My dog has black tar stuff in his ear and it smells, what is it?
Kim from Eugene, OR
By kim carder
By SH (Guest Post) 11/29/2007
My black lab gets that too. The vet says it's an ear infection. When she gets this I take her in to have her ears cleaned (I would clean them myself but she is too big and strong for me). If it still smells after that I have some antibiotic drops that help.
The black smelly stuff is a yeast infection. Dogs get this when they are having some type of allergic reaction (ears, nose, throat are all interconnected).
My 1 year old Golden is under veterinary care right now for this problem. The dog gets a medication in the ear twice a day. Also, we use a special ear wash twice a day to wash and help cleanse the area. That wash is an antifungal/antimicrobial solution prescribed by the vet. After we use the wash, we carefully wipe any of that gunky black stuff away. Once the ear has dried, we use the medicine which is rubbed into the ear.
Golden Retrievers are one of the dog breeds that are susceptible to this type of a yeast infection. Our vet told us that it'll probably re-occur off and on, so I would imagine this would be true for your dog, too.
If you check your dog's ears every couple of days, you should be able to control the problem before it becomes inflamed and uncomfortable for your dog.
By Norma (Guest Post) 12/03/2007
Please don't delay. Take your dog to the vet.
If it's got that far the dog must be suffering.
By ERosa (Guest Post) 12/03/2007
Take your dog to doctor, this is a yeast infection, and needs medical help
This recipe was given to me by "Affordable Neutering and Spaying Clinic" in my town. It works perfect and it saved me an expensive vet office visit and the cost of the solution they usually sell me at $12 + tax.
1/4 cup warm water
1/4 cup white vinegar
1/2 tsp. boric acid....really cheap from the pharmacy, you have to ask them for it as it is kept behind the counter....lasts forever.
2 drops of tea tree oil
2 drops of dish detergent
Shake the empty jar you will mix this all up in. Use a couple of cotton balls, soak, put in pet's ear, fold the ear flap down and and gently rub it in circular motions for about 30 seconds. Remove and stand back as pet will shake their head! Repeat for second ear.
Use once a day for a week and once a week from this point on to prevent.
I usually take a cotton ball or two and wipe the ear out a bit, amazing the black junk that comes out. This works for ear mites, also. Those smell just as bad and a lot of gunk will come out.
Most likely it is a mild to severe yeast infection. Get your dog to a Vet immediately and he will give you drops to put in his ears and it will go away quickly. Everyday use Apple Cidar Vinegar on a cotton ball to clean his ears. If the smell and build up continues, back to the Vet. One of my Golden Retrievers was plagued by ear infections, and finally my Vet's associate had to do a ear resection to clear up the problem for good. Hurry!
By travis (Guest Post) 01/13/2008
I am not sure what is in my dogs ear but it is "dirt like" not too smelly , She does scratch at it and I scratch her head but when she moves her head so I scratch her ear she will yelp it is apparent that it is painful. Any hints?
By john lauren (Guest Post) 07/12/2008
This is a food allergy. I'm almost certain that your dog is allergic to wheat. Try a wheat free diet (any and all gluten) for a couple of months and the black yeast will clear up.
By Jodie (Guest Post) 01/02/2009
My 6 yr old chihuahua has thick black stuff in his ears and it stinks. I tried cleaning his ears but it hurts him. What's wrong with his ears?
By (Guest Post) 02/18/2009
I have spent hundreds of dollars on vet visits over the past 7 months and I MUST thank you for the recipe as it worked and she is all cleared up.
By (Guest Post) 02/19/2009
I have spent hundreds of dollars on vet visits over the past 7 months and I MUST THANK YOU for the recipe as it worked and she is all cleared up.
By shamy 02/27/2011
After worrying about my dog, everyone who made suggestions helped me a lot to understand what was wrong with him. Thanks everyone.
By Roxanne D. 10/14/2013
This is either a yeast or bacterial infection & requires a trip to a vets office. You will need an ear cleanser & antibiotic.
By mcook3667 04/14/2014
Just got back from the vet. My plott hound has an ear infection, same signs black tarry looking stuff in his ears and head shaking. He was given an anti histamine shot, antibiotic pills, and drops for his ears. The vet also gave me a prescription ear cleaning solution to use once a week after we get the current problem solved.
By Christie R. 12/23/2014
We have had this issue with my dog & I'm a smoker & I wondered at times if my smoking was effecting his ears. If you look at a tissue that someone blew cigarette smoke through, you would see the black tar. Just something to think about.
Here are questions related to Smelly Black Tar Stuff in Dogs Ear.
My neighbor's dog has had this smelly black looking tar like ear infection for about a year now. I don't know why she hasn't taken her to the vet yet. I was curious what it could be and if it can harm the dog?
By Lizzyanny  05/15/2013
I should have mentioned that you should remind your neighbor that she can be legally prosecuted for not getting medical care for a sick animal.
I have a 2 year old black Lab Golden Retriever mix and she has this stuff in her ears that is black and smells bad. I tried to clean them with this stuff called Clean Ears and also put 2 different kinds of drops in them. It works for a day or 2, but then the smell comes back. She also scratches them a lot and now the pink part is starting to turn scaly and red. Sometimes the insides of her ears bleed! I cannot afford to take her to the vet, as vets around here cost too much. What is wrong with her and what can I do for this to make it go away?
By Linda L.  04/01/2013
You must take your dog to the vet. Sounds like an ear infection. My shelties used to get them all the time. If you have a pet you have to be a responsible pet owner and provide necessary veterinary care!
My dog has smelly black tar in his ear. I would like to know what it is. How can I treat it?
By jilliebean9700  08/30/2011
Most likely a yeast ear infection. My female pugs has had it a few times. You should take her/him to the vet to get a medicated ear wash. Then after it is treated wash her ears every few days to keep it under control.