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Treating a Dog's Ear Infection

Category Health
Dogs with drop ears, in particular, can be prone to recurring ear infections. In addition to the obvious trip to the vet, there are additional measures pet owners can take. This page has advice 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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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 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 hydrocortisone.

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Here is the medication at amazon.com.

http://www.amazon.com/Pet-King-Enzymatic-Solution-Ounces/dp/B0025YOJXS/

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.

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By 5 found this helpful
September 22, 2010

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.
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Source: friend

By Michele from West Salem, WI

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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
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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!

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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
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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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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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June 6, 20110 found this helpful
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Here is the easiest method I have found to help alleviate/stop ear infections in dogs and cats. Simply freeze their dry chow for 24 hours and keep it frozen and feed them with this. My vet told me about this and my dog who had almost constant ear infections has only had only bout requiring treatment in over 2 years now! Saves the animal a lot of misery and you a lot of money too. Try it what do you have to lose?

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June 6, 20110 found this helpful
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If you Google homemade pet food recipes you can find some that you can make yourself. That way you are sure of what your pet is getting. And, your animals like it too.

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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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March 6, 20130 found this helpful
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My dog has a similar problem. The vet gave me ear drops called "dermotic" - put a few drops in the ear 2 times a day. This has worked really well - almost no problem now.

In between meds you could regually cleanse the ears with 'epi-otic" - put a few drops in the ears then after a few minutes use a cotton ball & wipe all the wax out. These treatments have worked really well for me, are purchased through the vet & affordable. Good luck.

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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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April 29, 20110 found this helpful
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My son has a black lab and for years she has also had chronic ear infections. Countless trips to the vet, antibiotics and cleaning her ears constantly still didn't help. I did some research and found this medicine (bought it from Amazon) and it really did the trick. It is called Zymox Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone. Under $20 from Amazon best thing we ever did for her. If you go to Amazon read the reviews, that's what I did. This is a miracle for the poor dogs who suffer continuously.

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April 29, 20110 found this helpful
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Sometimes chronic yeast infections can be cured by feeding yogurt. Just feed a spoonful with every meal. Use the plain low fat version. If your dog is not suffering from a yeast infection this will not hurt it. In fact, it gives them a nice soft coat but protects against a lot of different types of yeast infections.

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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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February 14, 20110 found this helpful
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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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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
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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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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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February 22, 20110 found this helpful
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I am not sure Vagisil will do anything for the infection but stop the itching. But Monastat will, if the dog has a fungal infection. You can get the drug store brand, and it will work just as well. It won't take very much of it, so 1 tube will do a while. Colloidal Silver will also kill the fungus, or any bacteria in the dog's ears if used regularly, will keep the infection down.

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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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August 12, 20120 found this helpful
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Many long-eared dogs are prone to yeast infections. If this is the case with your dog, you could try over-the counter products used to treat women's vaginal yeast infections, such as Monistat (I buy the generic version). Just squeeze some of the cream on to a soft cloth and thoroughly wipe it in the ear, and then massage the ear to make sure the cream gets down into the ear canal. You can do this several times a day.

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August 13, 20121 found this helpful
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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.

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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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April 19, 20150 found this helpful
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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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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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February 21, 20110 found this helpful
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When we have to put drops in our lab's ears, it takes two of us. My husband holds the dog (he kind of hugs it real close), and I put the drops in. I've also started putting a couple of tablespoons of yogurt in the dog's food every day, and this seems to have stopped the ear infections. You have to use the real yogurt with live cultures, that comes in the larger tub, not the kind mixed with fruit, etc.

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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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May 30, 20150 found this helpful
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I need to tell you first that I am NOT a vet... however I have successfully treated ear infections in both my family members and our animals using the following home remedy;

Put half a cup of olive oil in a small saucepan (top of a double boiler is even better). Peel a large clove of garlic, and put it on a cutting board. Smash it with the flat side of a knife, and put it into the olive oil. Heat it very gently for about five minutes, stirring it around in the oil. Do not get this really hot. You don't want it to sizzle at all.

Remove garlic from the oil and let it cool. When it is lukewarm (test it on your own wrist, just like you're bottle-feeding a baby), take an eyedropper and place a couple or three drops in your pets ear. Massage gently to work it down into the ear.

I usually do this twice a day until the infection clears. You can use the same oil, warming it in a custard cup set into a larger bowl of warm water, but always make sure you clean the dropper very well between uses with hot soapy water and a good rinse.

Hope this helps!

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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
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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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October 9, 20110 found this helpful

Is there a home made solution for dogs ear infections?

By Vonny

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October 10, 20110 found this helpful
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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.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 17, 2014

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?

By Carolann

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December 18, 20140 found this helpful
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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.

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February 3, 20140 found this helpful

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?

By Nilsa

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February 6, 20140 found this helpful
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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.

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March 7, 20120 found this helpful

What is the ratio of alcohol, vinegar, water for yeast infection in dogs ears?

By Gail G

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March 11, 20120 found this helpful
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1 to 1

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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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April 22, 20151 found this helpful

Why does my female dog keep getting an ear infection?

By Geraldine

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February 19, 20110 found this helpful

Treating a Dog's Ear Infection Without Antibiotics

For those of you looking for help with your dog's ear infections, it's probably yeast. It could be bacterial, but I'd treat for yeast first if dollars are short, and they always are at my house.

I tried the vinegar route, but it didn't help. I can't promise this will help your dog, but Zymox Otic helped mine big time, and it's readily available on the Internet. I see someone has already recommended it and I second that. Check several pet supply outlets online for the lowest prices and best shipping costs.

I keep Zymox Otic on hand all the time now. Molly got relief the first time I used it on her and that was a blessing for both of us. When my dog shakes her head and the oil comes out, I don't clean it off. I rub it into her ears on the inside of the flap, in the grooves, and on the the opening of the ear near the head. Sometimes the yeast will spill over and run out the bottom of the ear and create a dark gritty area on the skin. If you find that, soak it daily until it goes away.

My Molly's a floppy eared dog and that makes it worse for her. Air and sunlight doesn't get in there and it's a breeding ground for yeast. But it can be controlled (and maybe cured) and your dog can have relief and a happy life. Good luck!

Source: Somebody mentioned this on Earthclinic months ago. I tried it and it worked.

By luvdogs from Tuscaloosa, AL

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Treating a Dog's Ear Infection Without Antibiotics

I am usually one that's all for home remedies for many things. However there are some things that require a trip to the doctor/vet. And ear infections are one of them! The only way to treat them and keep them from coming back is to get some antibiotics from the vet and follow his instructions. Home remedies only treat the symptoms, not the cause. Would you let your child suffer with ear infections coming back all the time? I think not. Don't do this to your poor dog either! Get him to the vet and get it treated and over with once and for all! (03/24/2010)

By Cricketnc

Treating a Dog's Ear Infection Without Antibiotics

Milk and olive oil treatment. Somewhere in this conversation someone suggested 4tbsp olive oil and 4tbsp milk slightly warmed and used as drops every hour for the first day.

I gotta tell ya, I've never seen anything work this well! My dog's ear was red and swollen shut just a couple days ago, I used this remedy the first day and watched as the day progressed how his ear was healing, by night time the redness had eased up, and it was no longer swollen shut allowing me to clean it better and get the drops in better. I've been using it for 3 days and his ear is in great shape, no more infection, no more smell, just a little brown residual mess to clean up, very little. No more irritation, itching, or pain for the dog. This was truly amazing. No need for antibiotics! I truly recommend this first, if it doesn't work for you, then decide to go to the vet for antibiotics if need be. (02/03/2011)

By tmv212

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