Dogs and cats have an incredible sense of hearing. To protect their hearing and protect against damage to the ear drum, their ear canals are L-shaped. The problem with this design is that it allows the ears to trap parasites, moisture, debris, and earwax, and any of these can lead to ear infections. Up to 80 percent of ear problems in dogs are linked to allergies, and earmites are often the cause of infection in cats.
The traditional treatment for ear infections is to provide antibiotics, antifungal medications or other medications. The trouble with this method is that drugs upset the normal chemistry within the ear and may possibly turn a simple infection into a long-term problem. It makes more sense to deal with underlying allergies and strengthen the immune system so that it’s ready to fight bacteria and other germs until they cause infection. Also, there are lots of natural remedies for cleaning the ears and preventing infections without using medication.
These are the Signs of an Ear Infection:
*Pet shakes head or holds it to one side.
*Pet scratches or rubs ears, or rubs head against furniture or carpeting.
*There’s a yellow, brown or black discharge in one or both ears.
*Ears smell bad or are tender or red.
*Clean the ears with vinegar – If your pet’s ears are filled with brownish-pink wax, there is a fantastic chance that allergies have caused a yeast infection. To clear up yeast infections, clean the ears thoroughly. Veterinarians often recommend using white vinegar, also called acetic acid, because it removes dirt and debris and helps restore a healthy chemical balance in the ears.
Diluted vinegar works well. Do this once a day before the ear is better.
*Cease infections with pau d’arco – The herb pau d’arco, which comes from the inner bark of a South American tree, is a natural antibiotic which quickly kills fungi and bacteria. At the first sign of infection, mix equal parts pau d’arco tincture and mineral oil and put several drops in your pet’s ears. Give the drops two or three times daily for many days.
*Reduce inflammation with vitamin C – The adrenal glands produce a natural steroid that can help reduce inflammation when ears get infected. Giving pets vitamin C can help the adrenal glands work better. Pets weighing under 15 pounds can take between 100 and 250 mg of vitamin C each day. Cats and dogs 15 to 50 pounds can take 250 to 500 milligrams daily, and larger dogs can take 500 milligrams two or three times a day. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea, so you might have to cut back the dose until you discover an amount that your pet will endure.
*Eliminate toxins with a wholesome, natural diet – Giving your pet a healthy, homemade diet or high quality commercial food that does not contain corn, additives or preservatives can significantly decrease the amount of wax that the ears produce, while also helping to boost the immune system.
*Air out the ears – Increasing air flow within the ears can restrain the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Trim or pluck hair in the ears periodically allowing more air to get inside.
*Strengthen the digestive tract – Supplements like bromelain and quercetin (with bromelain) can help prevent an allergic response in the gastrointestinal tract, making food allergies less of a problem.
*Stop ear infections with oil – When a disease is caused by ear mites, putting a few drops of coconut oil or olive oil in each ear will smother the mites and might allow the infection to heal. You usually need to continue the oil treatments for a few weeks, placing three to seven drops of oil into the ear canals every day. To help the treatment work more efficiently, clean wax and other debris in the ears before
*Try an over-the-counter remedy – One of the best ways to prevent ear mites is with over-the-counter products containing pyrethrins. Produced from chrysanthemums, pyrethrins are natural insecticides that are very safe to use. Just follow the instructions on the label.
When to Call the Vet
Ear infections may look and smell awful, but they often affect only the outer region of the ear and are not too severe. If you’re not able to get to the source of the problem (particularly if your pet is still scratching a lot), you may wish to see your veterinarian to discover what is causing the issue. Vigorous scratching can break blood vessels in the earflap, causing the entire ear to swell like a balloon. This condition is known as hematoma and have to be emptied by a veterinarian to prevent permanent damage.
Other symptoms to watch out for include head tilting, clumsiness, walking in circles or drooping eyes. All these are signs of an inner-ear disease, and must be treated by a vet. Your pet will probably need antibiotics to knock out the infection. Moreover, your vet may need to drain pus and other fluids from inside the ear!