(PET CARE/DOGS) Grooming is important for the health of your pet, and frequent ear cleaning can help to avoid painful ear infections. Ciara Black is a Global Animal contributor from the Dog Help Network, a resource for dog health related websites. Read on for ear infection symptoms, causes, and remedies. — Global Animal

Dog breeds more susceptible to ear infections include Cocker Spaniels, Poodles, and Schnauzers. Photo Credit: breeders.net

Dog Help Network, Ciara Black

Dog ear infections are very uncomfortable for your dog, so it is important to identify them as soon as possible so you can begin treatment.

There are many ways a dog can contract an ear infection. If your dog spends a lot of time in moist conditions such as water, he or she may be prone to getting an ear infection. Dogs with allergies seem to contract ear infections as a side effect. Normally, allergy related ear infections are because of a yeast infection. Other symptoms in association with allergies include wheezing, excessive itching and sneezing.

Ear infections can last anywhere from a few days to a couple weeks. You will likely be able to tell if your dog is uncomfortable. Some breeds are more susceptible to ear infections than others. These breeds include Cocker Spaniels, Shih Tzu’s, Dobermans, Poodles or Schnauzers. Dogs with floppy ears are also more susceptible to ear infections.

Types of Ear Infections

Probiotics, enzymes, fatty acids, and antioxidants are all great for your dog during an ear infection. Photo credit: dogs.lovetoknow.com

There are two primary types of dog ear infections: bacterial infections and dog ear yeast infections. There are natural balances of both yeast and bacteria inside your dog’s ears. Sometimes these balances are offset and an ear infection occurs.

Yeast Infection – A yeast infection in the ear canal has very similar symptoms to a bacterial infection. Other signs of a yeast infection in the ears is dryness, excessive itching and flakey skin in the ears. A yeast infection in the ears may spread to other areas such as the paws and face.

Bacterial Infection – A bacterial ear infection is the most common. It can be recognized if there is excessive discharge from the ears. The ears will also appear swollen and red. However, the most common side effect is a strong, unmistakeable odor coming from your dog’s ears.

Other symptoms of both types of ear infections include:

  • Discharge from the ears that is usually black or yellow in color. The discharge may also contain blood. Crusts may develop from the discharge.
  • Redness and swelling most noticeable in the ear canal.
  • Abnormal eye movements.
  • Excessive scratching, rubbing or head shaking.
  • Head tilting, caused by hearing loss from the infection.

Home Remedies

There are a number of home remedies for dog ear infections you can use to help reduce swelling, ease pain and simply help keep the ear clean during treatment. Most items can be found at your local grocery store.

It is important to note that these home remedies are not cures for your dog’s ear infection. Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you suspect he may have an ear infection and receive proper treatment.

Some remedies include:

  • Warm compress
  • Green tea
  • Vinegar
  • Vitamin E oil
  • Garlic oil
  • Clove

*Straight garlic oil should not be put directly into a dog’s ear, as it can cause burns. Pet guardians should only use this home remedy if they know how to properly dilute the oil.

Yeast infections in the ears may be a little harder to cure, and they can be recurring. Diet is also important for helping cure ear infections.

Probiotics, enzymes, fatty acids and antioxidants are all excellent to give to your dog during an ear infection. These help to boost the immune system and fight off secondary illnesses. Probiotics also help to replenish the good bacteria that your dog needs. Often times antibiotics will kill off the good bacteria during treatment.

For More Information

Always take your dog to the veterinarian if you suspect he has an ear infection. If left untreated, bacteria build up may enter the bloodstream and affect different organs such as the kidneys, liver and heart. Ear infections that go untreated may lead to hearing loss, serious infection and, in rare cases, even death.

For more information about dog ear infections, causes, symptoms to look for and more, visit www.dogearinfectionhelp.com.