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Dog Ear Infections: Causes, Treatment and the Best Home Remedies

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Here are some the best over the counter ear treatment options for dogs:

Does your pooch scratch and rub around his ear a lot? Have you noticed an abnormal odor from his ear, or perhaps some unusual redness or swelling around the ears. Chances are your beloved pooch is suffering from canine ear infection.

Ear infection is one of the most common health issues among dogs, especially in dogs who have floppy ears. The ailment is hard to tackle since it tends to reoccur quite often, and can be quite painful too.

Save your furry friend the pain and suffering from an ear infection by educating yourself on its causes and treatment options. Dig in to know more!

Dog Ear Infections Image

Some Common Symptoms of Infection in Ears

Dog’s ear canals are quite sensitive, and so the symptoms are usually clear, which includes:

  • - Scratching near the ear
  • - Whining and itchiness
  • - Swelling and redness in the affected ear
  • - Discharge from the ear
  • - Continuous head shaking

Once you notice any of these symptoms, make sure you visit a vet for consultation.

What Causes Canine Ear Infection

The overall structure of the dog’s ear is vertical, which tends to hold fluids. This is the reason why your pooch often faces ear-related problems. Enlisted below are some common reasons that cause dog ear infection:

Bacteria: Bacteria from unhygienic water could cause an ear infection that requires medical attention. Bacterial infections usually cause redness and dryness in the ear’s canal, which could be quite irritating for your pet. You need to emphasize the exact cause of the ailment if it is reoccurring.

Fungal Infections: Fungus often leads to infection in the ears that could eventually leave your dog whining and pawing their ear. If your dog has a weak immune system, the chances are that he may get frequently affected by severe ear contamination.

Injury: Sometimes the cause of infection could be an injury that encourages bacteria buildup in the ear canal. You can examine the ear for any injury, and if there’s something that you think needs treatment, call a vet immediately. The vet will examine the ear, and treat any wound or injury that is causing the problem.

Allergies: It is a fact that some dog breeds could be sensitive, and may experience infection due to allergies. Sometimes food allergies could be the reason for itchiness and dryness in the ear that eventually leads to the growth of bacteria in the areas surrounding the ear.

Presence of Foreign Objects: Insects and small objects such as grass seed could also be the culprit for infectious diseases of the ear. You could inspect the ear, and if there’s something that is causing trouble, try removing it on your own. If it seems complicated, referring to a dog specialist would be the optimum choice.

Dog laying down on floor

Diagnosis of the Infection

Your vet will first examine your dog’s ear to find the cause of the ailment by utilizing the adequate equipment. If the condition of the ear is severe, your dog may need to undergo certain tests, which would enable the vet to decide the necessary treatment.

The diagnosis includes an insertion of a needle in the ear, which extracts the fluids present in the middle ear for microscopic examinations. This test would determine whether the cause of contamination is bacteria or fungus, which would eventually decide the treatment. Other tests include examining the layer of the canal by taking a sample of the tissues.

Best Home Remedies Treatment

Since the infection in the ear is a common disease in dogs, you can handle the situation initially. Some home remedies could do wonders in giving relief to your darling dog and eventually curing the disease. Here are some of the most effective home remedies that you could try for treating the infection.

Dog at vet

Consider Apple Cider Vinegar: One can ensure better cleansing of the dog’s ear by using apple cider vinegar. The acetic acid present in vinegar helps kill bacteria and yeast, and hence is considered to be the best home remedy for treating micro enzymes.

A blend of water and apple cider vinegar in equal proportions should be applied carefully with a cotton ball at the affected area. Make sure that the ear is completely cleaned without leaving any moisture.

If there’s some redness or soreness, don’t consider this treatment as it would eventually increase the inflammation and irritation.

Use Oregano Oil:

Another way to ensure proper cleaning and removal of dirt and debris from the ear is using Oregano oil. It is a natural antibiotic (which should never be used undiluted or else will cause severe irritation and inflammation in your dog’s ear).

Take equal proportions of oregano oil and fresh Aloe Vera juice and apply a small amount to the affected area. Use a cotton ball to swipe gently. Don’t use cotton swab as it may push the dirt inside the ear.

Coconut Oil:

Coconut oil is perhaps the finest home remedy to treat ear infections as it has both the potential to kill bacteria and fungus. You just need to precisely apply the oil in an adequate amount.

Before you use the oil, you first need to prepare an effective solution for better results within a couple of days.

  • - Add 3 to 4 tablespoons of coconut oil in an open pan and heat it on low flame. Add 2 to 3 fresh garlic cloves that act as a powerful antibiotic, which kills the bacteria.
  • - Now let the oil cool at room temperature.
  • - Once the oil is cooled, add 2 to 3 drops in your dog’s ear with a dropper. You can also use cotton to put the drops in the ear.

Allopathic Treatments

If your pet is experiencing severe redness and irritation in the ear, consider consulting a vet. The doctor may recommend some anti-bacterial and anti-fungal ointment that could provide relief. Apart from this, some medicines in the form of a powder may be required to shun the infection from the body.

Here are a few OTC treatments for cleaning pet’s ears and/or treating infections:


Nurturing your pooch and taking measures for prevention of diseases are essential components of petting. One can consider the information provided here to give relief to their dog. However, it is important to consult a vet before administering any treatment.

About the Author:

Nellie Heaton is an experienced writer. She is a pet lover and has majored in education and business. A certified educationist making people aware of education system and business strategies through her articles since 2007.