6 Ways to Treat a Dog Ear Infection

A dog ear infection causes a lot of discomfort in a dog and it is important to detect the infection as early as possible. Some dog breeds are more prone to getting ear infections due to the position and anatomy of the ears. The ear infections may be caused by bacteria of fungi and most typically affect the external ear canal. The type of treatment will depend on the bacteria or fungi that are causing the infection.

1. Ear Drops

Most commonly, ear infections will be treated with ear drops. It is important to clean the dog’s ears first to prevent the infection from worsening. This can be done using sterile gauze.

Ear drops may only be administered if the dog’s ear drum is intact; the vet will take a look at your dog’s ears with an otoscope and let you know if the ear drum is intact.

Never apply ear drops without knowing for sure if the ear drum is intact.

There are several ear drops available; your vet will recommend ear drops that are suitable for the type of infection the dog has; typically, the ear drops contain antibiotics or steroids.

Always make sure to apply the ear drops properly and make sure they stay in the ear canal.

2. Topical Ointments

Topical ointments may also be applied in the ear area; these ointments contain antibiotics or ingredients that will reduce the inflammation of the ear. If the ear canal is partially closed, topical ointments should be applied to open the ear canal before treating the dog with ear drops.

If the infection is caused by fungi (i.e. yeasts) the ointment should contain sulfur.

Some ear topical ointments for dogs include Panalog, Tresaderm or Mometamax.

3. Distilled Water

Distilled water may be used in addition to ear drops or topical ointments; the distilled water can help cleaning the ear canal.

4. Oral Medication

Depending on the severity of the infection and the cause, the vet may also prescribe some oral medications that may help. Fungicides such as ketoconazole or itraconazole can eliminate the infections caused by fungi or yeasts.

Oral antibiotics will be prescribed if the infection is caused by bacteria.

Corticosteroids may also be employed to reduce the swelling.

5. Surgical Procedure

When the dog has chronic ear infection or the infection is advanced, the ear may be completely closed, so the medication or the ear drops cannot be inserted. In this case, surgery must be performed to open the dog’s ear canal. However, it is advisable that the dog gets some anti inflammatory medication first and if the ear canal doesn’t open, the only solution is an ear surgery.

6. At Home Remedies

If the infection is not severe and the ear drum is intact, you may try a few natural remedies. You may use a diluted solution of vinegar and alcohol, which can modify the pH in the ear and clean it from debris. Apply this treatment twice per day; if you don’t see any improvement in 2 to 3 days, you should contact your vet.