Ear infections in dogs are common problems and can occur in the outer, middle or inner ear.
Typically an ear infection begins with inflammation of the outer ear canal, caused more often than not by bacteria or yeast. However, ear infections in dogs can occur due to food allergies, parasites, foreign bodies, trauma, excess moisture in the ear or hereditary conditions. If an outer ear infection is not treated, it can spread to the middle or inner ear, causing complications. Your dog may show signs of an ear infection by scratching his ear or shaking his head. There may be an odor, or black or yellow discharge and he may hold his head to one side constantly.
Steps to Heal Ear Infections in Dogs
- Clean your dog’s ears.
- Apply the cleaner into your dog’s ear canal according to the directions on the bottle.
- Massage his ear at the base for 20 to 30 seconds to help the cleaner move around and grab any debris.
- Use a cotton ball to wipe the dirt out of his ear. His ear canal is L-shaped; go only as far as the corner of the “L”. Repeat this until there is no more dirt. The cotton ball will also absorb any excess fluid.
- Gently wipe the inner ear flap and around the ear with a dry, soft towel to clean loose dirt and moisture.
- Treat the underlying condition.
In order for the ear infection to go away, you must treat the original cause of the infection.
- Administer anti-fungal medication. If the ear infection is a result of a yeast infection, an anti-fungal medication will treat this problem.
- Remove the foreign body from your dog’s ear. Leave this to the veterinarian so you do not cause damage to the ear. If the ear infection has been caused by a foreign substance, only when it is removed can the ear infection clear up.
- Determine if your dog has a food or environmental allergy. If your dog experiences chronic ear infections, allergies may be to blame. Avoid the food that is causing the allergy such as grains and dairy.