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Smelly Black Tar Buildup in Dog's Ear

Category Health
A dog scratching its ear.
One of the causes for a black smelly build up in your pet's ears can be a yeast or other type of infection. This is a guide about smelly black tar buildup in dog's ear.
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By 3 found this helpful
November 28, 2007

My dog has black tar stuff in his ear and it smells, what is it?

Kim from Eugene, OR

Answer Was this helpful? 3
December 3, 20071 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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By guest (Guest Post)
November 29, 20070 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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October 14, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

This is either a yeast or bacterial infection & requires a trip to a vets office. You will need an ear cleanser & antibiotic.

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April 14, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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December 3, 20071 found this helpful

Ear Wash

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.

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November 29, 20161 found this helpful

How much was this procedure?

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

Please don't delay. Take your dog to the vet.

If it's got that far the dog must be suffering.

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By guest (Guest Post)
December 3, 20070 found this helpful

Take your dog to doctor, this is a yeast infection, and needs medical help

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December 6, 20070 found this helpful

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!

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By guest (Guest Post)
July 12, 20080 found this helpful

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.

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By guest (Guest Post)
January 2, 20090 found this helpful

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?

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By guest (Guest Post)
February 18, 20090 found this helpful

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.

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February 27, 20110 found this helpful

After worrying about my dog, everyone who made suggestions helped me a lot to understand what was wrong with him. Thanks everyone.

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December 23, 20140 found this helpful

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.

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Anonymous
January 23, 20160 found this helpful

I have taken my dogs to the vet and they have both been treated for fungus/yeast and usually an antibiotic ear drop. The yeast always comes back. Being a thrify person I researched the drug the vet gave me and tried to find my own cheaper OTC remedy. The golden retriever, has large floppy ears. He will smell terrible (and the kids that he loves shun him) and gets a brown waxy, gross looking buildup in the ears. Bathing makes it better for 1 or 2 days then it gets worse. I found with him getting it cleared with medication from the vet or I have used womens OTC yeast infection cream in his ear. Same drug and figure it should be gentle enough. Once it clears I found that putting CVS baby powder that contains zinc oxide in his ears weekly keeps it under control. I also have used dollar store foot powder and it works as well. I have read zinc oxide can be toxic so don't over do it. http://www.vcah … ity-in-pets/8077 The other mix breed terrier type dog has small ears and I read that the canel can become clogged. Her problems are usually in the dry dusty time of the year. The cleaning and putting a bit of almond oil seems to work for her. I think she gets dirt clogs in the ear canals. She doesn't smell bad but seems to have a bit of jealousy when the other dog gets all the ear attention, not sure if her ears really are bothering her or just wanting attention.

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Anonymous
May 7, 20160 found this helpful

Thank you so much for the info.

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Anonymous
May 16, 20160 found this helpful

Ear mites. If her ears hurt and she shakes her head then that's def ear mites. Take her to vet as the over the counter meds don't work....

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Anonymous
May 25, 20160 found this helpful

Granular, coffee-ground like black discharge is very likely ear mites.

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July 25, 20160 found this helpful

Hi, is it normal for the dig to yelp when using this solution?

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

Is dish soap really ok to put in ears. I'm asking cuz I don't want anything to happen. I have a 4no. Old Chihuahua I'm all for home remedy. Curious dog owner. Thanks for this recipe as well. :)

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February 21, 20170 found this helpful

I know your post is old, but I still have to say it! Baby powder and foot powder in dogs' ears? i worry that you don't know your (ass) from a hole in the ground. Foot powder is for feet, not made to be put in ears. I, too, try to pinch pennies, but when it comes down to running from dollar store to thrift store to buy the cheapest brand on the market of one ingredient in a medication, and then just say, "come here boy, let me shake this into your ear", and then stand there and either watch him start howling or have a seizure or begin to scratch his ears until they bleed, that is where I draw the line. If your dog had a violent reaction, what would you have done? Would you have returned to the dollar store and run up and down the aisles looking for something or anything that you felt would get your bargain fix out of his ear. Who cares if his ear drum gets punctured, it got the powder out, right? My heart goes out to your dog! I realize that you love your dog and you mean well, but sometimes people just like to find a deal and say they did the same thing at a cheaper price. What did your vet say about your bargain remedies? Was he as appalled as I am now? A bargain to me is finding shoes or boots at 1/2 price or finding corn on the cob at some rediculous price. When it is being instilled in a body orifice and that little voice inside your head says: "I wonder if I am doing the right thing" or "I'm glad this is you and not me cause I don't know what's going to happen after it's in there", then you should not, and I emphasize NOT, put this in any animal's ears or any opening for that matter. Our precious pets trust us emphatically and he let you put this in his ear. I bet if he knew what could happen secondarily from you putting this in his ear, he would stop dead in his tracks, look you square in the face, and say: "you're going to TRY to put that where"? "I'll do you first, and if you are alive and can still hear me bark one week from now, I'll show it to my vet, and I'll get back to you on that!". "Until then, quit trying to find a deal"! I'm just wondering, is your dog still living and able to hear the mailman when he delivers your mail? I label your suggestion ABSURD!

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July 2, 20170 found this helpful

The black stuff that comes out of my Maltese ears is dried and stringy--no smell I use a cotton swab (Q Tip) to gently remove it 2 times a day!

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August 28, 20111 found this helpful

My dog has smelly black tar in his ear. I would like to know what it is. How can I treat it?

By gypsygirl

Answer Was this helpful? 1
August 28, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

My dog had that. It's an ear infection, probably a yeast infection. I got an ear solution from the vet that cleared it right up. Since then, I've seen lots of posts on ThriftyFun from people who've had success with homemade ear washes using vinegar or women's yeast infection treatment. You could probably try one of those. Just use the google search option in the orange bar at the top of the page and you should find them.

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 29, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Go to a feed store, pet store, tractor supply, ect. Buy a cleansing ear wash. It's ear wax that can be caused by an infection, mites, or just getting dirty! I have a Bassett and I clean that out of hers every few days! If they are itching badly or the canal is red you might think about a vet. but since you didn't mention her shaking her head a lot or scratching doggie should be fine, but clean them often.

Good luck

Reply Was this helpful? Yes
August 30, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful

The only professional person with qualification to answer this question is your Veterinarian. You don't say how long your dog has had this problem without treatment.

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July 12, 20160 found this helpful

i know this is old but for anyone reading this years later...Try zymox ..the one wuth hydrocortizone

..cheap..highly rated...amazon.com

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September 19, 20160 found this helpful

My black 100 lb Lab has this problem about every 3 months it is My vet has treated it with a syringe full of a waxy substance and identifys it as BNT??? Numberous times. I beg her to give me a prescription for it as i am very capable to do this treatment since i vet my own horses...she will not and requires me to make visits to her to do the treatment herself at a cost. I have invested over $500.+ dollars to her. Oh Yes....I do treat is regularly with a vet ear wash call Epi-Otic. That is somewhat a help until it goes out of control again. I am up in arms to find a treatment to do myself.

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February 21, 20170 found this helpful

Are you using the hydrocortisone after you've washed the dogs ears and removed the black tar stuff?

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April 22, 20170 found this helpful

My dog has the same problem,I'm treating it with green tea tree oil. You mix 5 drops green tea oil and a table spoon olive oil. Clean ear with peroxide and water mix about half and half warmed.Then put 4 to 5 drops of the green tea tree mix. I do it twice a day for 7 days clears it up.

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March 30, 20131 found this helpful

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 Amanda

Answer Was this helpful? 1
April 1, 20131 found this helpful
Best Answer

It does sound like an ear infection, which can be from fungus or bacteria or both. If it is not treated effectively is can result in much pain for your dog, along with loss of hearing or inner ear damage leaving the dog in a state of constant dizzyness for the remainder of its life. At that point you would have no choice but to have your dog euthanized. You cannot afford not to treat this.

Look for a local Vet who will take payments, or has a fund for those who cannot afford treatment. There are several in my area. If you cannot find treatment, take your dog to a local rescue or shelter where it can get treatment. It is sad to not be able to afford a pet, but there are many in that situation these days. It is illegal not to treat a sick pet.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
March 31, 20130 found this helpful
Best Answer

Golden Retrievers are one of the breeds prone to ear infections & the symptoms you mention are all symptoms. I personally would recommend you contact your vet to have the poor dog's ears checked before it gets too far out of hand.

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April 1, 20130 found this helpful

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!

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May 16, 20160 found this helpful

Ear mites. She must go to the vet. The ear mite medicine at the stores don't work.

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Anonymous
May 31, 20160 found this helpful

that is a chronic ear infection. need to clean with organic apple cider vinegar and water. mix 1/2 and 1/2 and apply 10 drops in each ear. massage up and down the back of ear to spread it and then let her shake it out. wipe out anything with cotton ball or kleenix. never use paper towel as it's too rough. do this 2x a day till gone. if it's not cleared up after 2 weeks then go to the vet.

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May 13, 20131 found this helpful

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 Nonname

Answer Was this helpful? 1
June 16, 20171 found this helpful

You are being nasty. Like anyone wants their pet to be in pain or ill.

Reply Was this helpful? 1
June 23, 20171 found this helpful

Like kids, if you can't afford to take good care of them, then don't have them! People! smh 

Reply Was this helpful? 1
May 14, 20130 found this helpful

I found these answers for you...I am sad that the neighbor doesn't take the dog to the vet.

http://answers. … 304165800AAr1enu

Blessings, Robyn

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May 15, 20130 found this helpful

Sounds like this may be a yeast infection or a bacterial infection. If it is a bacterial infection there is a risk that it will go into the inner ear. If it does it can destroy the animals balance mechanism. This cannot be repaired and almost always requires euthanasia because the animal cannot stay upright. I would warn your neighbor that the consequences of ignoring this can be awful for the animal.

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May 15, 20130 found this helpful

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.

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August 8, 20160 found this helpful

All of you are real quick to criticize!!!! I understand her my dog has chronic ear problems and I spend about 700 a year!!!! If someone can help great and if not keep uYour comments to yourselves...

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July 2, 20170 found this helpful

Hey everyone .! We have enough hateful people. In this world .. please stop judging these ppl who don't have thousands of Dollars setting in there bank. It took me 3 years to save enough money to have my dogs mammography tumor removed . It was over $1000.00 . Thanks god the vet in Orland was willing to let me pay it out in payments. But for all of you who are blessed in life to run to vet everyone u feel the need we all can't do it . But that dam sure doesn't mean I don't love my baby anymore than you . It's a flipping money game. Instead of being so hateful maybe u could spread the love and send this women a debit card with like $50 on it. Or whatever u can spare. But please stop being so mean. My daughter worked in a shelter in Northern Calif where every tue was dukes day they would have to walk in and start killing dogs like 10-20 week . Simply because they couldn't afford to house and feed all the animals . How do I inject and kill a dog who is wagging there tail and licking you just wanting love . So if you want to be hateful and judge that's where u can start . Go adopt another pet. and if any shelter tell you they are a no kill shelter know this they might not be a no kill shelter in that building but I guarantee there's another building somewhere else where they are taking him to put them down .. So stop attacking this lady. BwcUs she can't afford 200 doaklars to walk in and out a vet with a script

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Anonymous
July 7, 20170 found this helpful

True while understanding that I have to also say I have six dogs I don't have six dogs because I'm some greedy Glutton Pig I have six dogs because I've adopted them because I'm afraid of them being put down for no reason just cuz they exist. I can only afford minimal care which means I feed them and I do take them to the vet but anything that's several hundred dollars would probably result in having to put them down. I look for home remedies for lots of things I have one dog that is 11 years old another that is 8 years old another one that is 6 years old one that is 2 years old and two puppies.. I do the best that I can none of them have serious medical conditions.. all of them I have had since they were puppies..

so that at least does not say something about the way I raised them and the way that I take care of them I don't know what does I'm very cautious of what they do they do not go outside of the house they are all potty trained to use TT pads. I do so to make sure I limit the cases of my animals becoming severely ill or injured..

So I would have to say just because someone cannot afford to drop several hundred dollars on a dog per visit per case does not mean that they are a crappy person there's plenty of people with a big heart that is trying to save these animals from being euthanized..

Not everybody is bankrolling and if everyone had the mindset that you do there would be a lot more animals being put down if not everyone can afford vet care then all these animals would be dead all mine are rescues..

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