Tweaking, itching and pain - ear infections are nasty! If your furry friend has an ear infection, it's time to act: Act! While the majority of dogs with ear infections suffer from otitis externa, i.e. an inflammation of the outer ear canal, the inner ear (otitis interna) and the middle ear (otitis media) can also be affected by an inflammation. To make your dog feel better soon, you should fight the inflammation. We explain how you can recognise an ear infection, which home remedies can help and when you should go to the vet.
Symptoms of an ear infection in dogs
If your dog is suffering from an ear infection, fast action is called for. Your pelt nose probably has pain in the ear that won't go away on its own. But how can you tell if your pawsome friend is suffering from an ear infection?
- Does your dog shake his head more often than usual?
- Does he hold his head crooked?
- Does he scratch his eardrums?
- Does your darling no longer want to be touched on the ears or head?
- Does Bello push his head sideways across the floor?
All these can be indications of an ear infection in a dog. If, in addition, brownish, smelly discharge comes from the auricle, or the ear is swollen and reddened, then the diagnosis is pretty clear. Home remedies can do a good job now. However, if your dog also has poor hearing, a fever, seems tired or has stopped eating, it's time to go to the vet immediately!
Causes of ear infections in dogs
If you suspect an ear infection, you should definitely ask your vet for advice. They can take a swab to find out exactly where the infection is coming from. There are many different causes of ear infections in dogs, which need to be treated differently.
Bacteria, viruses, fungi, parasites
Various bacteria or viruses can trigger your dog to get an ear infection. Uninvited guests such as ticks, mites or fleas also like to spread in the ear and cause a nasty inflammation there.
Contaminants or foreign bodies
Foreign bodies or contaminants such as dirt or sand can also be to blame for an ear infection in dogs. Once set, an infection develops in the sensitive dog ears quite easily.
If you clean your dog's ear with aggressive lotions or cotton buds, this can lead to irritation or inflammation. It is best to use a mild ear cleaner
Have you recently changed food or tried a new treat? If Bello, Luna and co. don't tolerate the new food well, ear infections are a common immune response
Does your four-legged friend have an allergy? An allergic reaction can also be to blame for a dog's ear infection.
Ear infection treatment - when do home remedies help?
There are several ways to treat an ear infection in dogs. For a rather mild inflammation of the outer ear (otitis externa), home remedies such as tinctures of calendula, camomile, coconut oil, echinacea or apple cider vinegar can help. Many different recipes can be found on the internet. Apple cider vinegar, for example, is diluted with water in a 1:3 ratio before use, then put it on a cotton pad and spread it in the dog's ear.
These home remedies can help against ear infections
The soothing properties of chamomile not only help with a stomachache, but also with an ear infection in dogs. Put a few drops of chamomile tea (made from fresh chamomile) on a cotton pad and gently cleanse the dog's ears with it. The camomile has a soothing effect and the earwax dissolves.
Calendula, also known as marigold, is also a proven home remedy in the fight against inflamed dog ears and is available as a tincture or ointment.
Tea tree oil
Tea tree oil can be a boon in inflamed dog ears and supportive in the fight against bacteria. Gently massage the oil into the dog's ears after application. It is best to dilute it with a little water.
Apple cider vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can help if your pawed friend has an ear infection. Caution: Dilute the apple vinegar with water so that the acid does not further stress the sensitive eardrums.
Coconut oil has a soothing effect on irritated dog ears. Again, use a cotton pad to apply the coconut oil. Then massage it in gently. The coconut oil also has a nourishing effect.
Homeopathy and over-the-counter medicines
In addition to the classic home remedies, there are over-the-counter medicines such as Traumeel or Echinacea globules that can help your dog homeopathically. The medicinal plant echinacea, better known as the purple coneflower plant, is said to have an anti-inflammatory effect.
Dog ear infections - when to see a vet?
If there is no improvement after one or two days - go to the vet! If you suspect more than just a mild ear infection, you should make an appointment with the doctor as soon as possible. When you visit the vet, a swab will be taken to determine the cause of the pain and which medicines, ointments or drops will help your troubled pelt nose. At the beginning of the therapy, a thorough cleaning by the vet is often on the agenda. Let us explain to you what you need to look out for when cleaning your dog's ears in the future.
Ear Infection - Prevention & Care
To prevent a nasty ear infection, you should regularly check and care for your furry friend's ears. A positive side effect is that you can tell early on if an ear infection is on the way. Here are a few tips to help you care for your dog's ears:
Look inside your cat's ears at least once a week. This way, foreign bodies or slight irritations can be detected before it is too late.
As a precaution, treat your pet's ears with a mild ear cleaner. This will help remove small debris and earwax before it gets stuck. Be sure to use only mild cleaners made from natural ingredients to avoid irritation. Our natural ear cleaner with chamomile, calendula and propolis, for example, can also be used on mites or minor inflammations.
Keep your fingers away from cotton buds!
Use a suitable ear cleaner and a clean cloth when cleaning your dog's ears. Do not use cotton buds or other objects to clean the ears. The worst that can happen is that you push the wax or other debris deeper into the ear or damage the eardrum.
Practice, practice, practice
Your dog's ears are very sensitive. So cleaning them can be a little uncomfortable for your dog. Make ear cleaning a positive activity and reward your dog with lots of petting and treats
Fur care in the ears
Only let an experienced groomer or trusted vet trim the hair in your pelt's ears. Don't start clipping yourself. You may destroy the protective barrier for dirt or foreign bodies. Then the next ear infection will have an easy time of it.
Keep your ears dry
Is your four-legged friend a real water rat? Then you should pay special attention to inflammations in the dog's ear. After bathing or swimming, gently dry your dog's ears so that no water can get into them.Keep your dog's ears dry.
An ear infection is not something to joke about! In the very worst case, the infection spreads - then your dog can lose hearing or sense of balance. Similarly, meningitis or paralysis of the facial nerve are possible. An inadequately treated or even untreated ear infection can lead to permanent damage to your four-legged friend. Therefore, it is better to go to the vet too early than too late!