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Treating a Dog's Ear Infection

Category Health
Vet treating dog's ear.
Dogs with drop ears, in particular, can be prone to recurring ear infections. Many pet owners will go through this experience with their dogs. In addition to the obvious trip to the vet, there are additional measures pet owners can take. This is a guide about treating a dog's ear infection.
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By 11 found this helpful
November 4, 2011

My dog had an ear infection and an associate at our pet clinic prescribed the very expensive Otomax. Well on another occasion when we visited for yet another ear infection, the vet, owner of the clinic, recommended 1/2 alcohol to 1/2 vinegar. I used a suction bulb to get the mixture in my dog's ear then remove it. There was lots of yucky stuff. I did this twice a day until the infection cleared and she was never had another ear infection.

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By alibeth05 from Michigan City, IN

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November 13, 20160 found this helpful
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Depends on the quantity you want. 1 tsp water mixed with 1 tsp of apple cider vinegar is enough for both ears and one treatment for my dog

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By 7 found this helpful
September 3, 2010

My dog had a constant ear problem (2 years) that even a round of antibiotics didn't cure. I tried every reasonable treatment recipe I could find on the net. I switched veterinarians and this guy knew the fix. People would come from the other side of the state to have him treat their dogs ears. It must be followed consistently, every day:

Step One: Put approximately one tablespoon (enough to fill their ear canal) hydrogen peroxide in their ear for seven days in a row. I used a long eyedropper.

Step Two: Put one tablespoon of rubbing alcohol in their ear for seven days in a row.

I cannot stress enough that this must be followed as written, do not combine both treatments at the same time. The hydrogen peroxide treats one type of infection and the alcohol treats another.

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If your dog is yelping in pain take her to the vet and get antibiotics before starting this regimen. On the last day of treatment my dog actually wagged her tail. Pain free at last!

By dlginlove from MO

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By 6 found this helpful
March 6, 2013

I realize especially in these times that not everyone can afford the high costs of veterinarian bills, due to being on a fixed income, loss of a job, injury, illness, etc. There are many books out there that can help you on this subject and other subjects. After all we are in the Information Age! These books are a good low cost way to get many issues resolved. However; if the problem is too great for you to handle (due to it being a larger problem that a professional veterinarian should handle), or if you do not feel comfortable doing these things or if you would just rather have a professional deal with these issue, remember that most veterinarian hospitals and some emergency hospitals offer help (financial or discount) for people who are experiencing financial difficulties. Just let the place you go to know up front about your financial situation, so that if they offer these discounts or outside financial assistance, that they may help you.

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I have personally had help with a discount price from $3,000 down to $300 for a surgery for my rabbit (Fluffy). I have also gotten help from Face Foundation, and others for financial assistance. I am ever so grateful to Face Foundation that helped pay $500, for surgery for my service dog (Daisy). Without the surgery, Daisy would have died! These are just a few examples of how to get financial help or a discount. They are also examples of when you must have a veterinarian help you to take care of a problem that is out of scope of handling.

If your veterinarian hospital/clinic or emergency hospital does not offer you a discount or financial assistance, after you have explained your financial position, ask them for these. You can also look on the internet through a search engine to find financial assistance. The discount would come directly from the veterinarian hospital/clinic or emergency hospital.

Remember, that we are in the Information Age and never forget that, I also wanted to caution you about where the advice comes from, make sure it is from a reliable reputable source! These books: "Low Cost Natural Cures for your Dog and Cat, Your Vet Doesn't Want You To Know," by Dr. John Heinerman and "The First Aid Companion For Dogs & Cats," by Amy D. Shaojai (with the advice from more than 80 of Americas' Top Veterinarians, Advisor: Shane Bateman, D.V.M., D.V.Sc., Diplomate ACVECC are a great addition to your library and the knowledge that these books provide are truly a blessing for prevention and treatment alike. I wish you all the best for you and your pets!

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By 4 found this helpful
October 19, 2013

I have a friend on Facebook who has a German Shepherd with an ear infection that keeps coming back regardless of antibiotic use. She told me she was ordering some meds. I told her to tell me how they worked so I could share here on this site. She had a glowing review after only one day and the dog is now coming to her to have the drops put in his ear. The product is Zymox Otic pet ear treatment with hyrdrocortizone.

Here is the med at amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Pet-King-Enzymatic-Solution-Ounces/dp/B0025YOJXS/ref=sr_1_2?tag=thrif06-20 class="art">He was already at the vet's and has had ear problems for the last three years and this is the first product that has worked.

Blessings.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 4, 2011

Wedge him on a long sofa with one person holding his body against the back of the sofa, while the other person strokes his head, lifts his ear flap, and uses a long soft plastic nozzle to administer ear drops.

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Questions

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March 5, 20131 found this helpful

My dog is 6 yr old Pit Bull and for 5 years he has had a major ear problem. It's so bad he scratches them till they bleed and constantly shakes his head. It makes him miserable. I have tried everything and I do mean everything. I've spent thousands of dollars on all kinds of drops, antibiotics, and steroids. At one point I was giving him 7 different pills a day.

We have tried a strict food diet because the vet insisted that it was a food allergy (it wasn't). I have tried putting peroxide in the ear to clean them. We have tried different vets and nothing even helps, not even a little bit. We had him on 4 Benadryl every 8hrs (he is 100 pounds) for years, but they stopped working. He is now on 2 Tramadol 50mg every 8-12 hrs (for the pain) and now they don't even help.

I don't know what else to do. This dog is my baby and I feel so bad for him. The drainage from his ears to his throat, I know, gives him a sour throat (you can hear him swallow) and it gives him fevers. The consistency of the stuff in his ears is usually black mucusy gunk and even when I clean them out (he hates it cuz they're so sour). I can't get deep down in the ear, but I can hear it squish around when he shakes his head. If he even slightly hits one of his ears against something he will scream like he is dying.

Now the vet is telling me that my last option is to go out of town and get his ear canals removed for thousands of dollars which would make him completely deaf, but "they say" it would solve his ear problem. I don't want to do this because at this point I don't trust the vet anymore and I don't want to make him permanently deaf and then if I do, what if it doesn't work? Obviously I'm gonna spend whatever I need to if it will fix his problem, but I'm at a loss. I've spent way too much money and have gotten no results. My baby is miserable. Please help. Anyone!?

By Adie

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January 21, 20141 found this helpful

I have a home remedy that lots of people swear by to cure the smelly black hard clumps in my Poodle's ear. It includes boric acid. Is this boric acid the same as what kills rodents or is it a different boric acid? I have the powder boric acid, will this suffice or should I have liquid from the pharmacy?

By Latonya W.

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January 23, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Could it be that the dog has ear mites? The mites' excretment is what causes the black stuff. I would have the vet check it first to see what you are dealing with.

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June 3, 20111 found this helpful

I can't afford the vet anymore, so I'm going to ask you expert fellow pet lovers out there. My mini Goldendoodle has continuous ear infections. I will try to find an ear specialist if I have to. It's not yeast, it's allergies. I'm going to switch her off of Iams because I hear it's full of corn. Anyone else have any ideas? Cady Grace thanks you so much for your input.

By Carol S

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February 25, 2014

I have a dog about 2 and a half years old. Her name is Darla. She's been having a bad ear infection for awhile now. It seems to get worst. I hear vinegar and peroxide help or olive oil. Please tell me what to do. I feel bad. I love her and she looks so irritated.

By KEEP.YOURHEAD.UP4EVA from Los Angeles, CA

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March 2, 20141 found this helpful
Best Answer

My standard poodle had many reoccurring ear infections and the vet had given up on him... until we found Zymox from another floppy ear dog owner!

I had excellent results with-in a short time! We picked ours up at the feed store. I have given a bottle out to another gal who's vet was find it difficult to treat her dog too. Worked fast for her dog also! I hope this saves you a lot of heart ache, time and money searching. Ear infections are so painful! Suzanne

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March 12, 20142 found this helpful
Best Answer

I own cocker spaniels and this breed are prone to ear infections. However, I use Blue Power Ear Wash and you can locate the recipe on the internet doing a search. It works great and is inexpensive and my three cocker spaniels do not have any ear infections and the vet always comments on how clean their ears are. This recipe is used after each bath and once a month. I just pour some onto a cotton ball and massage into their ears. IF there's an infection, you pour it into the ears and the dog will shake its head, but the liquid will still be effective. Directions how to use this is also provided; just make sure you always shake it well before each use.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2015

I used Otic Hc 1.0 enzymatic solution, but the ear infection still won't leave. I want to try a home treatment like rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.

By Jack C.

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Answers

April 19, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

I take it you got this at a drug store or pet store? Do you know whether your dog has a yeast, fungal, or bacterial infection? Have you taken your dog to the vet for a proper diagnosis?

Neither rubbing alcohol or peroxide will do anything at all for your dog. Your dog has been in discomfort for a while now. Please take him to the vet for the correct diagnosis of the infection and for antibiotics.

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April 27, 20110 found this helpful

Please help! My Lucy (Kelpie X) is 3 years old and has had ear infections for the past 2 years. We have been to the vet 10/12 times and Lucy has just finished her 8th course of antibiotics. Her ears have fluid in them and it comes out brown and smelly. She constantly itches and holds her head on the side. Now her ears are red from scratching. It is nearly impossible to put her antibacterial wash in there now as she hates it so much. She is on a diet of roo mince, veggies, and yogurt. We tried diluted vinegar, but it makes her cry and scratch even worse. Please help!

By Stacey from Victoria, Australia

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By 2 found this helpful
February 14, 2011

I have a 9 month old Golden Retriever. He has had stomach issues since we got him. He is now doing well with Authority dog food, but he has chronic ear infections. We have done every wash, drop, etc. from the vet and nothing clears it up. Any suggestions? Someone told us to try grain free food. Please help!

By Maura from VA

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January 22, 20110 found this helpful

Many here have talked about a food change. This works. Here's why:

Most dog foods provide too little protein and too much carbs. Yeast feeds and flourishes on carbs. This starts in the intestines, then usually displays in such things as: itching for no apparent reason, ear infections, licking feet until they are raw and red, itching that vets think are allergies, etc.

Most vets do not know about the nutrition link! They will tell you that they got about 45 minutes of nutrition training during their years in vet school.

Taste of the Wild is a grain-free food of moderate price. Orijen and Wellness Core are pricier. Many dog food companies have jumped on the bandwagon of "grain-free". Look for protein listings of 30-35% preferably. It is not that the dogs are allergic to grains, the problem is that most foods use lots of carbs (grains) and not enough protein. If the huge dog food manufacturers had given a properly balanced diet, it would have adequate protein, and the "grain-free" foods would not be cutting into their market share so much.

Most highly-advertised foods are promoted with lies; the companies have experimented to find out how little protein a dog can live on without dying right away, it seems, then sold us their cheap food!

I have seen amazing problems cleared up within 2 months with adequate protein, and some others that were so bad the owners were considering euthanizing, but 5-6 months later the dogs were fine! Most of these dogs' owners were told by vets that allergy testing should be done. Allergies are usually not the problem, but yeast overgrowth/imbalance looks like an allergy!

Also see dogfoodadvisor.com for more specific information. Very easy-to-use and comprehensive.

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February 14, 20110 found this helpful

I work in the pet food industry and this sounds like an allergy to a food product. Most of the time it is to chicken and most dog foods contain chicken in some form. You need to find a limited ingredient food. Natural Balance, Wellness Simple Food Solutions, Blue Buffalo Basics and California Naturals are some brands that might work. I would do a search on the internet for dog foods with limited ingredients. You can contact me if you need anymore help I will be glad to see what I can do for you.

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February 15, 20110 found this helpful

Raw diet best. At least some raw will help his immune system. Build up the immune system. No vaccines--Homeopathic Thuja will help with lessening of bad effects of vaccine. study at vaclib.org or almost any anti vaccine site for dangers. Dr Mercola has info also Health Ranger. Parvo vaccine often gives parvo. Back to food. No grocery store bought Purina crap. Cooking is easy. Less expensive too. Few supplements like flax oil, ester c, Nzymes, Food prep includes sweet potato, kale, ground turkey ( freezer,Louis Rich 1 pound chubs are good) country eggs, brown rice,washed lentils, occasional canned jack mackeral, careful of fish known to have high levels of mercury,lots of ingredients can be duplicated from your specialty foods in a pot on your kitchen stove. Organic is beautiful but next best is to soak foods in a wash that rids pesticides and poisons. No corn especially. No wheat or soy. I have had good luck with a vet med called Malaseb for inside ears. A good vet will let you buy it without a visit. Otherwise order it online. Have your vet call in prescription Malaseb to costco pharmacy. Best price in town. Hugs, muttmom

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February 15, 20110 found this helpful

You have a breed that is very well known for allergies, ear infections & such. Chicken, Corn Soy, Wheat, Dairy, Dyes they are all contributers of allergy problems with pets. Try Blue Buffalo's Basics. Blue does not have any of the ingredients above, the Basics has no chicken & dairy very limited ingredient & they also have Wilderness that is 100% grain free. I have switched my dogs to the Blue Buffalo and it has done a world of good for them. One has skin issues & the other no problems, but before you spend all your money on going through the testing I would buy the food first and see what happens after a month.

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February 15, 20110 found this helpful

I am starting to cook for my dogs and staying away from glutens like wheat. I also started my Cocker with the worst ear infection, on my own, with Medrol, an anti-itch medication that I had another dog with allergies on. No vet in all ones I have seen about these ear infections has ever suggested putting her on an allergy medication. The one new vet that I saw who put her on predisone did more good than anything, but I was afraid to keep her on it for a long time due to problems it can cause. The Medrol does have some cotizone in it, but one pill a day for 2 weeks has cleared up all the scabs all over her body, so I am really hopeful this is going to help with her ear problem.

I was having good results with the over the counter strenth Vetericyn Wound Spray that I got from Jeffers Vet supply but when I read about a Veterinarian Strength in this, I asked my vet to order some. I have been using it for several weeks and the combination of the Medrol and double strength Veterinarian Strength Vetericyn Would Spray seems to really be helping. I am trying to keep this 10 yr old dog from having a complete ear ablation surgery. I would love some suggestions as to diet. I have had my dogs on the Natural Balance regular formula with real chicken and they just don't seem to be doing any better so will be trying some other foods, probably Blue Buffalo along with cooking for them. I was about to try Blue Buffalo with they had dogs getting sick from the excessive Vitamin D in some batches, so that scared me off, but I have heard it's a good food and when a company has a problem, they are usually very careful to keep it from happening again.

Anyone who can recommend a good recipe for home cooked food would be appreciated. Trying to learn all I can as my 3 boy Cockers are 8 yrs old, and their mother and her sister are 10.5 yrs old, so I know the problems will only get worse with age. I really believe too many antibiotics has helped to make the problem way worse. One of my Cocker boys' ears had nearly closed up, the new vet put him on prednisone every other day and within 2 days his ears had opened back up.

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By 4 found this helpful
February 19, 2011

How much Vagisil do you use for severe infections in the ear?

By Samnatha from Corning, CA

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By 0 found this helpful
August 28, 2010

What is the ratio of water to vinegar mix to treat for ear infection?

By Bryan from Norman, OK

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August 28, 20100 found this helpful

I would seek out a doctor for this. You don't want to lose your hearing.

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August 31, 20100 found this helpful

If you look at the archives below this post, they have the mixture there. If this is an inner ear infection, it won't work-but for that, a lot of doctors now don't like to give antibiotics,they tell you to take tylenol for a few days & see if it goes away.

If this is for an infection caused by "swimmer's ear", to prevent it in the future, after swimming, put a couple of drops of a mix of half vinegar & half alcohol in each ear after swimming. The vinegar restores the PH balance & the alcohol evaporates the water in the ear.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

Personally, I would go see a doctor first.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

My doctor recommended half vinegar and half rubbing alcohol in a small glass bottle with a dropper. Put a few drops in ear and then turn your head to that it can run out. Before I learned about vinegar and alcohol, I had constant ear problems. I keep the bottle of alcohol and viinegar in my medicine cabinet and the minute I begin to feel something, I put a few drops in and it stops the problem.

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September 1, 20100 found this helpful

If this is for a child for heaven's sake just take the child to the Dr.

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November 27, 20100 found this helpful

Do NOT ever use household vinegar inside of your ear. If you do this you can cause permanent damage to your ear, or even cause Tinnitus (which is a constant ringing that does not go away). Use only apple cider vinegar. There is a huge difference between saying to use regular vinegar and the much more mild Apple Cider Vinegar. Google search Apple Cider Vinegar for ear infections, and do not use regular household vinegar in your ear regardless of what these other posts say. Warning!

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By 0 found this helpful
February 20, 2011

I have a 6 year old Pit Bull/Lab who has yeast infections in his ears. I want to use the vinegar, but he will not let me touch them; he runs. Any ideas on how to get him to let me touch them?

He is a very timid dog since all this and I don't want to get bitten. I have tried the vet thing and wow the money I have spend for it to go away for a few months and come back again. They will not give meds without you coming in even when you have been there for years and they know the dog's history. I can't afford any more bills. I have 2 kids and a husband out of work.

By Michele from Nashville, TN

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By 0 found this helpful
May 16, 2016

We've been to vet for antibiotics, drops, and even laser treatment, but my pup can't shake her ear infections! Can someone please help? There has gotta be some home remedy, something I'm missing.

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By 0 found this helpful
May 28, 2015

We have an 11 yr. old male Maltese who keeps developing ear infections. The vet bills are expensive, and since we are on a fixed income we have to look for alternative ways of treating his infections. In the past the vet has given him Otibiotic Ointment. Can anyone offer a possible alternative treatment that works?

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By 0 found this helpful
August 19, 2011

Waldo has an ear infection and has been treated twice in one month by the vet. It is much better. There is some infection still there and some puss. What else can I do?

By Tracie

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March 12, 20130 found this helpful

I've read the raves about how good this works, but I have not found how much of each to use. Do you use do you mix the vinegar, rubbing alcohol, and water together? I need some guidance please.

By Kathy P

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August 11, 20120 found this helpful

I tried vinegar and water and it hasn't helped much. Is there any other suggestion for topical treatments?

By Vince

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By 0 found this helpful
November 24, 2009

My dog's ear usually stand up. One is down and a little pink, is this an ear infection?

By Pat from Landing, NJ

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November 26, 20090 found this helpful

Has he been scratching the ear ? (That might be why it is pink.) Does the interior of his ear smell? Either of these could indicate a problem. It's always good to check with your vet.

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November 26, 20090 found this helpful

Check out "aural hematoma in dogs" on Google. My dog had this, and ask your vet.

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November 27, 20090 found this helpful

Could be a yeast infection, common in dogs with ears that don't air out properly. Definitely check with your vet.

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April 22, 20151 found this helpful

Why does my female dog keep getting an ear infection?

By Geraldine

Answer Was this helpful? 1

October 9, 20110 found this helpful

Is there a home made solution for dogs ear infections?

By Vonny

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By 0 found this helpful
April 19, 2011

Can you use Monistat in a dog's ear instead of Mometamax? I can't afford a vet.

By Dianne

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By 0 found this helpful
March 5, 2010

Every fall for 4 years my dog has gotten fluid in her ears and it's not mites. I had a vet look at her ears and he said there was no infection. You rub her ear and you can hear the fluid.

She tears at her ears all winter, but in the spring it clears up and is fine all summer. They don't smell, but there is a lot of build up that I clean out every other day, but it only works for a day or two. Any ideas?

By Melissa from Portland, OR

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March 9, 20100 found this helpful

Melissa, I'm surprised your Vet doesn't offer any ideas. I am a retired nurse. For dogs, as with humans, leaving water in the ears can turn into "Swimmers Ear" or Otitis Media (middle ear infection). Your observation is correct in that if there is no odor - there's no infection going on. Infections need a dark, warm, and wet environment, and some bacteria to survive. Perhaps your dog is avoiding these conditions due to your stringent nursing care. Good girl!

My Molly is 11 and has had one infection in those years, however I have been prone to them and this is what I do for me. And like I said, works well on dogs too: If you are sure there is no smell (no infection going on), put a drop or 2 of hydrogen peroxide in each ear and allow it to "work" - bubble. When it stops (about 5 mins) I tilt my head to allow it to drain (you could swab his ear out with a cotton ball if that's easier) and then I put a drop or two of rubbing alcohol in each ear. I use a cotton ball and squeeze a drop or 2 of the alcohol in. It dries the ear up almost immediately, stopping the wet environment that causes infection to start up. You might want to skip the peroxide step if there is no smell since the peroxide tickles like crazy and your dog might hate this!

This method works extremely well and *knock on wood* I have avoided infection using this procedure the minute I felt a little twinge over the years. Good luck, hope it helps!

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March 9, 20100 found this helpful

I would give your dog people benadryl pills 25mg. each, one per 10lb of weight. one every 4 hours, they will not hurt your dog just make it a little sleepy and it will dry up what is in the ear. I would not use peroxide it will drive your dog crazy in their ear. the vet will probably give u an ointment to use in their ear. the benadryl will help with pain and fluid. bettywickline 069 AT aol.com

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By 0 found this helpful
December 19, 2015

I have a 5 year old Shih Tzu and she constantly has this ear infection. I don't know what to do. I don't have any money to take her to the doctor. What can I do?

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2015

What should I do? My dog is shaking her head a lot. I'm thinking her ear is bothering her. Please help.

By Danielle

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