An ear infection is one of the most common dog health problems which almost all dogs suffer from at one point in their life.
The easiest way to tell if your dog has an ear infection is if you see him constantly scratching his ears, tilting and shaking his head or rubbing his ears against walls or furniture.
If your dog suffers from an ear infection, the best option is to take him to a vet who can better assess the situation. If that’s not possible, there are remedies or medicine you can use to treat your dog’s ear infection at home that are more or less effective depending on how advanced the infection is.
Dog Ear Infection Symptoms
Ear infection symptoms are very easy to spot. Here’s a list of the most common ones:
- your dog scratches, shakes or tilts his head
- your dog rubs his head against furniture or walls
- redness and swelling
- crusts or scabs on the inside of the ear
- a dark-colored discharge
- odor in the ear
If the infection is more advanced you’ll notice your dog walking in circles, losing his balance. At this point, it’s time to call a vet for a more thorough examination.
What Causes Dog Ear Infections
Because of the way a dog’s ear canal is shaped, a vertical “L” shape, it tends to hold more fluid, which makes your dog prone to ear problems. Ear infections are more common in dog breeds that have floppy ears.
Here are the most common causes of your dog’s ear infection:
- moisture which can cause the build-up of yeast and bacteria
- mites, more common to puppies
- wax buildup
- foreign objects
- matted hair settling in the ear canal
- excessive cleaning
- endocrine disorders
- thyroid disorders
Infections caused by bacteria are the most common ones. Bacteria can come from contaminated water from a pond or lake. Dogs already have bacteria in their ears which is normal but sometimes it can overgrow, causing ear infections. This is due to immune system disorders.
Yeast or fungal infections are also caused by immune system disorders or leaky gut syndrome.
Treating Your Dog’s Ear Infection at Home
Although there are many DIY home remedies for treating ear infections, a better solution is to use a dog ear infection treatment like the Zymox Otic with Hydrocortisone ear drops. It does a great job of treating bacterial and yeast ear infections and it contains only natural bio-active enzymes.
Zymox is very easy to use. You apply it once a day for 7 to 14 days depending on the severity of the infection. You don’t have to clean the ear before applying it. Excess is wiped off and ears are flushed after treatment.
You can use Zymox to treat external ear inflammation. The medicine does not contain any antibiotics and acts as a cleanser.
If you want to prevent ear infections, make sure you give your dog a weekly ear cleaning. And if the infection is more advanced don’t postpone that call or visit to your vet.