If your dog has waxy discharge with smelly ears and frequently shakes his head, it’s more likely to be a dog ear infection causing dreadful pain. It is one of the top reasons why dog owners visit the veterinarian. According to a rough estimation, 20% of dogs have some types of ear problems. Ear infection in dogs is not a fatal disease, but still, it causes reasonable discomfort.
Fortunately, there are some steps you can take to prevent or treat ear infections if your dog has one. We can categorize ear infection in dogs into otitis externa, otitis media, and otitis interna based on the part of the ear affected. Otitis externa is the most common one and influence the external ear. While otitis media and otitis interna affecting middle and internal ear can be seen in dogs with chronic otitis externa mostly, so, it’s necessary to prevent or seek early treatment.
What Are The Causes Of a Dog Ear Infection?
Several factors contribute their parts to cause a dog ear disease. Before coming up with treatment, you need to know the causes of dog ear problems.
- The ear canal of canines make an L-shape form and tends towards retaining fluid, which makes it predisposed to dog ear infection.
- Moisture creates optimal conditions for the growth of bacteria and yeasts to cause an ear infection.
- Allergy can lead to a dog ear problem. More than 50% of dogs with a skin infection can develop a dog ear infection. Sometimes dog food is associated with allergy. So, the best dog food with the best diet plan will prevent infections.
- Puppies can get ear infection by an infestation of parasites like mites.
- Foreign bodies, if stuck in the ear, can cause irritation and inflammation in dog ear.
- Overgrowth of bacteria and yeast is a common reason which leads to a dog ear infection.
- Breed of the dog also plays a role, like Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Miniature Poodles, and Golden Retrievers are more likely to have ear infection due to floppy ears.
- Chronic diseases, for example, autoimmune disorders, hormonal imbalance, and hereditary problems can also cause a dog ear infection.
- Lifestyle, like frequent swimming, predisposes the dog to ear infections.
- Overcleaning of ears can be a cause of inflammation of dog ear.
- Injury to the ear canal can also be a factor
Types of Dog Ear Infection
Based on the cause, Ear infection in dogs can be of following types.
Dog Ear Yeast infection
Yeasts(fungi) live in the body by making a mutualistic relation, but their overgrowth can cause harm. If your dog ear is smelly and discharging brown waxy material with more probability, it is a dog ear yeast infection. It can cause itchiness in dog ear, but dog ear yeast infection usually shows less pain.
Bacterial Ear Infection in Dogs
Like other microorganisms, bacteria also live in the body, but they have the potential to cause disease. Ear injury or frequent swimming create optimal conditions for the growth of bacteria. You can see yellow to green discharge with a bad smell in case of bacterial dog ear infection.
Ear Mites Infestation
Puppies are more likely to catch ear mites and develop the infection. These mites are contagious, and your dog can get them from other dogs. Infected puppy or dog shake head and rub ears with objects to get rid of parasites.
Signs and Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection
Signs of a dog ear infection include
- Head shaking
- Rubbing ears with objects
- Waxy discharge
- Bad odour
- Pain in ear
- Itchy ear
- Swelling and redness of dog ear
Severe signs may include
- Circular movement
- Improper balancing (Dog can’t balance its weight)
If your dog shows any severe sign contact your veterinarian immediately.
Your Vet will make a diagnosis by looking at signs like redness and inflammation, a thorough examination with an otoscope, taking samples by swabbing the ear and examine it under a microscope. After the identification of bacteria or fungi and some blood-work, your Vet will prescribe you medicine accordingly.
Dog Ear Infection Treatment
For treating the dog’s ear infection, your Vet will cleanse the ear and may prescribe you ear cleaning products for use at home. It will help to remove debris and irritation and make tropical medicating agents more productive. The control of microorganisms and curing inflammation will be the next step. Your Vet may treat underlying primary diseases such as allergy or autoimmune disease.
Dog ear treatment can be more extended. Prevention is best among all. You can prevent dog ear problems by cleaning your dog’s ear regularly and carefully.
We recommend always to consult a veterinarian.
Medicine for Dog Ear Infection
Dog ear infection medicine includes
- Ear cleaning agents and topical solutions
- Antibiotics and antifungals with or without a combination of steroids to check the growth of microorganisms and for the relief of inflammation
- Your Vet may prescribe medicine for underlying disease such as antiallergic
How to Treat Dog Ear Infection Naturally?
Fortunately, some ways can cure dog ear infection naturally. By using the herbal solution and natural antibiotics, it’s possible. You can also use some natural antiseptics tropically, such as vinegar. You can practice home remedies for treating your dog ear infection naturally.
Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infection
Treating your infected dog with natural soothing solutions can relieve the pain. The following home remedies for dog ear infection can alleviate the ear infection to a significant extent.
- Make a 1:1 solution of Apple cider vinegar and filtered water and use the solution tropically. Apple cider vinegar acts as anti-inflammatory and antiseptic.
- Use 20 to 30 ml of pure warm aloe vera juice topically or add it to the dog’s food. Aloe vera juice will work as an antibiotic cure for the infection.
- Pack mullein flowers and leaves in a jar filled with olive oil. After three weeks use it as warm oil and put drops in the ear, you can add some garlic to increase the antibiotic potency.