Dog ear infections (or otitis externa in scientific terms) are one of the most common health conditions in canines. If you are an avid dog lover and owner, you have certainly had to deal with this issue, because these infections are recurrent and can get very annoying to treat after a while. Thankfully, you do not have to grab your pet and run to the veterinarian every time it gets an ear infection, as there are many natural remedies that will not only eliminate them but prevent any potential infections from reappearing quickly. Here are a few natural, easy to apply home treatments.
Signs, Symptoms and Causes
Fortunately, the symptoms of ear infection are quite obvious and easy to spot. If you arrive one day from work and see your pet shaking or tilting its head, rubbing its ear against the walls, doors or furniture or scratching its ear, there is a high chance that the dog might have developed an ear infection. Once you take a look inside the ear, you might see the following things:
• Scabs, wounds or crusts
• Swelling and redness
• A sweet, pungent odor
• A red or brown-colored discharge
Most infections occur in the outer ear and can be easily treated at home. If you want to delve deeper into this subject, you can find a full list on homeremedyshop.com. But if the dog has trouble maintaining its balance, is walking chaotically or running in circles, the infection might have spread to other areas. If this is the case, take the dog to a specialist as soon as possible.
A common misconception is that dogs with long, floppy ears are more prone to infections due to bacteria or hair buildup. This is not necessarily true – while floppy ears could sometimes be associated with an increased risk of infection, they are often caused by other external factors such as bacteria, yeast or breed-specific health conditions, like allergies and hormone imbalances.
Regardless of the causes, as long as the dog is not acting unusual (read the previous paragraph), ear infections are totally treatable and not a reason for concern. Here are a few simple remedies that you can safely use for your pet.
Verbascum, popularly known as mullein, is a potent plant with excellent healing capabilities that can be used to safely treat bacterial ear infections. While you might not like the prospect of having to manually prepare a healing recipe, it is quite simple to make:
• Grab a few mullein flowers and leaves, place them in a glass jar and pour olive oil over them. Alternatively, you can also add two cloves of freshly chopped garlic to the mixture. The adequate ratio is two cloves per 450-460 milliliters.
• Leave the jar alone for three weeks.
• Whenever your dog gets an ear infection, apply several drops of the mixture into the ear canal using a dropper.
Additionally, you can also prepare a potent mullein tea for your dog. The proper ratio (make sure to do the necessary measurements) is ten milliliters per 13,6 – 14 kilograms of body weight, twice per day. Consult with a veterinarian before giving mullein to your dog.
Coconut oil is another effective natural remedy for ear infections, especially if they are caused by bacteria or fungi. It contains, amongst other beneficial chemicals, linoleic acid (a polyunsaturated fatty acid), oleic acid (monosaturated fatty acid) and lauric acid. Thanks to them, most infections caused by the aforementioned elements can be easily eliminated. Here are the steps you should follow in order to prepare the recipe:
• Grab a saucepan, set the oven to low heat, and pour two tablespoons of coconut oil and two garlic cloves.
• Let the mixture simmer until the coconut oil turns liquid. Make sure to let it cool off to a comfortable temperature before treating the dog with it.
Using a dropper, pour two to three drops in the pet’s ear. Alternatively, dip a soft cotton ball into the oil and gently rub the dog’s ear.For the best results, apply this mixture three times per day for about a week.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Because vinegar is composed mainly out of acetic acid, it can be used to clean debris and dirt from the dog’s ears. For obvious reasons, you should not use vinegar if you see swells and red spots into your pet’s ears. A better, less painful alternative is apple cider vinegar.
The process is quite straightforward. Mix the apple cider vinegar with distilled water, and fill a syringe with it. Afterward, you can either squirt a few drops into its ear or use a cotton ball to clean the affected area gently. A good rule of thumb is not to use Q-tips, because you will only push the dirt and bacteria further down into the dog’s ear canal, putting the eardrum at risk of rupturing.
Garlic Oil Drops
Finally, another household ingredient that can be used to prepare an effective recipe is garlic. When crushed, garlic becomes an extremely potent antibacterial and anti-infection agent because it contains allicin. On top of that, this vegetable is very good at eliminating ear mite infestations and treating various other conditions related to the ears.
To prepare the garlic oil drops, you will need to buy virgin olive oil, cheesecloth, a clear jar, a dark-colored storage jar and, most importantly, organic garlic. Here is the preparation process:
• Cut the garlic into thin slices and place them in a clear jar. Depending on the size of the jar, pour an appropriate amount of olive oil over the garlic, while leaving some space at the top of the jar. Cover the jar with several cheesecloths.
• Contain the cloth with an elastic band or a string.
• Deposit the jar in a safe storage space at room temperature for about two weeks.
• After the two weeks have passed, separate the oil from the garlic by straining the mixture into a dark colored bottle or jar. Keep the garlic oil in the refrigerator.
As for the treatment itself, pour ten drops into the dogs’ ear, twice a day until the infection is treated. For prevention and hygienic purposes, administer ten drops in each ear once per month.
Pinpointing an exact cause for the dog’s ear infection is quite redundant, as many external and internal elements could trigger it. However, most of them are common and easily treatable from home. But before using the remedies presented in this article, make sure to clean the dog’s ears with a clean cloth drenched in warm water to eliminate any excess debris and dirt. Finally, if you are skeptical about some of the remedies or if the dog has a genetic sensibility to a particular ingredient, make sure to consult with an expert.