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Smelly Black Tar Buildup in Dog's Ear?

November 28, 2007

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

Kim from Eugene, OR

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By SH (Guest Post)
November 29, 20071 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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December 3, 20074 found this helpful
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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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October 14, 20132 found this helpful
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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, 20141 found this helpful
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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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6 More Questions

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.

March 30, 2013

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

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March 31, 20130 found this helpful
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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, 20132 found this helpful
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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.

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Anonymous
May 31, 20162 found this helpful
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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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August 28, 2011

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

By gypsygirl

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August 28, 20111 found this helpful
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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.

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August 29, 20110 found this helpful
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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

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August 30, 20110 found this helpful
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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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May 13, 2013

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

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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.

answers.yahoo.com/.../index?qid=20080304165800AAr1enu

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, 20131 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, 20161 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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Anonymous
July 7, 20173 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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February 27, 2019

I have a Boxer cross Bull Mastiff dog and he has black tar coloured buildup in his ear. What could this be? He is constantly itching.


Answers

February 27, 20190 found this helpful
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Hi,

It is an ear infection, and possibly yeast infection, and also possibly ear mites. It is best to see the vet for this type of infection. It will not take a lot of tests to find out what is wrong.

It is likely that if you try to clean your pets ears, yourself, you could get bitten, since an ear infection is very painful. Additionally, the meds that a vet will give you work better and faster than any home remedy.

Sometimes, after this clears up, you might find success in offering your dog grain-free food and often giving your pet boiled chicken.

Blessings,

Robyn

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August 23, 2017

I have a Pom Chi (Pomeranian Chihuahua mix) That has black smelly tar stuff in both ears and I cannot afford the vet. Now before the judging starts, I would just like to say I wasn't looking to get a dog I know I can't afford one but I found this poor tiny puppy in a trash can. No, I wasn't digging in a trash can, I was walking by and heard it crying, there was no way was I going to just keep walking.

I found him in a fast food bag, along with food wrappers, he was dehydrated and very sickly.

He looked about 6 weeks old. I got him his shots and healthy again, I even brush his teeth. He's now 2 years old and this is the first health issue I have had with him. If anybody knows a way I can fix his ear infection, please tell me. He cries when I touch his ear and it's all packed deep down in his ear, black tar stuff. I tried ACV and water and it didn't do any good. I clean his ears regularly and dry them so I don't know how this occurred, I can't stand seeing him like this.

Answers

August 23, 20170 found this helpful

It's probably a fungal infection that needs topical antibiotics

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August 23, 20170 found this helpful

You could try a few drops of hydrogen peroxide in each ear for a couple days. If it doesn't get better and the dog is uncomfortable, call the vet.

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August 23, 20170 found this helpful

It most likely will require a vet trip. We often fill prescriptions for dogs where I work. Often a steroid and antifungals, either oral or a cream are used. The medications are cheap. Some vets have the medication on hand and give it to you at the office. If left untreated, it can spread to their feet (from scratching) and to the entire body, and then the antifungal shampoos have to be used and they are not so cheap.

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August 24, 20171 found this helpful

I have one Bichon that seems to get this in his ears all the time. It is a simple treatment that you can do at home. You will need some baby oil and a syringe. You will put a little bit of the oil in the syringe and put this in the dog's ear. You will need to repeat this for 3 days. Then after this you will do it every 3 days for 3 more weeks. Use a Q-Tip to clean the outer edges of the dog's ear. Do not dig deep into the ear. Only clean around the surface of the ear.

Your dog has ear mites and if left untreated, can cause damage to his hearing. I also have rabbits and this happens to them. A while back, I wrote an article about how to treat ear mites in a rabbit's ear. It is the same with a dog.

When adding the baby oil to the ear make sure you don't add too much. Only a drop or two is plenty. You don't want to soak his ear. You just want to kill the mites in his ear. I have to do this to my dog about once every 9 months. I only have one dog that gets these in his ear. It is foul smelling and really looks like tar.

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September 8, 2018

My dog has black stuff in his ears. After 3 vet trips and meds it's still there. I can not afford to play games with vets. Why can they not fix the problem on the first visit? I am almost thinking these vets keep us coming back to fuel their pockets.

Anyone know of any home remedies that will help because it doesn't seem like the vet is helping any other then draining me dry. And do not tell me to go to another vet. Because they should all care for animals the same.

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