Remedies for a Dog With Itchy Ears?

September 7, 2013

Small tan and white dog.My dog is a Dachshund mix and her ears are horrid. They are red and inflamed, very scaly, and very sore. They have raw spots that are bleeding all over the inside flap of her ear. We bought her ear drops made by Sentry for ear mites, ticks, and itch relief. We give her 5 drops, two times a day, but it is still not working! Please tell me what's wrong.


By Haley. C

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Here are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community.

June 9, 2021

My dog has got itchy flaky ears. I can't take him to a vet as he gets aggressive out of fear with strangers. Does anyone know what is causing it and what I can get to treat it?

A dog's ears turned inside out.


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June 9, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

It could be several things such as Scabies, severe ear mite problem, a skin problem, allergies...and more. BUT a vet is the only one who can look at the problem and come up with a solution.


Call the vet beforehand to see if the vet will come out to your vehicle to take a look at the problem, instead of your dog having to go inside. Good luck.


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June 11, 20210 found this helpful
Best Answer

How to test for Ear mites.

  • One way to test for ear mites is this.
  • Use a qtip to take a swab of the black stuff, which looks like it is fairly close to the opening of the ear.
  • Don't go further into the ear because you may damage it.
  • Smear the black waxy looking stuff onto a black piece of paper, nothing special, even a small black section of a magazine.
  • Place the paper with the smear under a lamp.
  • You may need a magnifying glass, or not if your vision is good.
  • The light will make the mites start crawling around.
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  • If you see mites you might be able to just get some medicine from a vet.
  • Another way to check for mites is to rub your dog's ear while he is resting and not scratching his ears.
  • If he immediately starts to scratch it is because the mites have been activated by the motion of your rubbing his ears.
  • If you have a Petco in your area, you can see a vet without a visit fee, and you can also have your dog vaccinated. Good luck with your dog.
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December 27, 2015

My Westie has had ear problems in the past and still does, but not as bad! We are still treating them with what the vets have given us, but he has quite dry ears and I was wondering if there's anything I can put on the ears to keep them from cracking and getting dry?

Something that doesn't irritate them?


November 17, 20163 found this helpful
Best Answer

My Cocker was having issues with dry flaky skin and scabs. I started rubbing coconut oil on the affected areas one a day or every other day, and the scabs went away.

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April 16, 2015

I have a pitbull that is a year and a couple months old. Lately I've noticed that she has been shaking her head quite often. She also rubs her paws against her face. When I look in her ear I notice that it is red and feels dry. I would like a home remedy to help treat this.

By Luna

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May 3, 2011

My dog has been licking my younger dog's ears. Now they are itchy and my younger dog keeps shaking his head. Is the licking causing a problem?

By Annie from Brunswick, GA


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May 3, 20111 found this helpful

Sounds like ear mites. Your local vet or possibly even a farm or feed store will have meds for their ears that will kill the mites. If left untreated, they can cause infection and itch, burn and be rather uncomfortable.

May 4, 20110 found this helpful

Ear mites is highly probable, a few drops of olive oil in their ears should take care of that.... It could be as simple as dirty ears though, just like us they get a wax build up from time to time.


Just like us, you can clean their ears out with Q- tips, but be careful, your dogs will let you know if it hurts.

May 4, 20110 found this helpful

If the ears smell there is an infection (yeast) some people put human yeast med. in the ears and it helped, I had to take my dog to the vet he scratched so hard he broke the cartilage in one ear now it does not stand up like the other, and he does not hear as well. The Dr. put a smelly Vaseline type of goop (BNT) in a syringe in his ears and I had to put 3 more every 3 days till they were cleared up. And I feed him yogurt (3tbs.) daily.
Hope this helps.

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March 5, 2018

My 7 month old Pit Bull keeps digging at her right ear and sniffing and licking it.


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March 5, 20180 found this helpful
Best Answer

It is very common for dogs to get yeast infections in their ears. You may need a trip to the Vet for medication. These infections are hard to get rid of with home made treatments.


They also never go away on their own. They will get worse if not treated right away.

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August 28, 2013

My dog has had ear problems since I got her. I have taken her to the vet and they gave me a wash and a solution (oil based) for after the wash. What can I use instead of going to the vet since she seems to get this every six months and it is very costly? What can I use or buy? I have white vinegar/water mixture 50/50. Isn't mineral oil also good and what do I mix that with? I'd like to prevent this from happening. Any feedback would be most appreciated.

By Jeannette

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February 27, 2009

I am looking for a home remedy for allergies in a dog's ear. His ear tends to itch and get red. Is there something I can do other than the panalog that the vet prescribed?



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February 27, 20090 found this helpful

Check out under the pets section. They might have some good ideas.....

By Shelter Worker (Guest Post)
February 28, 20090 found this helpful

The allergies aren't in the dog's ear. Your dog probably has allergies to something they're eating (EXTREMELY common in puppymilled and backyard bred dogs) that cause the dog to have natural reactions to allergies...swelling and itch. When the swelling affects the ear and the canals constrict just a tiny bit; the dog is uncomfortable and itchy.


They scratch for relief but that only increases the itch and swelling. As the canals constrict even more, bacteria and fingal infections develop.

First, keep the dog clean with a very mild hypoallergenic shampoo every few weeks. brush daily. Vacuum once a day where the dog usually hangs out and wash their bedding at least twice a week. Use hot water or put the bedding into a plactic bag and freeze for a few hours before washing to kill any mites. Small bed mites can aggravate a problem like this. This is not your main problem but a cheap and easy aid to help.

Looking for anything to relieve allergies in the dog's ear will be useless at best. You should be focusing on what you're feeding the dog. A good place to start is to eliminate all presesrvatives in the dog's food. It's not even expensive to do considering the price of quality dog food these days.

I'd skip table scraps since most people eat tons of junk that are loaded with preservatives. Keep to a natural preservative free diet and take notes on how the dog seems to do with whatever foods they're getting. Fine tune the diet from there.

The next thing to do is be vigilant about cleaning the dog's ears with an alcohol free ear cleanser. Alcohol free is necessary because dries out the ear and is very crying/irritating to any minor sores or newly starting infections...thus causing your dog to scratch and renewing the cycle.

Clean every 3-4 days or so depending on how well a better diet for the dog works and how you notice the dog behaving or scratching.

After doing all that (which really isn't bad at all), the panalog or similar is simply an antibiotic/antifungal preventative for the ear. You only use 1-2 drops every few days to keep back any possible infection before it gets into the bad cycle of scratch/swell/itch, etc. You can search the net for cheaper souces of the med but when all you're using is a drop or two once or twice a week; even the small tubes last you for many months. The small tubes usually only cost around $20 from the vet and there are cheaper sources on the net. That comes out to be pretty darned cheap!

Search for discount panalog and bypass the pet store websites because they are the most overpriced. Even I buy my dog meds on the net but from predominantly human med suppliers. I rarely even need a prescription.

By michelle (Guest Post)
February 28, 20090 found this helpful

My shizu had the same problem for over five years. I just put him on wellness brand food, whitefish and sweet potatoes and it is completely cleared. This poor dog has been on ear drops his whole life and switching his food is what finally worked. I had called the company and the CS. lady asked me if he had any allergy etc. I told her of his chronic ear infections and she said to try that specific formula. Its not made with any ingredients that dogs are typically allergic to. I would bet you money if you switch over to the white fish, sweet potato formula by wellness brand your dogs ears will be better! Good luck.

March 1, 20090 found this helpful

Dogs can get yeast infections in their ears. We had a Maltese that often would get it. It was diagnosed by a vet and they advised a weak solution of vinegar and lukewarm water and applied into the ear canal with a medicine dropper. I now have a hound who has had it a couple of times and I've treated it with the vinegar and water and it has helped.

By Jessica (Guest Post)
March 1, 20090 found this helpful

My youngest dog has bad allergies. We witched to a food made without corn, this has helped a lot, but she still has problems, just like we do in the seasonal type. We use benadryl. 1 tablet for every 50lbs. Works like wonder and it will only be a few weeks, just like humans. Good luck, I know how bad they can feel with allergies.

By chris t. (Guest Post)
March 1, 20090 found this helpful

If it is yeast, candida or allergies, like someone said earlier, try using a 10-15% vinegar & water. Swab the ear & drop inside. It itches more as it dries, but when dry, it will feel so much better. 1)5 would b 1tsp vinegar & 9tsp water. 15% would b 1-1/2 tsp & 8-1/2tsp. When it gets not so sore, you can use straight vinegar. Use white vinegar, it doesn't leave a residue.

By Pat B. (Guest Post)
March 1, 20090 found this helpful

go to It's called blue powder ear treatment. It works I have a poodle and they have a lot of problems.

March 1, 20090 found this helpful

I don't think it is an allergy at all. Sounds like ear mites which all my pets get from time to time. Take a cotton ball or two and swipe the inside of the dogs ear. If it comes out with some gross brown stuff on it...and it smells, it's ear mites. I have a homemade recipe that our vet gave us to make up and use at home. I will post the recipe tomorrow as I am not near the kitchen file at the moment and it is late at night! It works wonderful and it sure is much less expensive than the vets prescription. It is made up of boric acid, vinegar, and tea tree oil.

March 1, 20090 found this helpful

hey try ecualyptyse oil> spelling prob. wrong or use tee tree oil swap w/ cotton ball!

By (Guest Post)
March 2, 20090 found this helpful

I recently started my dog on omega-3 fatty acids for this same condition. The omega-3's decrease inflammation. I do believe it is allergies in my dog. So far so good, she hasn't had any more problems for a few months now. This is a powder that I get at petsmart and sprinkle on her food. It was expensive about $20.00 for the bag but I only use 1/2 tsp. each day so it will last a long time. It needs to be kept in the frig because it will get rancid if left out.

TC in MO

March 27, 20101 found this helpful

My 12 year old chihuahua had a bad smell in his ear. After spending money at the local vet, nothing was helping. I tried oral antibiotics, creams, yogurt (temporarily helped) and ointments. I decided to change his food supply to a brand called 'Nutro Natural Choice Lamb Meal & Rice Formula Small Bites Dog Food'. After a week, the smell was completely gone and his yeast ear infection is gone!

I wanted to share this with many of you. Please Please, try this dog food. It is a bit more costly but you will see a difference in your dogs overall smell, appearance, energy, skin and shedding.

Also, my 7 year old German Shepherd eats the same formula and he doesn't stink even after coming in from the rain. He's not itching and his shedding has stopped. Let me note that I do brush him once a week with a furminator which helps out as well.

The Dog Food contains: *Glucosamine and chondroitin for healthy joints
*Antioxidant protection for a healthy immune system
*All natural fortified with vitamins and minerals

Don't give up and don't let your dog suffer the effects of smelly itchy ears anymore! I try to share this bit of information with as many dog lovers as I can. . The few extra dollars a month is so well worth it!!

Thanks, Donna

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May 12, 2013

Closeup of dog.I have a Shih tzu Pug mix who has one ear that is red and scaly. She scratches it quite often. I am looking for a home remedy. Her ears have been cleaned. There are no mites. Please help as this looks quite painful and uncomfortable.

By Kim

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April 28, 2015

I have a Chihuahua puppy that will be 7 months old in a couple of weeks. Recently she started constantly scratching her left ear and then licking her toes and going right back to scratching.

Is there anything, other than taking her to the vet, that I can do to help her?

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March 28, 2019

I just got my baby Dachshund from a guy who was running a puppy mill in TN. Since I have had him he's been treated for worms and kennel cough. I finally got him over both of those and now he's scratching his ears and shaking his head enough to wake me up every night.

I cleaned his ears out 3 times and I see a lot of brown; I'm assuming is wax. How can you tell the difference between an allergy/infection? Is there anything I can do to help before I take him to the vet in a few days?

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January 26, 2017

We have a Lab/Husky mix. Our baby is 1 and half years old and recently has started scratching her left ear. We just thought it was the seasons, our Pit/mix does the same. The other day we noticed that the hair on the outer ear was getting thin.

Since she was raised with our other one she has developed her character and does attack people, so the vet is out. We have read about using vinegar and water 50/50. My youngest son does this 4× a day, but with a large syringe not a dropper. Now since we are using the syringe are we using too much each time. Is that harming her? Should we change to the dropper? We appreciate all of you who prefer home remedies for your pets when possible. I had a Rot who we raised that developed a bad reaction to a vet's treatment and a male also we lost the male quite quickly, but the female lasted a month. It was a horrible time, so thanks again.

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January 26, 2015

I have a Boxer and his ears are really red and he is always scratching them. We took him to the vet and they said he doesn't have ear mites. We have tried some ear drops, but nothing seems to be helping. He also shakes his head and rubs it up against the furniture. What are some things we could do to help this redness and itching stop?


By Destiney D

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August 24, 2011

How do you relieve dry skin in a dog's ears? His ears are dry inside and out. I clean them all the time because he scratches the side of his face until it bleeds! Any suggestions would be great. Thank you.

By Stephanie

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December 30, 2018

My Dachshund has scratched his ear raw on the inside and scratches all the time. I can't afford to take him to vet. How can I cure this problem?

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January 10, 2011

Is there an over the counter cure for persistent ear itching? It seems to be moisture driven, ie., floppy ears and lots of snow outside.

By Wayne from Buckhorn, Ontario


January 10, 20110 found this helpful

Yes there is, in the pet section at Kmart or Walmart just look for a cat / dog ear cleaner. This kills mites which can deafen your animals and takes any moisture out of their ears that could cause infection. It costs about 3 dollars.


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January 10, 20110 found this helpful

You can also make your own pet ear cleaner. It's called Blue Power Ear Wash and there are several websites that tell you how to make it and it's other beneficial uses. I use it on my cocker spaniels and they've never had any ear infections and it really cleans them.

16 oz. bottle of isopropyl alcohol
16 drops Gentian Violet
4 Tablespoons powder Boric Acid

You can buy over the counter the gentian violet and the boric acid. Just mix altogether and shake well before each use to unsettle contents. I like the wintergreen fragrance of alcohol you can get at Family Dollar stores. This is very economical and will make many bottles up as needed. Beware the gentian violet will stain, so wear gloves and put down plastic or newspaper whenever you do this treatment.

Just flush the dogs ears with it to the count of 60 while massaging the ear the first time and then wipe off with paper towel. Do this twice, but do not wipe ear off the second time. Then do it two times daily for two weeks and once daily for a week; thereafter use as maintenance treatment per once monthly. I use a paper towel and wet it with the wash and wipe the ears after the dog's bath just in case any water got into their ears as it helps dry them.

Can also be used for hot spots and minor itch, but I've never used it for these problems. Good Luck!

January 10, 20110 found this helpful

You can use full strength or half strength with half water mixed of Unfiltered Apple Cider Vinegar (buy from health/natural food section) the one with "the mother" in it, cloudy brown liquid not the clear liquid one. Just pure a good amount in dog's itchy ear until you can see the liquid from the ear opening. Try to hold the dog's head up so the liquid stay inside ear while you massage the back bottom part of the ear (the outer cup part of the ear not inside of the ear). You might be able to hear the liquid moving inside the ear and that's normal. This should be done in less than a minute. Take a cotton ball and put it over the ear hole where you put the liquid (don't push it in too deep ) and let the dog shake it's head so that the access liquid comes out to the cotton ball this will absorb most of the liquid and plus it will not splash all over your face. Throw away the cotton ball and let the dog shake it's head to get the rest of the liquid out completely. Take Q-tip or cotton ball and wipe the inside of the ear where you can reach with your finger ( don't get it in too deep you might do more damage than good). Don't worry,the vinegar will evaporate out from the ear and so as the vinegar smell. Repeat as many days until the dog gets better.

If you have a long hair dog, pull their ears up and tie their outer ear hair together with a hair tie or clip it together (for short hair dog with no outer ear hair) on top of the dog's head to keep air circulate and the inner dog's ear dry.
Be careful when you use clip to clip their ears together. Find clip that doesn't clip so hard on dog's ears so, it doesn't hurt or cut their blood circulation while they wear it. Try clip it on your ear lope for a few minutes. If it hurts you, it might hurts them too.

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March 12, 2014

Black Lab with blue collar.I have read all of the questions here and none of them quite fit our situation. My 8 year old Lab has itchy ears. The difference is they are clean and not smelly. He shakes his head and does all of the behaviors associated with an infection, but there is no redness or scaly skin. Poor guy needs some relief.

By Ginger R. from TX

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February 3, 2014

Beagle puppy.I have a Beagle puppy that is constantly scratching his ear. It seems to bother him a lot. What could be causing it?

By Adriana R.

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November 21, 2011

I am looking for a home remedy for my dog's itchy, stinky ears. Any suggestions?

By Ed

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May 5, 2015

My dog has itchy ears and the vet gave me drops. She keeps having ear troubles. I have switched her food to the Blue Wilderness.

I think it is allergies, if so what should I take from her diet if it's food wise? I've been reading lamb is better.

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September 28, 2014

How can I keep my dog's ears from itching?

By Tom K

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May 26, 2014

What home remedy can I use for my Cocker Spaniel with itchy, red ears?

By hpaulaknd

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