We all want our dogs to be healthy and happy. So, it’s always tough to see your dog suffering from anything that makes him uncomfortable.
And one of the most common causes of discomfort in dogs is the dreaded dog ear infection.
Do you know what causes dog ear infections and how you can clear them out?
Dog Ear Infections
Otitis, or ear infection, is the inflammation of the ear. It can be caused by many different factors.
Dog ear infections aren’t specific to age, gender or breed. Any dog, at any age, can get one.
That said, there are some common causes:
- Allergies: the inflammation caused by allergies can increase bacterial and fungal growth
- Trauma: physical trauma like a head injury leads to inflammation
- Ear mites: infestation can cause bacterial growth, leading to infection
- Foreign object: can produce trauma, leading to inflammation
- Hypothyroidism: this condition causes inflammation and dry skin, which attract bacterial growth
- Malassezia: increased ear wax triggers Malassezia or a yeast infection
- Tumors: the presence of polyps and tumors in the ears may cause inflammation
It’s usually pretty easy to spot the signs of an ear infection. You may notice:
- Tilting or shaking of the head
- Rubbing or scratching of the ears
- A foul smell coming from his ears
- Redness or swelling in or around the ear
- Scabs or crusting
- Brown or reddish discharge from inside the ear
Can You Prevent Ear Infections?
Prevention is always better. Of course, in cases like trauma, there’s not much you can do to avoid accidents – that’s why they’re called accidents after all. In other cases though, there are things you can do to keep the bacteria out and the infection away.
1. Treat Leaky Gut
Leaky gut is exactly what it sounds like. Thanks to things like over-vaccination, antibiotics and poor diet, holes form in the
Most dogs have some form of leaky gut and this can cause bacteria to grow out of control. Ear infections are a common condition in dogs with leaky gut. Treating it can relieve the inflammation and irritation in the ears.
2. Focus On Food
Understand your dog’s dietary needs. Talk to your holistic vet regarding food sensitivities and allergies. Fresh, whole food is the best to help create a healthy microbiome. And a healthy microbiome means a healthy immune system.
Of course, switching to a raw diet will also solve the issue of too much carbohydrate in the diet which can lead to yeast build up (and thus, ear infections).
How To Deal With A Dog Ear Infection
Right after diagnosis, you need to treat the condition. Normally, your vet will clean your dog’s ear as an initial intervention. Your vet might also suggest a chemical-based form of treatment, but there are natural options that are just as effective (and safer).
These are the best ways to deal with a dog ear infection naturally:
- Ear cleaning: this should come first. Proper cleaning can help remove debris or wax buildup. By doing so, you can help stop the infection from occurring again.
- Apple cider is really good for killing bacterial or fungal growth. The acid in it can help remove dirt and debris from ears. Just remember, if your dog has red, sore ears, don’t use vinegar. It will sting. Mix vinegar and water 1:1. Squirt a little in your dog’s ear or soak a cotton ball and gently clean your dog’s ear flap with the cotton ball.
- Coconut oil has an antibacterial function as well. It’s also soothing so it’s good for dogs who’ve scratched so much their ears are raw or scabbed. Rub some directly onto the sore spots.
- Baking soda has a soothing effect due to its anti-inflammatory properties. It can also neutralize
acidand create a more basic pH to help with the itching. Mix one tbsp of baking soda with a little water and make a paste. Place the paste on the areas that are itchy or reddened. Leave the paste on for a few hours, then wash it off.
IMPORTANT: Never use Q-tips on your dog. Ear swabs will push the wax buildup and debris inside your dog’s ears. It can also rupture the eardrum.
** Keep in mind that one random ear infection shouldn’t be cause for concern. However, if your dog suffers from repeated ear infections, you need to focus on his immune health or the infections will come back.