Choosing a Dog Ear Infection Remedy

To choose a dog ear infection remedy, determine the cause of infection. Natural and prescribed remedies exist, but most of the time, a good dog ear wash will eliminate the infection.

Determining the Cause of Infection

Dog ear infections are caused by various factors. Some causes are:

  • Improper hygiene
  • Ear mites
  • Bacteria
  • Allergies
  • Inadequate air circulation

There are three types of ear infections: outer, inner and middle ear. Outer ear infections are easy to spot and are not very serious. Its symptoms are ear inflammation and fetid smelling ear wax. A dog with inner and middle ear infection will often shake his head, twirl around and lay down on the infected side. He may lose appetite, experience a temperature rise and droop his ears a little more than usual.

Dogs with droopy ears are more prone to ear infections. Cocker spaniels are particularly prone to ear infections because their ears restrict healthy air circulation, creating an ideal environment for fungal growth. Regularly trimming small hair follicles, particularly in flop-eared dogs, will help prevent these kinds of infections by keeping air circulating. Dogs like retrievers and labs, who usually like to swim, are also prone to ear infections due to frequent water exposure.

Natural Remedies

Dog ear cleaning can be easy and fast. If your dog has a smelly wax discharge, you can clean it with a cotton ball dipped in cleaning solution. If you do not have a solution from your vet, you can use a 50% Vinegar, 50% water solution. The vinegar will keep bacteria and yeast from growing by creating an acidic environment. Many dog owners apply cleaning solutions with cotton balls rather than cotton buds or Q-tips, as the balls are soft on the ears and do not intrude deeply into the ear canal.

For water-loving dogs, an alcohol agent such as rubbing alcohol will help break down the wax. For best results, administer a dog ear wash after every swim and once or twice every week. This will keep bacteria from forming and irritation down.

Some dogs are contagious while infected, so keeping them away from other pets will help contain the infection.

Prescribed Remedies

Soothing ointments with antibodies are usually prescribed to aggressively fight off bacterial and yeast infections. These ointments can have topical steroids and antiseptics and are applied daily.

Finding the cause of infection will help determine which remedy is the most effective. Consider the dog's lifestyle and environment when determining the best remedy. In most cases, a good wash will alleviate the symptoms.