Ear infections are a common cause of discomfort among dogs of all breeds.
There are numerous causes of ear infections so it is important to properly diagnose the problem before embarking on a regimen of any homeopathic cure. Possible causes of ear infections include yeast infections, ear mites, an excess of wax, water in the ear, bacteria and fungus. Allergies can also cause ear infections.
Dogs that have long floppy ears are often more susceptible to ear infections. One reason is that the floppy ears create a moist environment that is favorable for the growth of bacteria and fungus. Another reason is that long ears tend to have fur on the inside and this hair growth can cause irritation.
There are numerous symptoms of canine ear infections. One is an excessive urge on the dog’s part to shake his or her head frequently. Scratching of the ears and the rubbing of the head on furniture or the ground are other common symptoms. Redness or tenderness often accompanies ear infections. A foul smelling discharge is another sign that there is a problem.
In the event of more serious ear infections that have spread to the middle or inner ear, the dog may experience problems maintaining balance.
The best preventative to warding off canine ear infections is to ensure that your dog’s ears are clean. Make ear cleaning a regular part of your program. Simply dip a cotton ball in a cleaning solution and wipe the inside of the ear thoroughly.
One widely recommended ear cleaning solution is made from apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and water. Mix equal parts of the three products together. Use an eye dropper to place the solution in the ear. Be sure to use plenty of the cleaning solution so that it gets down to the base of the ear. Allow the dog to shake his or her head before removing the solution with a cotton ball or tissue.
It is important to keep any hair in the ears trimmed short. This will help curtail the future growth of bacteria and yeast, minimizing the occurrence of ear infections.
Once you realize the dog has an ear infection, cleaning will help, but treatment will be necessary.
If you can see the ear infection from the outside of the ear, use warm compresses several times a day. This works best with ear infections where redness and inflammation are present. The warmth of the compresses will help ease the pain your dog is feeling.
Another remedy that can help minimize an ear infection from worsening is to mix two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar in one cup of water. Try to get the dog to drink this twice a week. The same solution can also be used to clean a dog’s ear.
Dogs that have middle or inner ear problems can benefit from cod liver oil or vitamin E oils. Apply a drop or two of the oil into the infected ears.
Although it may smell a little, macerated garlic is good for relieving mild ear infections. Take two cloves of garlic (you can use garlic oil in a pinch) and macerate them in olive oil. Allow the mixture to sit for two weeks and then strain it. Apply two or three drops of the warmed mixture into the ears. Use daily until the infection is completely gone.
If your dog suffers from yeast infections in the ears, mix four ounces of rubbing alcohol with two tablespoons of boric acid and one tablespoon of glycerin and use as a preventative. Both boric acid and glycerin are available at most pharmacies. Apply several drops of this mixture to the ears with an eye dropper. Once you have applied the remedy, use your hand to massage the base of the dog’s ear so that the medicine gets to the area where it is needed. Be prepared for the dog to shake his or her head to get rid of the medicine. It is best to use this solution weekly.
Using a dropper, administer several drops into each ear. Cup the base of the dog’s ear with your hand and gently massage. Let the dog shake and wipe off any excess. This recipe will not cure an existing ear infection, but will prevent future ones.
If ear mites are the cause of the infection, use a few drops of olive oil or almond oil to smother the mites. Herbal flea powders can also be used. Choose one that has wormwood, rue, eucalyptus, rosemary or pennyroyal. Sprinkle the flea powder all over the dog’s body and be sure to apply a good dose around the ears.
Keep in mind that your dog can get ear mites from other animals. If you have other pets in the house, whether it is dogs or cats, you will have to treat all of the animals.
There are also a lot of homeopathic ear infection remedies available in health food stores, pet stores and on the Internet. You may consider asking your dog’s veterinarian or breeder for a recommendation.
Many dog owners have reported good results with home remedies. However, there are times when even conventional medicines don’t work, so if you do not see improvement within a day or two, schedule an appointment with the dog’s veterinarian. Some infections may require treatment with antibiotics.
No matter what you do, some dogs are just more prone to ear infections than others. Diligence is one of the main keys to maintaining healthy ears. This is especially true when it comes to dogs that have the longer floppy ears.
Be sure to examine your dog’s ears – inside and out – daily. It is much easier to cure an infection when it is caught in the early stages than it is to cure one that has already gotten a good start.
The old adage, “cleanliness is next to godliness,” is certainly true when it comes to maintaining a dog’s health. Your dog will be a lot less prone to ear infections if his or her ears are kept clean.