Almost every pet suffers an ear infection at some point in its life. Dogs are among the most vulnerable to the condition, with many having to deal with the painful condition for months. Some of the initial signs of an ear infection include rubbing, scratching, head shaking, redness and swelling in the ear, odor, unusual eye movement, and a bloody discharge coming from the ears. Ear infections in adult dogs are mostly caused by yeast and bacteria, while young puppies are affected by ear mites. Other factors that contribute to ear infections range from hormonal abnormalities, moisture, foreign bodies, allergies, and trauma.
The infection can occur almost anywhere in the ear, though it mostly occurs in the inner, middle, and outer ear. Most dogs will show excessive production of ear wax or hypothyroidism. This may cause the dog to start rubbing or scratching its ears in an attempt to get rid of whatever is inside the ears – this eventually damages the ear flaps. Detecting this condition early should make it possible to treat and even contain it for good. Outlined below are several natural home remedies for dog ear infection you can use.
Giving your dog a natural or raw diet can help get rid of ear problems. You’ll, however, need to give it a regular dose of vitamin C to help boost its immunity, as well boost secretion of antibodies from adrenal glands that help fight ear infections.
Vinegar packs potent antiseptic and antibiotic properties that come in handy in fighting bacterial infections. And while not as effective as an over the counter dog ear infection treatment like Banixx, you can also use vinegar to help ease the pain and discomfort, hence enable the dog to calm down. For the best results, mix water and vinegar in equal amounts, then spray the contents directly into visible areas of the ear.
3. Fresh Lemon
A fresh lemon is an excellent source of vitamin C or ascorbic acid. The citrus smell and acidic nature of fresh lemon is known to repel fleas, thus force them away from your dog. Mix equal amounts of fresh lemon juice with warm water, then use the mixture to massage the earlobes. Let the dog shake off the contents well to get rid of the fleas. Give it a fresh massage every day to ensure the fleas don’t come back. You can also use a dropper to place the fresh lemon juice at the entrance of the ear canal.
Yogurt can also help keep the balance of good bacteria in the dog’s digestive system. Adding plain yogurt in its food replenishes its supply for good bacteria, and also knocks out bad bacteria from the system. Plain yogurt is however recommended as it works particularly well against yeast infection in dogs.
5. Epsom Salt
Epsom salt helps keep bacterial growth in dogs on check. Dissolve 1/16 teaspoonful of Epsom salt in a liter of warm water, then drench the dog in it. Use a clean towel to ensure the dog is drenched properly. You’ll also need to apply the salt or salty water to any visible wounds to prevent and even get rid of an infection.
6. Baking Soda
Baking soda is a potent neutralizing agent hence recommended for eradicating most types of fungal infections in pets. All you need to do is make a solution of the same (1 teaspoonful of baking soda and a liter of water), then spray the contents on the affected area.
7. Almond Oil
Almond oil doesn’t necessarily get rid of an infection, but rather reduces the risk of contracting one. Pour around 2.5ml of warm almond oil in the infected area to loosen the excess wax and remove dirt.
Turmeric powder can be used to prevent possible infection, and especially if the dog is stretching itself. Simply sprinkle the powder on the dog’s skin.
9. Warm compress
Warm compress works well with dogs too. Soak a heavy towel in warm water, squeeze off the excess water, then put the towel on the infected ear. The warmth should help get rid of some of the bacteria while relieving symptoms associated with the same. This includes pain, inflammation, and redness.
10. Control Hair Growth
Excess hair growth in the ear canal can provide the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Be sure to trim it to reduce the risk of an infection or reinfection. The excess hair restricts the free flow of air into the ear, which makes it susceptible.
This is one of the best home remedies for dog ear infection. Add ground oatmeal in warm water then stir it to ensure it mixes properly. Let the dog sit in the warm water or take a bath in the same for several minutes. This should provide immediate relief from infections and skin allergies.
12. Macerated Garlic
Steep two garlic cloves in olive oil, then let it sit for 2 weeks. Strain the mixture and keep the contents in a translucent bottle. Pour 2 drops of the contents in the dog’s gear for at least 2 weeks until the infection clears out completely.
13. Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide and apple cider vinegar are good home remedies for dog ear infection. Mix equal amounts of ACV and hydrogen peroxide, then pour a few drops of the solution into the dog’s ears. Rub the remaining contents of the earlobes and surrounding areas to get rid of fleas and bacteria. Use a cotton ball to clean the ear as well.
Herbal Home Remedies
14. Green Tea
Use green tea to get rid of the infection by putting a few drops of the brew into the ear canal. This should kill any bacteria it comes in contact with, and even repel mites.
15. Yellow Dock
Yellow dock is another potent home remedy for ear infections and mites. Boil 1 tablespoon of the dry yellow dock in a half cup of water, then let it cool off. Once cool, put a few drops of the concoction in the infected ear. Do this twice daily until the infection clears. You can also use the mixture on the tail, ears, and head to get rid of mites.
16. Aloe Vera
Place a few drops of aloe vera gel in the infected ear to treat the redness and irritation.
Mullein leaves and flowers pack potent antibacterial properties. Mix a few mullein leaves and flowers with olive oil, let it sit for two weeks, then strain it. Apply a few drops of the contents in the ear canal until the infection clears.
18. Witch Hazel
Mix equal portions of ACV and witch hazel, let it rest for a few minutes, then use the solution on the dog’s ear. This should help relieve irritation and discomfort.
Put a warm chamomile tea bag on the infected ear for a few minutes. This should give a soothing effect to the dog. Chamomile contains rich antiseptic, analgesic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory properties that should kick into action as well.
20. St. John’s Wart
The steam, leaves, and flowers of St. Johns wat pack potent antibacterial properties that can come in handy in treating bacterial infections in pets. Mix these with olive oil, let it sit for 2 weeks, then use on the infected area.
Calendula contains potent healing properties, hence can be used to treat dog ear infection. Mix a few teaspoons of calendula tincture with sea salt and warm water, then use the mixture on the infected ear. Use the solution to massage other areas of the ear as well. Let the dog shake its head to allow the mixture to work.
22. Oregon Grape
Oregon grape packs many healthy properties. These include antimicrobial, antifungal and antibacterial properties. Use a few drops of Oregon grape tincture in warm distilled water (4 oz.), then put a few drops of the mixture in the dog’s ear. Massage the ear gently in circular motion to allow the contents inside.
23. Margosa Oil
Margosa oil contains antimicrobial properties that should come in handy in treating dog ear infections. Mix equal amounts of margosa oil with tea tree oil, olive oil, and eucalyptus oil, then pour the mixture into the infected ear with a dropper. Massage the ear base gently to allow the contents in.
What you should do
1. Clean the ear flaps frequently
2. Restrict the dog’s physical activity if infected
3. Keep the dog dry after bathing or swimming
4. Bathe your pets regularly to keep them clean
What you shouldn’t do
1. Don’t wash the dog’s ear vigorously.
2. Don’t use alcohol to clean the dog
3. Don’t keep the dog indoors for too long. This increases the risk of contracting an infection.