Natural Dog Ear Infection Treatment

Prevention is the best dog ear infection treatment; however, that may not be possible with every dog. Moisture, bacteria, fungi or lack of air circulation within the ear can cause dog-ear infections. Any breed of dog can have an ear infection but floppy-eared and furry-eared dogs, such as the cocker spaniel, are more susceptible. Besides the pain and discomfort, possible permanent hearing loss can occur if left untreated.

Symptoms of a Dog Ear Infection

Bacteria or fungal ear infections occur whenever there is an accumulation of bacteria and moisture. Canine ear mites can also cause ear infections since dogs often scratch due to the irritation. Head shaking is the most common symptom for an ear infection; however, other symptoms include itching, ear discharge, redness, pain, swelling and smelly odor from the ear.

Ear infections can affect any part of the ear: outer, middle or inner. Inner ear infections can spread to the central nervous system and can lead ultimately to death.

Bacterial Ear Infections

Bacteria occurs naturally on a dog and is kept in check by the dog's natural defenses. However, when there is a lack of airflow within the ear as in the case of floppy ears and furry inner ears, moisture accumulates resulting in a bacterial infection. Antibiotics and twice-daily cleanings with dog-ear cleaning solution using cotton balls with clear these infections.

Fungal Ear Infections

Fungi thrive in moist, dark, damp locations as in the ears of floppy-eared dogs. These fungal infections can spread to other parts of the body including the face and paws through scratching and so needs to be treated right away.

Ear Infections Only Treated with Prescription Medication

Unfortunately, neither bacterial or fungal ear infections can be treated with home remedies. Only prescribed medications can cure either of them. Hydrocortisone cream can temporarily relieve the pain and itch of fungal infections until the dog is able to visit the veterinarian.

Preventing Ear Infections

Weekly checking of the ear for symptoms of an ear infection is most important in preventing any infections.

  • Check the ear once a week for any swelling or redness by lifting up the flap of the ear and looking inside the ear. Healthy ears are fleshy pink.
  • If the dog has floppy ears and/or fur inside the ear, check for moisture and any insects, including mites. This is a breeding ground for bacterial or fungal ear infections. Trim any excessive hair inside the ear to increase airflow.
  • Any dirt or debris should be removed with dog-ear cleaning solution and cotton balls.
  • Excessive wax can be removed with rubbing alcohol; however, this can be very irritating to the dog if the skin is already broken.
  • The use of garlic or apple cider vinegar will prevent any yeast from growing and therefore prevent some infections.
  • Take you r dog to the veterinarian if there are any signs of an ear infection.

Home Remedies

  • Use vinegar to clean the ears and clear up any yeast infections.
  • Use mineral oil with the herb pau d'arco (inner bark of a South American tree) for ear drops as a natural antibiotic.
  • Supplement your dog's diet with vitamin C to help reduce inflammation.
  • Feed your dog a healthy diet.
  • Keep adequate airflow to the ears.
  • Use a few drops of almond oil or olive oil to smother ear mites.