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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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.
By alibeth05 from Michigan City, IN
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.
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
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.
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!
By Debra An 
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.
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.
By Robyn 
When giving your dog ear-drops, give him a treat then wrap his whole body tightly in a large towel, leaving his head free. 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. He will react to the cold temperature, but if gently done, it should not be difficult to do.
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Here are questions related to Treating a Dog's Ear Infection.
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
There is a cheap way to find out what food allergies your pet has. It is available on groupon. The company is ImmuneIQ. It is a hair and saliva test. It is about month process to get your results but it is very affordable and so worth it.
My pup was having loose stool, ear infections, and sinus congestion so I got him tested before it became a chronic issue. Turn out he is allergic to peas! This is in almost all the fancy dog foods. Dog food companies are using it as the current filler. He is also allergic to corn wheat soy white rice and oats... Among other things. If all these things in his food are causing an inflammatory response in his body, it makes sense that he would have nasal congestion, loose stool, and ear infections. His ear infection was tested by the vet and was yeast. Problem with a yeast infection is that the body is lacking in heathy bacteria to counterbalance the yeast in the system. The Vet checked his stool sample and it was low in bacteria. My guy was pooping out all his healthy bacteria.
Changing his food and adding probiotics to his diet have been hugely effective for helping him get on the trajectory to a long and healthy life. Also, we did the Braggs apple cider vinegar/water flush every day in the meantime until his infection cleared up.
Why does my female dog keep getting an ear infection?
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
What you're describing your poor pup is going through almost sounds like an ear mite infestation. Here in the States there are a few over-the-counter meds for that--am guessing you've got 'em there Down Under, too. Before trying anything else as a home remedy on your gal, I think I'd take her to another vet first, though.
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!?
Adie, my Brussels Griffon had to have the ear canal surgery (Total Ear Canal Ablation AKA TECA). It was a rough descion between cost and obvious concern for his health and well being.
Two things I want to share about my experience...
1) The surgery without a doubt improved his quality of life. The years of severe ear aches ultimately led to scarring and swelling of the canals to the point medicine couldn't be administered. He was suffering and without options. Once he recovered from surgery, he was pain free! And in his case, he could actually hear!
2) Prior to the surgery, he was continuously prescribed Prednisone. Predisone can do a fanstastic job and is a great solution for numerous issues. Do use it and follow directions exactly. <-- that's key. Having said that, if you find that vets continuously prescribe it, be aware that chronic use can lead to diabetes.
***As high as 60% of dogs treated longterm become diabetic!*** (Google and you'll see ranges described anywhere from 20-65%).
You didn't mention Prednisone so my 2nd point wasn't directed to you specifically but for anyone else who may be following this thread.
My dog became diabetic. Now I wish had gotten the surgery sooner (avoided all that prednisone). I simply wasn't aware until after the fact so I now make sure other dog owners know about the potential effect of that steroid.
I realize your post was from months ago. Hope all is well with your fur baby!
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
Try Zymox Otic! Our lab has ear issues and nothing the vet gave helped; 100's of dollars worth of vet and meds. I read a post somewhere to try the Zymox, and ordered it online. It's really cheap :) Not only did it clear her ears up in like two days, they stayed clear for years. I got the one with hydro cortisone in it. Just Google it, you will see many places you can purchase from.
How much Vagisil do you use for severe infections in the ear?
By Samnatha from Corning, CA
My dog has a severe ear infection. It smells horrible. What can I do? Some people say peroxide, vinegar, alcohol or olive oil. Help please.
What is the ratio of water to vinegar mix to treat for ear infection?
By Bryan from Norman, OK
Although hearing loss is genetic in my family. I have lost 95% of the hearing in my right ear. I went to a specialist who tested my hearing and confirmed that I am in need of either a hearing aid or a procedure that may help lessen the amount of loss. He recommended using a white vinegar therapy once a week for 3 months. When I questioned him on this, he stated that for some people this works very well but it does not work for everyone. I did not have an infection or swimmers ear, again this is a lifetime issue. So far it has not really changed the status of my hearing, but I do not go back to see him for another 2 weeks. When I receive another hearing test, I'll update this site and let you know what the results are.
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?
Keep the hair clipped short to allow air into the ear canal.
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?
Agree with FARSTAR -time for a callback to your vet. Meds may have to be adjusted.
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
I am a tech at a animal hospital and the best advice I could give you is seek a vet before it gets out of control. One other thing I would never ever mix the alcohol and vinegar. I understand the purpose of it is to bring the condition of the ear back to a normal PH level. I find that keeping the hair out of the ears (if they have any) by being plucked will keep infections done. Also I like alcohol best as it dries out the infected ear. But squeeze out the cotton ball first it's ok if some goes into the ear canal. But if ears were just plucked of hair wait at least 6 to 8 hours.
My dog's ear usually stand up. One is down and a little pink, is this an ear infection?
By Pat from Landing, NJ
Could be a yeast infection, common in dogs with ears that don't air out properly. Definitely check with your vet.
I tried vinegar and water and it hasn't helped much. Is there any other suggestion for topical treatments?
I would offer the following advice: Stop feeding soy, wheat and corn. Diamond makes a good line of foods that have none of these items in them. You can buy in bulk and save money.
Is there a home made solution for dogs ear infections?
I highly recommend taking your dog to the vet to get an answer to your question. Often what's going on in a dog's ears may not need to be treated with antibiotics. He/she could have allergies, or dirt and oily build-up which a mere ear cleanse and cotton wipe on a regular basis, could cure.
Just like with humans, we have to keep the ears clean or we'll have problems. Our pets rely on us to clean their ears since they can't do it themselves. Don't try to diagnose the problem yourself, let a professional tell you what route to take. Trying remedies on your own could make the problem worse.
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
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
What should I do? My dog is shaking her head a lot. I'm thinking her ear is bothering her. Please help.
You dog probably has ear mites or possibly an infection in her ears. Either way, your veterinarian will test for the cause of the problem and provide treatment and medications. This is not something to wait and hope she improves as it will only worsen. The website from PetMD has more information:
I want to know how to get zymox. I read it would help my dog's ears.
By Nancy L. Lutz from Smithfield, NC
I have a Black Lab. She has an ear that is smelly and has gunk in it. Can you help me with a home remedy treatment?
Your dog obviously has a problem-infection, fungus, etc. However, you do not know what it is or how to treat and resolve the problem. Please take your dog to your vet for help-he may need medication for the ear. It is also possible he may have another condition not related to the ear itself and may need different treatment. Please do not wait as your dog is suffering.
My dog scratches her ear very hard. When I look in her ear she has some black particles inside. She also has some red dots in her ear. I would like to try the home remedies, but can you tell me how much of each product I should use in her ear?
Clean the ears with a Q-tip moistened with baby oil. Discard the Q-tips carefully because the mites will survive this. Don't go too deep into the ear! When the ear is as clean as you can get it, carefully put a dropper of 3 parts water and 1 part vinegar. Do this every day until she has no more symptoms. You may have to treat again so keep watch. It's O.K. if the vinegar/water runs out. Just going in is what is important.
Does anyone know where to find the Daphne Oz recipe for a dog's ear relief? I believe it was for "garlic infused olive oil, but have not been able to find her article on this.
By Rita G. from Alfred, ME
My dog has a bad ear infection. It is swollen. I need a home remedy please?
By Sarah from Sumrall
What is the ratio of alcohol, vinegar, water for yeast infection in dogs ears?
By Gail G
i am interested in using a homeopathic remedy for a yeast infection in my dogs ears. How much vinegar and water, in what measurements, do I use for his ears?
What is the exact formula of water, vinegar, and alcohol using cotton balls for yeast infected dog's ears? Is there a difference between apple cider vinegar and white vinegar?
There is no way to treat an infection without antibiotics. Do not use vinegar or alcohol in your dog's ears. It will burn his ears and cause your dog a lot of stress and pain.
Your dog needs to see a vet. Changing the diet will help too. Give your dog lamb, duck and sweet potato. Stay away from grains, chicken and beef. Most dogs are allergic to chicken and beef cause of all the stuff the farmers give them then dogs eat the meat with all the junk in it, like antibiotics, hormones, corn just to name a few.
Is there a home remedy for a dog's ear infection?
By Kathy from CT
Please take your dog to a vet so that an ear infection can be properly diagnosed and treated. Untreated ear infections in dogs can lead to seizures, other serious health issues, and potentially, death.
While I am a fan of many home remedies for both people and pets, infections are not something to experiment with. Good Luck.
Can I use Campho-Phenique for yeast infection in my dog's ear?
By Cori H.
Below are photos related to this guide.
To help dogs fight and keep ear infections away, give them a teaspoon of Coconut Oil everyday. If you have a smaller dog you can reduce. Why it works I don't know, but I have a collie mix with floppy ears, she had ear infection every time you turned around. I started giving her the coconut oil everyday and she has not had ear infection in 3 years.
By Michele from West Salem, WI
Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the comments that were provided then.
My dog has a painful ear infection, however I cannot use any anti-biotics to treat him because he has cancer and that would be like throwing gasoline on a fire. I need a strong home remedy that can give him some relief without affecting his tumor.
JB from Monmouth, NJ
By guest in N. California
By Leigh Ann
My 1 1/2 year old mutt is continually getting yeast infections in her ears. The ointment we get from the vet is very expensive and was wondering if anyone knew of a home remedy.
I came here for some natural healing advice for my dog who was going through a fungal skin problem. I tried a lot of the tips I received and it cleared up!
I have a chow mix with a bad ear infection. It has had antibiotics and they are not working. Does anyone know of a good home remedy I can try?
I have a 7 year old Basset Hound who has had chronic ear infection for the majority of his adult doggy life. I have taken him to the vet every time and they give me antibiotics and drops.
How can I cure my dogs ear infections?
My dogs have a yeast infection in their ears. I need a natural way to treat it. No money to go to the vet.
I'm looking for a natural cure for ear infections in my two dogs.