Every dog has some bacteria and yeast in their ears. Sometimes this balance can be thrown off, which can lead to an ear infection. This over growth can be very uncomfortable and even painful for your dog. It can even lead to hearing loss if left untreated for too long. Your dogs ear infection can last anywhere from a couple days to a couple weeks. As always it is important to check with your vet for proper treatment.
If an ear infection is very severe your dog may yelp when it is touched or whine when itching his/her ear. Ear infections are easily treated if you know what you are looking for, I will try to give you the information to tell the difference between an ear infection, ear mites, or allergies.
Here are some symptoms to look for:
- Discharge from the ears will usually be black or yellow and chunky, the discharge may even contain blood.
- If you notice excessive scratching, rubbing, or shaking of the head. You may also notice head tilting.
- Redness and swelling may be noticed in the inner ear flap or the ear canal.
- You may notice an unusual or foul smelling odor coming from your pets ears.
- Eye movements that seem abnormal from left to right (or right to left)
You may also notice your pet seeming off balance. Head shaking can cause tissue damage leading to blood-filled blisters.
Swimming, dogs with allergies, and dogs that grow hair in the inner ear are more prone to ear infections.
Signs it is ear mites or caused by allergies:
Mites may become present if an ear infection is present. Often times the two are confused because they have similar symptoms. It is important to treat ear mites right away because they attack the blood vessels in your dogs ears. If your dog has ear mites, keep your eyes open for mite feces or eggs. Ear mites are more common in puppies. The only way to be sure if it’s ear mites, is a trip to your vet.
Dogs may develop an ear infection due to allergies. If you notice your pet wheezing, sneezing, if they have watery eyes, or if you notice excessive itching it could be an allergy.
Ear infection medical treatments:
- Otomax ear drops-treats acute and chronic ear infections
- Cephalexin antibiotics-used for serious skin infections
- Mometamax ear drops-Once a day infection treatment
- Baytril Otic-treats outer ear infections
- Mita-clear –used for ear mites
- Warm compress-apply the towel to the outside of the ear and press down for 30 seconds. Can be repeated a few times a day
- Green Tea-steep a few bags in boiling water, cool completely, and use to flush ears twice a day, or use as a towel compress
- Vinegar-mix one part white or apple cider vinegar and two parts warm water. Apply with a spray bottle (set on mist) or a warm cloth and dab dry. This can be done 2-4 times a week. Do not use this method with open sores.
- Vitamin E Oil-Gently massage a few drops into the ear for 10-25 seconds.
- Garlic Oil-Apply 2-3 drops and massage for 10-25 seconds. Garlic is a natural antibiotic.
These supplements may also help:
- Fatty acids
Please remember that although some of these may help, the best course of action is always to contact your vet.