Dealing with ear infections in dogs
Have you noticed your dog shaking her head lately or scratching at her ears more than usual? If these symptoms are accompanied by a foul odor or discharge from the ear, she may have an ear infection. Bacterial and yeast infections are the most common causes of dog ear problems. Home remedies, along with a diagnosis and treatment plan from your veterinarian, can be effective in relieving discomfort from a mild ear infection.
Good hygiene and grooming are essential to preventing a dog’s ear infection. According to the “Merck Veterinary Manual,” clipping the fur inside the ears and wiping the ears out after a bath or playtime at the creek is effective in preventing infections. To be safe, periodically check your dog’s ears for leaves, twigs or other foreign objects.
Signs of an ear infection in dogs include whining and shaking the head as well as scratching at the ears. You may notice discharge or an abnormal odor in your dog’s ear.
Apply a mixture of water and vinegar, either apple cider or white, two to four times a week. Combine one part vinegar to two parts water and warm it just a bit for your dog’s comfort. Apply the mix with a gentle mist from a spray bottle or with a soft cloth swiped just around the inside of the ear. Avoid cleaning deep in the ear so that you do not hurt your dog or worsen the infection.
Vitamin E Oil
A few drops of vitamin E oil in the dog’s ear can help to relieve pain and calm the inflamed tissues of the ear. Apply two to three drops and gently massage the ear for 10 seconds.
Apply two to three drops of garlic oil, a natural antibiotic, in your dog’s ear. Rub very gently for about 10 seconds. Oil from a garlic capsule is effective, but if you would rather use a clove, soak it overnight in some olive oil and use drops from that oil instead.
Warm compresses applied to the dog’s ear several times a day is also effective to help with the pain. Dip a hand towel in warm water and wring it out. Apply the moist towel to the outside of the ear. Press very gently and hold there for about 30 seconds.