An Overview of Dog Ear Care Products

Dog ear care products can ease your dog's discomfort if he is suffering from ear problems. Your dog may be susceptible to ear problems such as infections or mites if he likes to swim or play in water, has long ears, or lives in a humid environment or one where there are other pets with parasitic infections. Ear canal inflammation, or otitis externa, can also be caused by an abundance of ear hair, immune system suppression, allergies, and hyperthyroidism or even by deep ear skin folds. You may notice your pet shaking his head or scratching his ears. You may also notice an odiferous discharge coming from one or both ear canals.

Preventing Infections

It is easier to prevent ear problems in dogs than to have to treat them. Broad-spectrum ear flushes will keep your dog's ears healthy and prevent waxy buildup that can lead to infections. Products that do not contain alcohol, harsh chemicals or irritants are the most effective. Look for over-the-counter products that contain Acetic Acid, Boric Acid, Ketoconazole and Hydrocortisone, depending on how your dog is suffering. Here is how you should decide which product to use:

  • The Acetic Acid takes care of yeast that can cause ear infections.
  • Boric Acid kills pseudomonas that can cause swimmer's ear and other bacterial infections.
  • Ketoconazole is a strong anti-fungal medication that should prevent a fungal infection such as a yeast infection.
  • Hydrocortisone is an anti-inflammatory that can soothe any soreness and swelling related to an ear infection.

Ear Care Products

If your dog does develop a stubborn, chronic ear infection, there are antibiotic anti-infectives that can be successfully used. These dog ear care products can clear up infections related to such microorganisms as bacteria, viruses, yeast and other fungi.

Products for Ear Mites and Ticks

Ear mites and spinose ear ticks can be very annoying to your dog. Any effective dog ear care product for these problems should include Pyrethrin. Pyrethrin is an insecticide that kills mites and ticks. The aloe vera in these products soothes ear irritation and helps remove ear wax. Ticks and mites are parasites that spread from one pet to another. If your dog lives in an environment with other infected cats or dogs, all of the animals in that environment must be treated to get rid of a parasite infestation.

Proper Ear Care

Regardless of which ear care products you use, none will be effective unless you practice proper ear care on your dog. Remove any hair growing in the ear canals. Flush out the canals regularly with an ear cleaner. Any ear care cleaner that you decide to use should be an acid base. Use these ear care cleaners to adjust the pH balance in your dog's ears. An acid base in the ear care cleaner product should prevent microorganisms from growing in your dog's ear canals and inner ears. Do not insert cotton swabs into the ear canal, as they can increase irritation, pain and inflammation.

Finally, stay away from products containing alcohol. The alcohol stings on contact with small inner ear cuts and abrasions, and can cause severe pain. If your dog does develop chronic ear infections, keep him out of the water until the ear infection clears up. If the infection keeps on returning, take your dog in to see the vet.