Surfer’s Ear Relief
Developed by team Catalyst, our new Surfer’s Ear Relief aids surfers, swimmers & divers who suffer from swimmer’s ear. This special blend of isopropyl alcohol and full spectrum hemp CBD oil is specially formulated with 100mg of full spectrum CBD per 30mL bottle.
Apply 2-4 drops in each affected ear and allow to dry.
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Ask A Vet: Can I Treat My Dog’s Ear Infection At Home?
Home remedies are popular for otitis externa (ear infections) in dogs. The reason for this is that ear infections are often due to underlying issues, like allergic diseases. Thus, they tend to recur and become chronic. People often get frustrated and want to avoid a trip to the vet, which is where a home remedy for a dog ear infection would come in. But first, you’ll need to understand what dog ear infections are.
What are Dog Ear Infections?
Ear infections often occur when your dog has itchy or irritated ears that don’t seem to get any better. You might even notice a distinct odor when you get close. Most dog parents don’t want to schedule a vet appointment just for some extra itching. So, it’s up to you to observe your dog’s behaviors. You can decide how severe the infection is from there. When in doubt, always visit your vet.
What Causes Dog Ear Infections?
There isn’t a sole cause for dog ear infections. Oftentimes, they occur for dogs with floppy ears. Floppy ears trap bacteria inside more easily, so they require regular cleaning. You should clean them occasionally, but never over-clean them. If your dog’s ears look and smell fine, then there’s no need to do anything. Too much cleaning can cause excess irritation.
Your dog’s routine can also be a factor. Dry dog food often includes excess carbohydrates and processed foods. These ingredients only fuel the yeast in your dog’s body, leading to inflammation. Many kibble brands can cause allergic reactions too. Avoiding pesticides on walks will also help you avoid infections.
Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections
If your dog has an ear infection, you might notice the following symptoms:
- Excessive head shaking
- Tilting head
- Scratching, rubbing, or pawing at ears
- Strong odor
- Dark discharge
- Redness or swelling near ear
- Scabs or crusty spots in ears
In extreme cases, you might even notice hearing loss or loss of balance. If that’s the case, you should contact your vet immediately.
Types of Dog Ear Infections
The most common types of ear infections are bacteria or yeast ear infections. Both of these exist naturally in your dog’s ear, but it’s possible for them to become off balance. Usually, too much moisture in the ears is the cause. Their ears will have a foul smell and brown, yellow, or green discharge.
Objects that get inside your dog’s ears could also cause infections. This includes mites, seeds, dirt, and anything else your dog could pick up outside. If these items aren’t removed, they can lead to more extreme infections.
Luckily, you can lower your dog’s risk with a home remedy for ear infections. But you need to be careful of what ingredients you use. So, visit your vet first to ensure that a home remedy is suitable for your dog’s condition.
The Downsides of Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infections
Many DIY recipes involve hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or alcohol. To know why using these is a bad idea, it is necessary to understand a little bit of chemistry.
The chemical formula for hydrogen peroxide is H2O2. The chemical formula for water is H2O. When you put hydrogen peroxide into an infected ear, bubbling occurs. That’s because the bacteria in the ear (whether normal flora or bad infection) act on the hydrogen peroxide to release that extra oxygen molecule. The bubbles that you see are oxygen molecules being freed.
The release of oxygen, in theory, is a good thing. Oxygen can have an antibacterial effect, but when that extra oxygen molecule goes away, all that is left in your dog’s warm and infected ear is water.
Now your dog has a dark, warm, and wet environment, and the bacteria rejoice! Like human children whose ears need a swimmer’s ear rinse in the summer, a dog’s ear canal needs to be dry to stay healthy.
Vinegar is also frequently used for ear treatment. The acidic characteristic of vinegar is a good thing because some of the pathogens that infect ears do not grow in acidic environments. The trouble is that vinegar also contains mostly water. So, even if the pH discourages one part of the issue, other bacteria involved will be happy you have chosen to give them a moist home. Yet another home remedy fail for a dog ear infection.
Some recipes suggest that you can remove this troublesome issue of water in the dog’s ear by adding rubbing alcohol. Although alcohol does help dry up excess moisture, think of how rubbing alcohol feels when you pour it onto inflamed tissue. The only thing that you will teach your dog is never to let you put anything in their ears, if you choose this route. And let’s face it, if your dog has an issue with otitis, you will need to put things in their ears that are prescribed by a vet. Don’t teach them to hate seeing you coming!
The bottom line is that ear infections are painful and frustrating. If you try at home care without seeing a veterinarian first, you risk hurting your dog, both in what you choose to apply and how it can affect the original issue. You risk making the situation worse and even costing your dog their hearing. Do the right thing and see your vet. Trying to treat otitis at home is a recipe for disaster if you don’t think your options through.
Healthy Home Remedies for Dog Ear Infections
In some cases, a home remedy is enough to soothe a dog ear infection. Yet, you should still talk to your vet first to ensure the problem isn’t serious. Here are two popular options that don’t include hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or alcohol.
Coconut oil is likely the most popular remedy for ear infections. Swabbing natural coconut oil in your dog’s ears or dripping melted coconut oil into ear canals can be effective. It’s known as a disinfectant and wound healer that’s easy on your dog’s skin.
Certain essential oils can also keep your dog’s ears healthy. Drops of tea tree oil, calendula oil, and g entian violet all have healing properties. However, if you’ve tried all these home remedies with no success, then a vet will likely need to prescribe something.