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How to Treat a Dog Ear Infection?

Owning a pet dog is a beautiful feeling no doubt. Pets often become a family member to those who own them. These lovely and innocent creatures become the most trustworthy beings in our lives. So, do we not have a responsibility towards them? Of course, we do have! Our responsibility includes not only giving them good and proper food but also to look after their personal hygiene. Of course, as a pet owner, you must be giving your favorite pet a nice warm bath daily or at alternate intervals but is that all? What about treating them when they are sick or have been caught by an infection? The following article will be helpful for you to know about how you can recognize that your dog has an ear infection, the best medicine for a dog ear infection, how you can treat the infection, etc.  

A fact about dogs is that almost 20 percent of them have ear infections and that they are more prone to ear infections just because of their ear’s shape. Knowing this fact, the best that you can do is prevent your dog from any kind of ear infection by regularly cleaning it and if you feel that your dog has any signs of it do not waste time rather immediately consult a veterinarian. 

Common Signs of An Ear Infection

  • Your pet starts whining.
  •  It might start scratching its ears.
  • The dog might begin to shake his head quite often that is unusual. 
  • Dark discharge from the ear.
  • Bad odor
  • You might see redness and swelling in the ear canal.
  • Itching
  • Your pet might be suffering in pain.
  • Crusting in the ears.
  • Scabs in the ears.

Dogs with big and dangling ears such as Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, etc. are sure of getting infected so if you have one of either breed, you need to be careful. 

Factors That May Lead to Dog Ear Infection

  1. Moisture is one of the biggest reasons because of which your dog’s ear can get infected.
  2. If your dog’s skin is allergic, it can also lead to some infection.
  3. If the pet is suffering through autoimmune disorders.
  4. If there is extra wax built-up.
  5. If your dog’s ear canal was injured.
  6. Foreign bodies like fleas or mites can also lead to a dog’s ear infection. If this is the case, you can look for the best ear mite treatment for dogs.
  7. Excessive Cleaning. Yes! You heard that right. Excess of anything is not good and can be harmful. Similarly, cleaning your dog’s ear is undoubtedly necessary but excessive cleaning can expose your adorable pet to ear infections. 

Types of Dog Ear Infections

  1. Otitis Externa, is a very common ear infection in dogs. In this, the layer of cell lining that is present at the outside portion of the ear canal gets affected by inflammation.
  2. Otitis Media, in this the middle portion of a dog’s ear canal gets affected leading to an infection.
  3. Otitis Interna, in this the inner canal gets affected.

Otitis Media and Otitis Interna is usually affected by the external portion of the ear canal being affected. They are serious and can even lead to deafness, facial paralysis, and vestibular signs. This is the reason that you should not ignore any unusual signs being showed up by your dog otherwise, the problem might become un-curable.   

The Treatment

Though there are many ways by which you can treat your dog’s ear infection on your own, if you still feel your dog is in pain, it is better to take him/her to a veterinarian. A veterinarian can clean the dog’s ears thoroughly using the best ear cleaning solution. He might also prescribe the best medicine for dog ear infection. Make sure you use the medicine as prescribed to treat your dog. If the case of your dog’s infection is severe, the veterinarian may also prescribe oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications.

If the infection is minor, your dog will be perfectly fine within one to two weeks, once a proper treatment has been started but the ones that have become complex and severe can take up to months. In severe cases, the veterinarian may also suggest surgery such as Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA).  What this surgery does is removing the ear canal, this removes the diseased tissue also and prevents the re-occurrence of the infection.

It is advisable to follow the instructions of your veterinarian as they will be beneficial for your dog. Regular appointments and frequent check-ups should be done. If you skip the scheduled appointments, you might be putting your dog at risk of getting infected again. Make sure that you finish the full course of your dog’s medication being indifferent to the fact that your dog has started getting better and is healing. 

The Best Ear Medicines for Dogs  

Often it is recommended to go for natural remedies to treat your dog’s ear infection and for that, you just need to clean your dog’s ear regularly and properly.  Alternatively, you can also use Zymox as it contains natural enzymes to clean your dog’s ear. If the infection is itchy, you can go for Zymox with Hydrocortisone. However, there are a few antibiotics also that will help to treat your dog’s ear infection and they are as follows:-

  • Gentamycin (Otomax and Mometamax)
  • Tobramycin
  • Amikacin
  • Neomycin (Posatex Otic Suspension)
  • Polymixin B

These antibiotics mentioned above are advised not to be taken without proper consultation with your veterinarian because some pets are allergic to antibiotics especially to topical neomycin. If even after being prescribed, these medications worsen the ears of your pet, you need to stop the medication immediately and call your veterinarian. 

Oral Antibiotics for dogs

These are generally prescribed by veterinarians when the bacteria that your pet has been infected with is invading the cells rather than outside the cells. Some of the oral antibiotics are as follows:-

  • Baytril Taste Tabs
  • Amoxicillin
  • Clindamycin

Homeopathic Medicines

There are few people who prefer homeopathy over allopathy if you are among those and your pet has chronic otitis along with itchiness and inflamed ears then, it is recommended to use Epi Otic Advanced Ear Cleanser because it is the best ear cleaner for dogs in homeopathy. 

Best Dog Ear Cleaning Solutions that You May Try

  1. Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone – It has a blend of enzymes that help to clean the infected ear naturally when it is rinsed. It can treat bacterial, fungal, and yeast infections. It also helps in relieving itching and inflammation. The key details are as follows:-
  • It is recommended by veterinarians.
  • Customers have reviewed that it prevents the re-occurrence of infections.
  • It begins to work after the first dose.
  • It has abilities to cure existing infections.
  1. Vet’s Best Dog Ear Relief Wash, 4 oz – it is one of the best and provides immediate relief. It helps in cleaning and soothing raw, itchy, smelly, or greasy dog ears. It has natural ingredients such as hazel, chamomile, aloe vera, clove oil, and tea tree oil. These ingredients help in controlling unpleasant odor and itching. It can be used daily but is recommended to have a consultation with your vet before bringing it to use on daily basis. Also, it is alcohol-free and non-stinging.

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