All dog owners know that their four-legged best friend needs some help in keeping their ears clean. But, if you have been slacking off in this area, your dog might develop an ear infection. While a little bit of wax is healthy, once it begins to collect in the ear, it can become a breeding ground for bacteria that will start to irritate the ear canal.
Ear infections that are not treated can worsen. Severe cases have been known to cause the following:
- Hearing loss
- Walking around in circles
- Poor balance issues
- Ruptured eardrum (from constant scratching)
In this case, knowing what to do if your dog has an ear infection is essential. Dogs are more prone to getting ear infections because of how their ear canal is shaped. You also need to know what type of ear infection your dog has gotten.
So, let us take a closer look at some essential things that all dog owners should know about ear infections.
Signs of a Dog Ear Infection
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Knowing the signs of an ear infection in your dog is important. Early detection can help you fix the issue without causing a lot of discomfort. More than 20% of all dogs have some form of an ear infection that often goes overlooked by their owners.
The following are some of the most noticeable and visible signs that your four-legged friend has an ear infection:
- Head tilting – particularly towards one ear – it can mean that one ear has an infection
- Excessive head shaking
- Pawing at or scratching at ears
- Bad odor coming from an ear
- Dark discharge coming from an ear
- Scabby, crusty, or red skin on the inner ear flap.
All these are tell-tale signs of an ear infection. Knowing what to do here can make all the difference in helping your dog overcome this issue.
Causes of a Dog Ear Infection
It is important to identify the cause of the infection because it will help determine the right treatment method for your dog. The causes of a dog ear infection can vary, but the following are the major contributing factors:
Moisture in Ear
Whether your dog likes swimming in the pool, lake, or a pond or you were giving it a bath, always make sure to dry his ears properly. Moisture can boost the growth of yeast or bacteria in the dog’s ear and increase the chances of getting an ear infection.
Diet and Allergies
Food allergies, as well as a poor diet, can also cause a yeast ear infection or cause an allergic reaction, which can lead to an ear infection. 80% of all dog allergies are caused by food sensitivity. Around 20% of allergies in dogs can contribute to skin and ear allergies.
Dogs with thyroid disorders are also more likely to get an ear infection. Their endocrine system will also cause them to have other skin and fur issues.
Excessive Cleaning of the Ear
Overcleaning the ears is also known to cause an ear infection in dogs. A little bit of wax is healthy and normal, but if you are cleaning your dog’s ears every day, it can kill the healthy bacteria that maintain the pH balance of the ears.
By understanding these causes, you can be better prepared to deal with the issue and apply preventative measures.
Dog Breeds Prone to Getting an Ear Infection
Certain dog breeds are more prone to ear infections because of the natural shape of their ear canal and ears. The following are certain dog breeds that are more likely to get an ear infection:
- Basset Hound
- Cocker Spaniel
- Irish Setter
- Golden Retriever
Most noticeably, breeds with long floppy ears get more ear infections as their ears do not get good ventilation or sunlight.
How to Treat Dog Ear Infection Naturally
Many dog owners have a tried and tested home remedy for dog ear infection. Moreover, others rely on natural means of dealing with an ear infection. If you’re wondering how to treat dog ear infection naturally, the following are some key ingredients that you should use:
- Witch Hazel – This helps with inflammation, redness, and swelling. It also dries out the moisture in the ear.
- Garlic – Either ingested or applied directly to the ear, this ingredient can help with mild infections on the inner and outer ear. It is also completely safe for dogs to eat.
- Chamomile – The soothing qualities of this ingredient can help with itchiness, inflammation, and sores.
You can create a tincture from these and use it twice a day. It will help address itching, redness and, inflammation and slowly improve the health of the ear soon.
Effective Dog Ear Infection Remedy
Most dog owners can now find a natural dog ear infection remedy in the market too. If you are looking for natural yet effective dog ear infection remedies, take a look at our recommendations below:
Our Recommendation – EcoEars Natural Dog Cleaner
The all-natural formula is especially made for sensitive skin and ears. It contains no chemicals and comes with a 100% organic guarantee. As a multi-purpose ear cleaner, it can be used to treat itching, head shaking, smell and waxy discharge.
Our Recommendation – Mister Ben’s Original Ear Tonic
This ear tonic makes use of organic, all-natural ingredients, including aloe, turmeric, ginkgo and more, to clean out the dog’s ear. It is a multi-purpose dog ear cleaner that can be used to treat itching, redness, inflammation, redness and provide protection from future ear infections.
Our Recommendation –Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment
For more serious infections, this solution is a better option. Containing hydrocortisone, this treatment can be used for ear infections caused by viruses, bacteria or yeast. It contains natural enzymes, which will balance the pH of the ear and reduce chances of future ear infections.
Try out these remedies and see what a difference they can make to your dog’s ear health.