Dog ear infection is infection occurred in dog’s ear. It can affect 3 different parts of dog’s ear, outer, middle, and inner ear (also called otitis externa, otitis media, and otitis interna). Most dog’s ear infections occurred in outer part only and can be treated easily, even with home treatment. Infections of middle and inner part of ear are most often a result of the spread of infection from the outer ear.
The dog’s ear infection is caused by many reasons, such as bacteria, yeast, parasites, allergy, or moisture trapped inside the ear that leads to yeast infection. The most common parasites that causes dog’s ear infection is mites. Dogs with allergy is predisposed to ear infection since they are easier to get inflammation from the allergen. Dog with long floppy ears, such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, have increased risk of ear infection. Dog’s ear can become moist after bathing, grooming, or swimming that can lead to overgrown of bacteria and fungi inside the dog’s ear.
Dog’s ear infection symptoms are varied from brown gunk inside the ear, swelling and redness of outer ear flap, discharge or foul odor from the ear, or other change of dog’s behavior such as scratching its ears, rubbing and shaking its head more than usual. The reason is usually because the ear is itching and it irritates the dogs.
Dog’s ear infection is common. 20% of all dogs suffer from it at least one time in their life. Although it is not unusual nor life-threatening, it is still needed to be treated immediately to prevent more damage to ear. Dog’s ear infection can also get to more serious cases that lead to deafness, facial paralysis, or disturbance of balance.
In simple cases, we can treat dog ear infection with home remedy. One of the home remedy for dog ear infection is apple cider vinegar (ACV). Apple cider vinegar is known as a home remedy that can treat many health problems, such as to improves digestive system function and prevent many other health issues. It has healing and cleansing properties and used as an antiseptic. It contains acetic acid which is effective against bacteria, fungi, and viruses. It can balance pH and help to inhibits the growth of bacterial and fungal. And since it is a natural substance, it is not harmful for the dog.
We can easily use apple cider vinegar for dog’s ear infection treatment. Here are 3 simple steps to treat dog ear infection with apple cider vinegar.
1. Make The Dog Relax
Before treating the dog, we have to make sure our dog is calm and relax at the moment. It would be very tiring if our dog can’t stay still when we hold its ear. Not all dogs want their ears to be treated, so we may need to make the dog let us by making them comfortable. We can also make the dog accustomed to us treating its ear by having a routine ear cleansing habit. We may need to learn the right way to do that so we won’t hurt the dog or lead it to problem caused by wrong way of cleaning the ear.
2. Dilute The Apple Cider Vinegar
The second 3 simple steps to treat dog ear infection with apple cider vinegar is to dilute the apple cider vinegar. Dilute 1 cup of apple cider vinegar with 2 tablespoon of water. The quantity doesn’t need to be in the exact amount. Some vets recommend using 10% solution. If it is too strong it can sting the dog.
3. Wipe The Dog’s Ear with Gauze Pad
The last 3 simple steps to treat dog ear infection with apple cider vinegar is to wipe the dog’s ear with gauze pad. Dip square-shaped gauze pad slightly to draw the solution and wipe the dog’s ear with it. Using cotton balls or tissue is not recommended since it can shred inside the ears. Don’t use Q-tip since it can cause damage to the eardrums. Wipe inside the dog’s ear flap with enough pressure to take debris. It is easier to treat a dog with smaller, perky ears than dogs with floppy ears such as Basset Hound or Dachshund. Keep wiping the ear until we don’t get any more debris or dirt on the gauze pad. You may need two or three gauze pad until it is cleaned.
Remember that we can’t use apple cider vinegar if there is an open wound since it will give the dog burn and pain. That’s why it is important for us to check the dog’s ear before doing the treatment. Beside to use it with gauze pad, we can also give the apple cider vinegar as a drink to our dog. It can develop dog’s immune system and help to promote healing. We can give the dog ¼ to ½ teaspoon twice daily.
It is also important for us to prevent our dog from getting ear infection. We may need to clean dog’s ear after bathing, grooming, or swimming to remove moisture and prevent yeast infection. We also need to clean dog’s ear with approved ear cleaner, especially to dog with allergies. Do not use Q-Tip swabs as they can push debris deeper and rupture the eardrum. Also do not use alcohol or solutions that are irritating the skin.
Remember to always consult the veterinarian before administering any medication to our dog. If the symptoms don’t clear up after a week, we have to visit the veterinarian. The vet may do microscopic examination of a samples taken from dog’s ear in order to check the exact cause of the ear infection. In some cases, the dog may also need oral medications such as antibiotics or anti-inflammatory drugs. If the dog repeatedly suffers from ear infections, the dog probably has an immune system issue, such as allergies or other more severe issues.