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Treating a Dog With Smelly Ears

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Ear infections or mites can cause your dog to have smelly ears. This page offers some suggestions for treating a dog with smelly ears.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 1 found this helpful
October 3, 2010

I have a Basset hound and the symptoms are: a lot of little scabs on him, itchy skin, and bad smelling ears, very smelly. Do you know the best treatment for him?

By paul


October 3, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

I would bet he/she has ear mites. Pets get them somehow. I haven't Googled it, but I think it's pretty common.
They shake their heads a lot. I certainly would if something was crawling inside my ears. Look in the outer part of the ear. Are there black flecks there? Use a Q-tip to pick some of this up with. Smell it. Is that the odor you are talking about? If it is, it is the poopoo from the earmites. They come out of the ear canal to poop.

If you do not know how to clean the outer ear, I would take him/her to the vet. They will clean it very well and give you medication to get rid of them. Your pet will be so thankful. If you cannot afford the vet, they have medication over the counter in grocery stores where they sell pet supplies, Walmart or Pet stores. Be sure to clean the outer ear before putting in the medication.


As for his/her skin, perhaps the shampoo is too strong. Most dogs and cats are allergic to harsh shampoos. I've been using baby shampoo that is gentle to the eyes, then really rinse extremely well, belly too, and lift up the tail rinsing real good there. Need a spray hose to connect to the faucet. I had to make a small slice in the part of the hose that connects to the faucet to make it fit, probably because it's a cheapie. Still using it after all these years.

One of my canine daughters has allergies and I do this to all my "kids." Never had anymore problems until I moved and took them to a new groomer. Cost me nearly $300 to get her skin cleared up. She suffered soooo much. Evidently they just rinsed her off fast. Animals are just like humans. They suffer too, but can't tell you where their pain is.


Hope all is fine with your "kid," by the time you read this.

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October 4, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Blackened ear wax and odor usually indicate ear infection in dogs, especially those with long ears. You can buy Zymox Ear medication for infections in ears much cheaper than your vet will sell it, but maybe the first bottle is best to get from the vet so you can treat it quickly. Don't use anything else in the ears as long as the Zymox is being used. No liquids of any kind. You do not need to clean out the ears as Zymox will help to dry out the infection and the dog will shake it out when it shakes its head.

After the ears are totally free of infection; use it as directed, but there's a solution you can make called BLUE POWER EAR WASH that works great for keeping dog's ears clean and infection free. It's on and also on other websites. Just do a google search. Good Luck!

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January 10, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Paul, this could be a very bad mite and inner ear infection. Go to Walmart or Kmart and in the animal section get a cat/dog ear cleaner. This cleans the inner ears, kills mites which can deafen your pet and takes out moisture which can cause bad infections.


If you do not see results in a couple of days please take your dog to the vet or local humane society which is very reasonable and have his or her ears checked. We all know what ear infections feel like and this could be serious.

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November 21, 20110 found this helpful
Best Answer

Sounds like ear mites, but please take your dog to the vet and have it diagnosed correctly. If it is mites, using alcohol in the ears, as someone suggested, would be very painful on the bites.

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By 0 found this helpful
July 13, 2017

What is a home treatment for my dog's ears?


July 13, 20170 found this helpful

If your dog has an infection, you need to see a vet. He could have mites as well.

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July 16, 20171 found this helpful

Home remedies are sometimes helpful but if it continues very long you should take your dog to the vet as ear infections can turn into serious problems.


This question has been asked a lot on ThriftyFun and many suggestion/remedies given so maybe you might want to read what others have offered.

http://www.thri  f205169.tip.html

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

I clean my dog's and rabbits ears with baby oil. You can use an eye dropper and put a few drops of baby oil in the dog's ear. Afterwards, let the oil sit for a few hours. Use a clean, soft cloth and clean the ears. Normally this is caused from ear mites.

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January 9, 20190 found this helpful

Does the baby oil kill the mites? How long have you used it for?

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October 3, 20100 found this helpful

How can I clean my dog's stinky ears?

lorig41 from Tucson, AZ


Dog With Smelly Ears

My golden Lab gets the same thing. She also has a brown goop in them when they get too bad. The vet gave me a bottle of Kenalog Oint to put in when this happens. It's not too expensive either. I put a couple of drops in, work it in and then clean with a tissue as best as I can then repeat if needed. (03/10/2009)



Dog With Smelly Ears

Zymox ointment is also a good product that works well. You put it in DRY dog's ears; not right after their shampoo. Do not use other products or ear cleansers before applying. Zymox will help to dry out the inner ear and as the dog shakes its head, the gunk flakes out on its own. Zymox has cortizone in it and there's also one without. A vet recommended it to me and I saw it was doing the job. Other products she'd sold didn't work as well. You can also buy Zymox on the internet w/o a prescription. Do not wipe out the ear after applying.

I've also used the inexpensive mixture of boric acid, isopropyl alcohol, and gentian violet treatment on my dog's ears regularly. It cleans the outer ears too and keeps them fresh while helping to prevent ear infections. This stuff will stain, so put dog on an old towel or mat before application. (03/10/2009)

By Myrna

Dog With Smelly Ears

I bought a product at Wal-Mart. It is Q-tips with a solution on them. You can also find them at any pet store. In a pinch I even dipped a Q-tip in some vinegar water and swabbed my dog's ears. The vinegar will stop odors. I use a capful of vinegar to a capful of water.

~Janette~ (03/11/2009)

By Janette

Dog With Smelly Ears

I know the vet can be expensive, but dogs ears really shouldn't smell bad. Please have the vet rule out any life threatening infection before you try any homemade cure. And get the vet's OK on which ones you should try just to be safe. We all luv our pets, so let's keep them safe and healthy. (03/11/2009)

By Kathy Klahn

Dog With Smelly Ears

Smelly ears usually mean ear mites or an infection. Go to the vet and pay $100 or search the internet for the vet by the name of Andrew Jones. He is great and has a wonderful newsletter. (03/11/2009)

By carole

Dog With Smelly Ears

I use Listerine [the mouthwash] on the latest 2 rescued Shih Tzus I adopted, Listerine cleared their ears in about 2-3 weeks of putting a few drops in each ear nightly. I also "gently" use a Q-tip to clean the part of the ears I can see. (03/11/2009)

By Joan

RE: Dog With Smelly Ears

Dog With Smelly Ears

We have a Cocker spaniel; actually he's our 5th and they are prone to ear issues. We now swear by this stuff:

There is also a ready-made variety of this you can purchase online, but I can't remember the brand name. Hope that helps! (04/28/2009)

By Tricia

RE: Dog With Smelly Ears

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March 9, 20090 found this helpful

My Springer spaniel has chronic ear problems. They look very clean; I never get any yuck out of them, yet I can tell they hurt him and they smell. A friend told me 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 rubbing alcohol which I tried tonight, he's calm now, but was crazy when I first put the stuff in. Can anyone help? The vet bill is $40 just to see him and another $20 for the medicine. I am looking for a better home remedy!

Debra Ann


Dog With Smelly Ears

I have a Springer spaniel too, Debra Ann. Those long floppy ears can surely present problems! From the message board of MAESSR (Mid Atlantic English Springer Spaniel Rescue), here's the "recipe" for the popular Blue Voodoo, which is widely claimed to prevent doggie ear infections:

  • 1 pint alcohol
  • 4 TBSP Boric acid
  • 16 drops gentian violet

Wipe the inside of his ears several times a week with this solution on a cotton swab. Just let it dry in there. But don't wear your good clothes, because he will shake his head and, well, you know all about that, I'm sure. (I have not used this solution on my own dog -- I'm just passing on the info.) Many people also say it's helpful to feed a tablespoon of plain yogurt once a day.

One more thing I've learned is that "sore" ears and head shaking are sometimes caused by matted hair behind or near the ears. Our male, Magic, has this problem frequently.

Good luck with your dog. (07/19/2005)

By Patty Zion

Dog With Smelly Ears

Yes we use the vinegar mixture in our Lab's ears but just as maintenance. If the dog already has an ear infection you need antibiotic ear drops. If you really can't take him to the vet's right now try the OTC antibiotic ear drops for humans you can get at the pharmacy. Good luck!


By Michelle

Dog With Smelly Ears

Try hydrogen peroxide. Just a few drops in each ear. It will foam try to keep in each ear for as long as you can? Hope this helps. (07/20/2005)

By Kathy

Dog With Smelly Ears

We were periodically taking our dog to the vet with problems with her ears. I asked the vet if there was anything I could use at home to take care of the problem. He said to use distilled white vinegar a couple times a month to wash her ears. It has been two years now and we haven't had problems with her ears since we have been using the vinegar. (07/20/2005)


Dog With Smelly Ears

Try the vinegar solution, my Neuffy has the same problem. Mix 16oz alcohol, 4TBS Boric Acid, and 16 drops Gentian Violet Tincture. It's cheaper than the vet. But you must be consistent cleaning the ears! (02/03/2006)

By Tara

Dog With Smelly Ears

I'd be careful using straight hydrogen peroxide. And you need to watch what percentage you buy (there are a range of strengths). The vet's recommendation for ears is 1:3 ratio of hydrogen peroxide 3% and water. (01/09/2007)

By Rosa

Dog With Smelly Ears

The problem is PH balance and yeast overgrowth, that is why white vinegar works so well.
Feeding yogurt does help as does giving acidolpholus. Even ladies' cream treatments for yeast infections help by rubbing a little inside the ears for about a week. Periodically wipe out the ears with a baby wipe wrapped around your finger to help keep clean and healthy. Hope it helps. (08/23/2007)

By sherry

Dog With Smelly Ears

My dog has hot spots in the ear and I'm using Sulfodene first aid skin medication for dogs. You can get it in Wal-mart or Martins food store and they have the shampoo, too. (01/18/2008)

By Teri

Dog With Smelly Ears

For Pippa: No idea why your particular dog gets infections but I do have some ideas in general. Dogs with floppy ears are prone to ear problems. Dogs with ears that stand have less infections, smells, and problems in general. Those floppy ears don't allow the ears to dry out. My husband sometimes used to have to shave the insides of ears to allow some air in. Again, this may not be your dog's problem but it is a problem for a lot of dogs. (01/08/2009)

By Judi

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