Ear infections are a common occurrence in dogs but end up being extremely painful and uncomfortable for them. Thus, one must take measures and not ignore them lightly to avoid any serious conditions that may occur in the long run. If left untreated, some serious conditions like facial paralysis, deafness, or even manifest as symptoms of vestibular disease can arise. Hence, as every other vet could suggest, we, too, stress you to take care of your loyal friend’s ear infections as soon as you detect them. So, read further to understand how to treat dog ear infection without vet.
Signs of Ear Infections in Dogs
Since your furry friend can’t communicate with you through words, you may often feel handicapped while assessing its health and well-being. However, look out for the following tell-tale signs of ear infections in dogs. It can assist you in spotting the problem in these animals if it arises and then tackling it as soon as possible:
- Shaking of the head (particularly when it seems awkward and unusual).
- Constantly clawing at/scratching their ears.
- Tilting head frequently towards the side of the particular ear with infection.
- Hot ears.
- Foul odor from ears.
- Waxy discharge from ears.
- Crusty, scabby, or red and irritated skin inside the ear flap.
- Brown/yellow/green discharge from ears.
- Decreased energy.
- Loss of hair around the ear.
- Reluctance to chew properly.
In severe cases, an ear infection may also result in the following:
- Hearing loss.
- Loss of proper balance.
- Walking in circles.
- Dry eyes.
- Nystagmus (quick side-to-side movements).
- Drooping of the eyelids or the mouth.
- Excessive drooling.
- Dropping food, difficulty in eating or drinking.
What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?
Since the ear canal of dogs is much more vertical than that of humans, they are more susceptible to infections. And this situation is because of the ease of fluid accumulation and other debris in the inner ear. Therefore, making a canine more vulnerable to the attack of bacteria, yeast, and mites, resulting in an ear infection. Furthermore, some possible causes of ear infections in canines can be as follows:
#1 Yeast Overgrowth
Yeast is an organism that exists naturally in a dog’s ear canal. However, if their skin’s normal barrier gets disrupted in some way, it can lead to a disbalance in this biological system. And that ultimately results in the overgrowth of yeast colonies. Regardless, one can spot yeast infection in dogs ears easily with the appearance of a dark brown discharge from the ear that smells strongly like yeast. Make sure to follow yeast-free diet plan for dogs in order to maintain healthy life style.
#2 Bacterial Infection
This type of condition can arise from an incline in the bacteria population that is already present in the ear canal. Or sometimes, it can also be due to the introduction of foreign bacteria into their ear. So one can say that bacteria can lead to ear infections in dogs. Nonetheless, we can identify it by witnessing a foul-smelling yellow or greenish discharge.
#3 Foreign Bodies
Dogs often end up picking up grass, seeds, bugs, and even water while swimming. And all such may get accumulated in a canine’s ear leading to inflammation and irritation. It can also result in bacteria or yeast overgrowth, which can cause further infection and discomfort. Hence, this condition can lead to yeast infections in a dogs ear.
#4 Aural Hematoma
If your dog shakes his head or scratches his ears, it may be an indicator of an aural hematoma which is due to irritation. Moreover, this refers to the pooling of blood between the skin and ear flap cartilage. Such a thing can be a result of vigorous head shaking or ear scratching by your pet. If this is the underlying cause, most veterinarians recommend surgery.
#5 Ear Mites
Ear mites are common parasites that induce ear infections in dogs. If your furry friend suffers from these mites, you will observe him frequently shaking his head. Besides, this type of infection is especially common amongst pooches, and one must take care of it as soon as possible owing to its extremely contagious nature. This may show symptoms such as “coffee-ground” discharge left in the ear and reddish crustiness in the outer ear.
#6 Moist Ears
Bacteria and yeast tend to flourish in moist and dark areas. Accumulation of water in a pup’s ear after swimming, especially in those pets with floppy ears, can boost the growth of microorganisms in them. This can, in turn, cause inflammation and pain. Puppies in a litter who lick and pull at each other’s ears can be more susceptible to ear infections for this reason.
Another common reason for ear infections in dogs can be allergies. Allergies tend to be the main culprits behind frequently recurring ear infections. Studies show that 80% of canines with food allergies and 50% of dogs with environmental allergies develop ear infections.
However, like many skin infections, ear infections often tend to be indicators of deeper health problems like hormonal imbalances, tumors, or polyps.
How to Treat Dog Ear Infection Without Vet?
Home Remedies for Ear Infections in Dogs
One can follow some home remedies for their pet to resolve its ear infection problem and ease the discomfort. However, we strongly debate that in more severe cases of ear infections, a visit to the veterinarian is a must. Anyways, have a glimpse at these home remedies for ear infections in dogs here:
#1 Green Tea
We all know that green tea has great properties in remedying any infections both in humans and animals too. This is also popular as the best dog ear infection medicine at home
- Boil 8 oz of water.
- Later, add 2 green bags to it and let the content seep and sink.
- Let it sit for a while and cool to a lukewarm temperature.
- Then, using a sponge or syringe, deposit some of that solution into your dog’s ear canal.
- Lastly, wipe away the excess solution from its ear with a clean towel.
#2 Calendula Tincture
Calendula tincture has the amazing property of reducing pain and inflammation while having antimicrobial properties.
- Individuals can utilize 5-10 drops of herbal calendula in tincture form to 1 cup of lukewarm filtered water.
- Use a dropper or sponge to deposit into their ears
- Wipe away the excess.
#3 Grapefruit Seed Extract
Speaking about grapefruit seed extract, this one is a powerful natural antioxidant that also has antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal properties.
- Take 10 drops of it and then mix in 1/2 oz of aloe vera juice.
- Next, using this solution, clean your dog’s ears. This helps the inflammation subside and provides relief to your furry friend.
#4 Oil of Oregano
Before anything, let us say that oregano oil is a natural antibiotic. And hence, comes into use to treat any condition. Moreover, this solution can help people on how to treat dog ear yeast infection without vet.
- People can treat their dog’s ear infection by adding one drop of it to 1/2 oz of warm pure aloe vera.
- Later, they must use that solution by soaking a cotton ball in it to clean all the visible parts of an ear.
#5 Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help reduce the itching and discomfort accompanying an ear infection in dogs.
- To use apple cider vinegar, mix 1 part of it with 1 part of filtered water.
- Then, clean visible parts of the ear with this solution by dipping a cotton ball in it.
- Deposit some of that liquid into the ear canal by holding a canine’s ear flap steady.
- Massage gently in the region below the ear.
- Wipe away the debris and excess solution.
#6 Coconut Oil
This particular home remedy has been very famous since ancient days. It even has got its prominence in Ayurveda. Thus, many use it when they want to know how to treat dog ear infection without vet.
- To administer this treatment, add 2 tablespoons of coconut oil to garlic juice under low heat.
- Let the mixture sit and cool down.
- Finally, use it to clean your dog’s ears with the help of a cotton ball or gauze.
How to Treat Dog Ear Yeast Infection without Vet?
However, those remedies can only soothe a pup’s pain and inflammation and not cure its infection completely. Hence, in order to treat its disorder completely, one must detect the root cause and then treat it by visiting a veterinarian. And for that, follow some steps for dog ear infection treatment:
- Vets will examine your furry friend’s ears thoroughly and determine the cause of illness. They will also ask about details like the duration of that illness, the extent of pain, the color of discharge, etc., and use that information to make an accurate diagnosis.
- Subsequently, they will clean the pup’s ears meticulously using a medicated cleanser. If the disorder is very deep, it may require deep cleaning. Hence, your pet might get sedated for that process.
- To confirm the diagnosis, a veterinarian may use a sample of debris deposited in your pet’s ear and test for unwanted microorganisms. If the ear infection seems to indicate another problem, blood testing, skull X-rays, CT scans, or MRIs may follow.
- Furthermore, a vet may prescribe an ear cleanser or a topical medication for you to use at home. Use it as instructed in order to enable your dog to make a full recovery.
How to Clean Dog Ears at Home?
Most of all, incorporating ear cleaning into your dog’s regular grooming routine can help prevent ear infections. For those canines that are already predisposed to ear infections or spend a lot of time in the water, people might have to clean their ears more often. Before one starts to clean, they have to remember to examine the ear thoroughly. If the ear appears healthy, that is, pink, odorless, clean or not inflamed, it is not best to clean it because it can lead to disorder or irritation. However, those who notice a visible accumulation of dirt or earwax, discoloration, or a yeasty smell, follow the given steps to clean your dogs’ ears:
- Hold your dog in your lap and take some time to calm him down using treats.
- Squeeze an ear-cleaning solution approved by your veterinarian into your dog’s ear canal. Make sure not to touch the applicator’s tip in the dog’s ear, as it may introduce bacteria into the ear canal and subsequently cause bacterial infections.
- Next, massage the ear’s base for about 30 seconds. You will hear some squishing sounds. This indicates the solution breaking up and dislodging the debris and all other buildups.
- Wipe away the solution and let your dog shake himself to loosen up any persistent debris.
- Finally, after the dog stops shaking off, gently wipe away any remnant debris using a cotton ball or gauze. Make sure that you don’t go deeper than one knuckle into the ear canal.
Make sure to look out for your dog and see how it is reacting to the process. If your dog shows any signs of pain or discomfort, stop cleaning immediately and consult your veterinarian.
How to Prevent Dog Ear Infections?
Looking out for any tell-tale signs of infections and buildup. Also, it is best to know all tips and tricks for any problem so as to eradicate it as early as possible in an efficient way. This can help us prevent our dog from experiencing any pain and discomfort from a serious infection. But since prevention is better than cure, the following are some tips that can help dog owners greatly.
- As discussed earlier, including ear cleaning in the dog’s regular grooming routine can make it easier for you to periodically examine its ears. Subsequently, one can remove microbes and other foreign objects that could potentially cause infections in the future. This cleaning also adequately exposes the ear canal to allow you to apply any topical applications prescribed by your veterinarian efficiently.
- Use cotton balls to clean a pup’s ears to prevent moisture from seeping into its ear canal and accumulating.
- Avoid cleaning their ears with paper or cloth towels since they can potentially leave behind fibers or debris and accumulate, causing inflammation and discomfort.
- Employ the help of a professional dog groomer to get the hair around and inside the ear canal trimmed frequently.
- Consult your veterinarian on any supplements that could benefit your furry friend. If dogs have any allergies that become the root of ear problems, daily consumption of omega-3 fatty supplements is necessary. Such a measure helps reduce inflammation and significantly lower infection chances. However, in case of disorders arising due to poor immune systems, probiotic supplements can be beneficial in assisting.
- Always remember to never use Q-Tips in your dogs’ ears as they can push the earwax and debris further down the ear canal and even rupture eardrums if pushed too deep into the ear canal. So, apart from knowing the answer to, ‘how to treat dog ear infection without vet?’, one has to concentrate on preventing it.
There are a vast multitude of ways available that you can treat and prevent your dog from getting ear infections. All measures here can help you know how to treat a dog’s ear infection without vet. Despite all that, in case of frequent infections, one should always consult their veterinarian to find out any possible underlying cause for the problem and treat it professionally. Moreover, it is advisable to consult the veterinarian before adopting any home remedies for an infection that seems to be in the deeper ear issue.