and create a natural ear infection.
Some of the usual signs of ear infection are stated below.
- Scratching and itching in the ear
- Odor in the ear
- Dirty and reddish skin inside the ear flap
- Swelling of the ear
- Head tilting towards the infected ear
- Yellow, brown, or bloody wax discharge
- Rubbing of ears on the floor or furniture
If your dog suffers from a severe ear infection, it may experience further symptoms.
- Loss of coordination and balance
- Hearing loss
- Walking in circles
- Peculiar eye movements
- Dry eyes
- Difficulty in eating or drinking
- Droopy eyes
- Mouth drooling
What are the Factors Leading to Dog Ear Infection?
The ear canal of the dogs is more vertically inclined, forming an L shape that tends to hold the fluid inside. As a result, it makes them more vulnerable to ear infections. In addition, ear mites, wax build-up, and allergies cause painful ear infections in dogs.
Some of the common causes that infect your dog’s ears are as follows.
- Excessive moisture due to swimming and bathing
- Parasites like mites in-ears
- Yeast overgrowth
- Bacterial infection
- Foreign bodies like grass seeds, maggots, and bees or wasps sting due to grooming
- Environmental or food allergies
- Aural Hematoma, triggered by too much scratching and pools of blood between the skin and ear cartilage
- Injury to the ear canal
- Endocrine disorders like thyroid disease
- Too much ear cleaning
- Trauma to the ear
- Different types of cancer
- Fleshy growth in the ear canal
How Do a Vet Deal with Ear Infection in Dogs – Veterinary Treatment
As ear infections are common in dogs, you are familiar with the symptoms. If you see your dog scratching its ears or rubbing its head on the couch, it is likely suffering from an ear infection.
Here are a few treatment methods commonly suggested by vets to treat ear infections in dogs.
Expert veterinary doctor says cleaning your dog’s ears can help you get rid of the excess wax and debris. However, ask them for the frequency of cleaning your pet’s ear before doing it yourself.
Treating with Medications
Oral drugs and anti-inflammatory prescription medication act as an effective treatment for a dog’s ear infections. However, you need to follow their prescribed doses to treat the dogs ear appropriately.
Total Ear Canal Ablation
A professional veterinarian shall perform this surgical procedure in extreme cases. It includes the removal of the ear canal with the infected tissue.
Homemade Remedy – How To Treat Dog Ear Infection Without Vet
Ear infections in dogs cannot be handled without a visit to the vet; however, if you are well aware of the infection symptoms and catch them in the initial stage. The following homemade ear infection remedies shall work.
Plain yogurt helps with many issues other than ear infections as it is full of healthy bacteria and dietary supplements. Squeezing a few drops through an eyedropper into the ear canal helps.
Apple and Water Cider Vinegar
This mixture can help reduce the itch and discomfort of an ear infection. Mix one-part vinegar and one-part water and soak a cotton ball in it. Clean the ear parts with the soaked cotton and see that the liquid gets into the ear canal.
It is known for its medical properties. Pour one or two drops of warm coconut oil directly into the ear and let it heal itself.
Oil Made of Oregano
As a natural antiseptic, this oil is a good remedy for the treatment of dog’s ear infections. First, pour one drop of oil into ½ tsp of aloe vera juice. Then, clean the ear with a cotton ball soaked in the oil.
Green tea is the most beneficial natural ingredient and helps soothe the pain and discomfort caused by ear infections.
Add green tea leaves to a cup of boiling water. Set it aside for a few minutes for cooling. Pour a few drops into the infected ear canal. It will relieve your furry friend from the pain.
Grapefruit Seed Extract
It is a potent natural antioxidant having antiviral and antibacterial properties. You need to mix 10 drops of GSE with ½ tsp of pure aloe vera juice. You can use it to clean the ears and mix it with your dog’s food.
Fill a jar with mullein leaves and flowers and cover with olive oil to make mullein drops. To increase the antibiotic effect, adding a clove of garlic helps. Let the mixture sit for 2 to 3 weeks. Then, strain it and apply it to the ear canal.
Belladonna can be used if the ears are hot and inflamed. However, it can irritate your dog. If the ears are reddish with a yellow discharge, use Pulsatilla. Hepar Sulphuris is used if your pet is irritable and does not allow you to check their ears.
Are Dogs’ Natural Ear Infections Transmissible?
Most dog ear infections are not contagious. However, parasite-caused infections are highly infectious. Ear mites can spread quickly to all pets in the house. Parasite-induced infection cause scratching and shaking of the ears.
Thus, it is good to wash your hands before and after dealing with infected pets to prevent transmission. It is also advisable to limit the interaction between pets to avoid licking infected ears.
How to Prevent Ear Infections in Dogs?
Prevention is always better than cure. So, it is good to take care of your dog to prevent ear infections.
Give It a Proper Diet
Food plays a vital role in maintaining your dog’s ear health. Diet rich in starch will make the yeast outgrow. So, it is advisable to give your dog fresh, raw, wholesome food daily.
Minimize Exposure to Chemicals
Dogs living in cleaner environments are less likely to be infected with ear infections. Limit exposure to chemicals inside and outside as they are harmful to the dogs.
Give Your Dog Supplements
Provide your dog with natural food-based products without fillers. Dogs need a food supplement with good nutrient value.
Manage Its Gut Health
When your dog’s digestive system is in trouble, it affects its ears. Dogs develop an immune system due to good gut health. Nutrient-dense food like fermented foods, probiotics, and prebiotics help develop gut health.
Avoid Frequent Ear Hair Cleaning
Frequent cleaning of your dog’s ears is not required as little wax is good. In addition, more cleaning will disturb the delicate balance of bacteria and lead to inflammation.
So now that you know how to treat dog ear infection without vet, try the homemade remedies mentioned in this article to handle your dog’s ear infection better and get it treated at ease. Also, ensure to adopt all the necessary measures to prevent this health condition in your pet.