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Ear Infection Remedies for Pets

Last Modified on Mar 21, 2015

Do you have a pet that suffers from the occasional ear infection? It's frustrating for you as an owner because the infection is often difficult to deal with and rid your pet of. It's even more frustrating for the pet, as it causes them to continually scratch and fuss with the affected ear and is just plain uncomfortable for them.

These types of ear problems will affect both cats and dogs, but more commonly is an issue for our canine friends. Ear infections are often pretty easy to spot as in addition to noticing your pet physically scratching and rubbing its ears, the infection often is accompanied by a dark, waxy substance inside the ear and carries with it a horrible smell. The cause of the infection could be a number of things such as a yeast, or fungal infection, ear mites, and unfortunately those dogs with floppy ears and/or fur inside the ear canal are particularly at risk.

Another sure-fire way to an ear infection is a dog that loves to swim. Retrievers and other particular breeds are naturally drawn to water and as a result it's difficult to keep them out of the pool, pond or lake. Pets who enjoy their regular swimming sessions are prone to ongoing ear infections as a result of the water that gets into their ears.

You may not be able to stop them from taking that regular dip, and you probably wouldn't even want to, but you certainly can take action to prevent those nasty ear infections. Regardless of the cause of your pet's occasional ear infection, make sure that you clean your pet's ears on a regular basis. Use a solution of 50% Vinegar and 50% Water and insert the solution into the ear canal. Gently massage it in and use cotton balls to clean out any debris. (This is also the same cleaning protocol you would want to use when your pet actually has an ear infection prior to administering any type of treatment.)

For those of you with the regular swimmers, mix a solution of 1 cup of Water, 2 cups of Vinegar and 1 tablespoon of Rubbing Alcohol. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle and squirt it onto the outside of the ear canal once or twice per week and after every swim. You can also use this solution applied with a cotton ball to clean out the inner part of the ear. The alcohol in the mixture will help to dissolve wax, whereas the vinegar creates an acidic environment that will not allow yeast or bacteria to grow in.

by Dawn Forster

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Most Popular Ear Infection Remedies:

Apple Cider Vinegar33
Rubbing Alcohol, Violet Solution, Boric Acid5
Blue Powder Solution4

User Reviews

Ear Infection
Table of Contents

Acidophilus and White Vinegar   1  0   

Posted by Nancy (San Diego, Ca) on 01/26/2012

[YEA]  WOW... This site has been a godsend. My shihtzu has had chronic skin issues and ear infections for years. His skin has been managable lately but his ears never seem to clear up even after 2 weeks of a daily dose of ear antibiotics. I took him off the ears meds and started him on acidophilus mixed with fish oil on sunday-01/22/12. I also started wiping his ears with a 50/50 ratio of white vinegar and water. His ears are clearing up!!! I'm not sure if its the acidophilus, the vinegar or both. He's still doing a lot of paw licking at night around bedtime, of course, but not near as much licking during the day. I've given him plain yogurt a couple of times, also, but it's tough convincing him to eat it.

I plan on buying raw, organic Apple Cider Vinegar this weekend so that I can really soak his paws and see how that works. I also plan on gradually adding to his water. If anyone has comments or suggestions please feel free to e-mail me at nancy.nash(at)

Replied by Lynn
Pearlington, Ms

If your pet goes outside, you need to wash paws and also wash pet as much as possible. Dr Becker has pet a web site and she has lots of good info.
Replied by Uvaid
Fort Myers, Florida, Usa

Let me offer a way for your dog to stay healthy and free from ear infections, take him for a walk outside preferably in broad daylight. If your dog has long ear flaps pin them back. Mammals produce hydrogen peroxide naturally through a process called photo-oxidation. Photo-oxidation occurs when the melanin in mamallian skin is exposed to sunlight. This process is an animal's first line of defense against disease all over their bodies including their ear, nose, and throat. There is a direct correlation between available sunlight hours and the occurrence of colds, flu, and ear infection. During the summer months exposure to sunlight produces enough hydrogen peroxide to keep animals free of disease but during the winter months the process of photo-oxidation diminshes. In addition, a study under the direction of Dr. Cindy Dunn has found a significant reduction in bacterial colonies on skin including the ears and nose after exposed to natural light. Exposing your pet to sunlight only for a few seconds everyday has proven health benefits. If you are not able to get out into the sun everyday, I suggest usinig a light supplement.
Replied by Lydia
Monrovia, Ca

How do you pin back the ears? I have a pitbull with short hair who is prone to ear infections.
Replied by Allison
Montpelier, Vt

Just wanted to respond to Lydia's question about pinning back her pittie's ears: I think that was only meant for dogs with long floppy ears like a beagle or basset hound (I just re-read the above to see that) -- unless your baby has floppy ears you won't have to touch them ;-)
Replied by Allison
Montpelier, Vt

Second response to Lydia (forgot to mention this the first time around) but I wanted to recommend Organic Virgin Coconut Oil for your pittie's ears. My guys lick it right off of the spoon (it's just as good for their insides as well as their outsides) and you can clean your pup's ears out with a bit of the coconut oil as it's an excellent anti-fungal remedy. I put a dab on an organic cotton ball and wipe it out when it looks yuckky inside, sometimes it takes a couple of cotton balls so don't be surprised if you have to do this more than once at a time.

I give 1 tsp for every 10 lbs (meaning 1 tablespoon for every 30 lbs) internally. I spread some on a piece of toast in the morning with peanut butter to get my pup use to it initially but then he loved the taste and just licks it off the spoon every morning. If you give him too much, he'll get diarrhea (just so you know). The stuff is great for humans too so it's something everyone in the family can benefit from!

Replied by Donna
Nanaimo, BC

I'm wondering if regular vinegar will work as I don't have ACV on hand? I have a 10 yr old pit-bull who is prone to ear infections and would rather use home remedies then the solutions from the vets unless I have to..
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada

Donna, use pure olive oil or sesame oil. Mascerate garlic cloves overnight and then apply warmed. ACV is too harsh for ear infection. My dog had his ear infection treated like this and all is well. It took less than three days but that is individual. This is med for humans, too. Namaste, Om
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Donna!

Yes - regular vinegar will work.

I personally have no problems with solutions from my vet; in some cases I find the medicated solutions superior to the basic ACV/Isopropyl/H2O solution. I also find ZYMOX Otic Enzymatic ear drops with hydrocortisone super effective for painful, yeasty ears.

That said, I also LOVE Ted's Anti-Fungal/Anti-Staph remedy: It is super inexpensive, and I find this to have less "sting" than using white vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar, and with one-step application as raw ears first must be healed with Olive Oil and garlic infusion before you can use the ACV remedies - you can just use Ted's staph remedy without causing a huge sting.

You will need epsom salts, borax, Milk of Magnesia and hydrogen peroxide. You can get all these over the counter at the drug store. The hydrogen peroxide is very probably a 3% solution, so you will need to dilute it. So take 1/3 cup of the hydrogen peroxide and add 2/3 cup of plain water to it; you now have a 1% solution of hydrogen peroxide. Now add 1 table spoon each of the Milk of Magnesia, epsom salts and borax. Mix it really well in a small bottle and place the sealed bottle in a sink full of warm tap water to warm up the solution before you use it to liberally flush the ears. You can use this daily or twice daily until the ears are under control and healthy again. To keep them healthy you might wish to use the garlic oil infusion every 3rd day or flush with the vinegar solution every day.

On top of physically addressing the ears, I would consider alkalizing her water with baking soda; a crisis dose is 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda into 1 liter of water and have this as her only drinking water. After 5 days you can reduce to a maintenance dose of 1/4 teaspoon into 1 liter of water.

Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada

re: use of "medications" containing or with ISOPROPHYL. This poison has long been taken off the shelves in Europe. In fact, years ago. Hulda Clark also had much to warn about it. Except in Canada we find it given as a "medicine". Beware.


Replied by Michaela

My poor doggie has sore ears and there is definitely fluid in there. I was wondering if flushing the ears are still recommended when there is already trapped fluid in the ears ?

Antibiotic Drops   2  0   

Posted by Sp (Nashville, Tn) on 04/24/2010

[YEA]  The only thing that worked for my dog's ear infection was the antibiotic drop from our Vet. I'm so glad he took him to the vet. This is just our story.

My Maltese poodle's both ears got infected and had dark brown gunk coming out. I have tried different remedies mentioned here to clear my dog's ear infection. I tried the ACV flush, ACV Alcohol solution, Coconut Oil, aloe vera jel, the witch hazel, etc. It worked temporary and some didn't work at all. So after a 2.5 months, his ears were still red and had dark gunk coming out. I finally took him to the Vet who gave us an antibiotic ear drop. In less than 3 days, I could see my dog was feel better and his ear looked better. We used the drops 2 times/day for 7 days and his ear cleared up completely. The Vet bill and cost of the 1 oz drop was $40, it was so worth it to see him feel better. I wish I had taken him to the vet sooner. He was suffering for too long while I was trying to figure out what would worked for him.
So far it has been 3 months and he has no ear problems. Our Vet did recommend using vinegar/warm water solution to flush his ears as a preventive treatment. And I have been flushing my dog's ears with vinegar/water solution every 2 wks. We still have the ear drops to use if the infection comes back.

Replied by Dogs_ears_hurt
Los Angeles, Ca

[YEA]   Veterinary eardrops of natural antibiotics also can help for treatment of mild ear infections in dogs. We used Dr Dogs Ear Oil and with the regular dog ear treatment the flare-ups of sore ears and ear infection symptoms have stopped. The problem about some dogs and ear yeast infection is that it keeps coming back. ACV can sting sting sting, especially if there are any scratches or cuts of any kind it will burn and hurt the pet. I know, been there and done that, very sad it happened, I was sick about it. The natural antibiotic eardrops were soothing and did the job.
Replied by Passionate For Animals
Eugene, Or

Another great ear product is Mad About Organics Ear Cleaner. It works wonders for pain, ear mites and just as a everyday cleaner.
Replied by Dog-daddy
Las Vegas, Nv- Usa

this is such a great site, I was reading to understand more about dog ear infections and remedies that work to control them. Our dogs ears had lots of problems, I noticed someone mentioned Dr Dogs Ear Oil here and we also tried it. Thankfully it helped our dogs ears and since using this as a regular dog ear treatment his ears don't have the problems like before. It was from

also, last time we went to the veterinary office for his ear problems it cost almost $175, wish ours was $40 as we used to be in the vets office a few times every year. Think we won't be doing that any more thanks to going with the natural dog ear treatment to control his ear infections.

Hated when the dogs ears were red and sore. So glad to have found the remedies here. PS... Don't use vinegar or alcohol, it does sting, I tried that years ago and it was terrible. Dr Dogs Ear Oil didn't bother him at all and we haven't had to use anything else since using that. Thanks!

Replied by Sp
Nashville, Tn

Hi, It has been over a year now and my dog is getting a another ear infection. His ears have been doing so good until now. I will give Dr Dogs Ear Oil a try. Thank you for the information.
Replied by Jundem
Zephyrhills, Fl

Two of my dogs have had chronic ear problems, and I just started using Dr Dog ear oil and it really seems to do the trick. The 15 year old dog doesn't whine anymore and the 2 year old ear is not reddened any more.
Replied by Suzanne
Clio, Michigan

Where do I get the Dr. Dog ear oil? My poor dog has had an ear infection for over a yr. now! First the vet said it was a yeast infection and I was given drops to put in her ears, then next visit more drops, third visit it was more drops but thinner ones to get deeper in her ears, plus a flush to use twice a week until it cleared up. Next after a night of listening to her crying I took her to an emergency clinic on a Sun. and was told it was a bacterial infection and given antibiotics for 7 days. I've tried the vinegar and water only I was told white vinegar and that didn't help and her ears are so red I know it stings. I've been told by people at a farm supply store to go get some pine tar at a health food store but have no idea how to use it. It breaks my heart to see her in so much pain, some nights the only way she can go to sleep is with a dog tranquilizer. I'm at my witts end and just want some real relief for my baby. The ACV might work after the redness is gone but right now I know it hurts too much. So where do I find the Dr. Dog ear oil?
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Suzanne!

The product you seek can easily be found online - google is your friend- just try "Dr. Dog ear oil" and you will get many results.

Apple Cider Vinegar   33  5   

Posted by Anthony (Delaware) on 12/02/2014

[YEA]  My 60lb beagle, Pnut, has had the same description going on inside his ears regarding chronic ear infections and the use of Apple cider vinegar. Well, I gave him his first treatment of a 50/50 mix of Apple Cider Vinegar and water and low and behold it has been over a hour or so and not one head shake or ear scratch and the ears look better inside already.

Replied by Anthony
Delaware, US

Day 2 and second round of treatment with the Apple Cider Vinegar mix, going well. Odor almost completely gone. Still got some build up deep in the canal but it's working its way out.

Posted by Poleydog (Paraparaumu, Wellington, New Zealand) on 05/04/2013

[YEA]  I have been using 1 part apple cider vinegar and 2 parts water to wash out my dogs ears for ear infections. This has worked really really well. In 3 days the ears are clean, don't smell and the dog is not scratching at them. My dog has had a yeast ear infection in both ears that just will not clear up with vet prescribed medications and here it is gone in 3 days using cider vinegar. Thank you so much for posting this information.

Replied by Sara
Minneapolis, Mn

How many times a day and for how many days (in a row?) should I use the ACV method?
Replied by Vincent
Colorado, US

how do you administer the acv? do you use a dropper or sprayer or what?

Posted by Gatorgrl (Chattanooga, Tn, Usa) on 10/13/2012

I printed and read almost all of the postings about Apple Cidar Vinegar & Water mixture for treatment of dog ear infections. Just finished doing the first treatment on my 8 yr old Dalmation and NOW, he is shaking his head & rubbing ears on carpet worse than before I tried this home remedy. HELP... I thought I did the 1 part ACV and 2 parts water... After I did the first treatment, I applied hydrocortisone, anti-itch, ointment on the Penna(?) part of the ear lobe. Because of his reaction, I had to give him a Benedryl. Can anyone provide me some suggestions? Gatorgrl

Posted by Steven (Camas, Washington) on 07/29/2012

[YEA]  My cockapoos had awful ear mite infections, ears full of nasty black muck. After trying olive oil, Zymox, and other "remedies" for about 2 months, I finally found out about the vinegar/water treatment. AMAZING! Three days later and their ears are completely clean.

It appears that mites, fungus and bacteria cannot function in an acidic environment so they just die.

Flush the ears once a day with WARM vinegar/ water (1:2) and all the muck quickly comes out. My dogs are so happy now that the infection is gone. Thanks for turning me onto this.

Replied by Larry
Prineville, Or

I also have a Cockapoo who's prone to ear infections so I'll try the vinegar-water mixture myself! Thank goodness for this site!
Replied by Nicola
Newcastle Upon Tyne, England

What do u mean by flushing, my dog has a recurring ear infection which wont clear up after vetrinary treatment. I would like to give this apple cider/water a go as he has lots ov black crap in his ears.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Nicola!

Flushing refers to flooding the ear with the solution to rinse away particulate matter and to saturate the area with the working solution.

If your dog has a chronic ear infection, then you have to clean the ears daily if not twice a day to stay on top of the yeast or bacteria so they cannot over grow and cause discomfort.

You might find the addition of baking soda or borax to your dog's drinking water helpful in keeping a chronic infection at bay.

Replied by Phyllis
Tuscumbia, Alabama

Hi, another suggestion is colloidal silver. You can put it in your dogs drinking water and also apply it, after washing the ear out, inside the dogs ears. It has very potent antibiotic properties.
Replied by Shaleen
Virginia Beach, VA

Can you share the best way to flush out the ear with the 50/50 solution? I don't want to get too much fluid in her ear.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Shaleen!

There is no getting around getting fluid in the ears when you flush them; that is the goal, to FLOOD the ear with fluid to flush the debris out, and to get the working component of the solution - the vinegar - deep into the ear canal to kill the yeast. If any part of the ear canal is not flushed with the solution, the yeast remains and the ear cannot heal.

In infected ears that are scratched raw with open sores, I would first use garlic infused olive oil for several days to allow the skin to heal before flushing it with vinegar and water. It may also help to use vinegar, water and isopropyl alcohol [1 part each] to help break down any wax in the ear as well.

Posted by Concerneddogowner (Salescity, United States) on 12/03/2011

[NAY]  HORRIBLE! I used this "remedy" on my Chorkie puppy because he was scratching at his ears and shaking his head and would make himself holler. Well I did this prior to taking him to the vet hoping that it would lessen his symptoms in the mean time. Well I started with the first ear and my puppy screamed so loudly I knew I had hurt him. He shook his head ran around rubbed his head on every surface around. Finally get him to the vet for his appointment and he fought with the vet when she went to look at his ear. He is now apparently traumatized by the experience with ACV wash. Now even when I try to put in the medicine that the vet prescribed my husband has to hold my poor puppy down because he is so scared it might be the ACV going into his ear again. THIS IS A NO GO SYSTEM for dogs. Just keep in mind that your dog might react in the same way mine did to the treatment. Be careful and think about what you are about to try before you do it. It could cause your puppy to have a traumatic experience that may result in fear of anything coming close to his ears.

EC: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR -- AND WATER. One part ACV to two parts water seems about right.

Replied by Anntoinette
Mesa, Az

My dog has been doing the exact same thing with her ear. I don't have much money for the vet, but I would like to know what's wrong with her, to do anything possible to ease her pain. What was the cause for your dogs pain?
Replied by Tina
Salem, Or

[NAY]   I used this on my dogs ears 2 parts water to one part ACV and it made her ear worse. I feel horrible that I hurt her worse!
Replied by Kristina M
Prescott Valley, Az, Arizona

I need to let all you people know before all these poor dogs are put through a very painful week of vinager and rubbing alcohol, first of all all these remedies are wonderfull BEFORE your dog has an ear infection, my dog got at least 3 infections a year and these remedies are wonderful for PREVENTION, scratch your arm then poor vineger and rubbing alcohol on it and see if you like it, when your dog has an ear infection there ears are swollen and very raw from itching, once they have the infection you need to get them antibiotics!!! But I have a great solution to cost, you dont need to bring your dog to the vet there is a solution at petmeds. Com, you can buy without a prescription!! if you compair it to the prescription stuff you'll see there is no difference in the least, its $20 dollars for 1 oz (zymox )but worth it compared to a $150 bill which is what I paid everytime I took my dog in for an infection. Its called ZYMOX OTIC(its arouns $20 but some other petmed places have it for $10) it is the same stuff as the anitbiotics your doc will give you!!! AND YOU DONT NEED A PRESCRIPTION!!! I have been using it for 3 years now and my dogs ears clear up with in 3 days!! THERES ONE WITH CORTIZONE AND ONE WITHOUT NOW THE CORTIZONE DOES, HELP WITH PAIN BUT DONT GET IT!!!! , YOUR DOG MOST LIKELY DOES HAVE OPEN SORES FROM SCRATCHING , AND THE CORTIZONE WILL BURN!!! So get the green one not the blue bottle anyway im glad I can help its really common sense no one would ever put vineger or rubbing alcohol on a cut it hurts!!! Use all these remedies as a preveNtive NOT a solution!!!! , it wold be like me telling you "YOU HAVE CANCER !! "now go home and eat a apple EVERY DAY! " (it does nothing to cure, but it might prevented.
Replied by Sage
Greensboro, Nc

You've jumped to a ridiculous conclusion here. Your dog was not traumatised by the ACV - he was reacting to the ear infection. I had a poodle who constantly had ear infections and she was the same way - didn't want me or the vet to touch her ears - her ears hurt and she wanted them left alone. Someone had to help me put medicine in her ears for the same reason. It was the ear infection, NOT the ACV.
Replied by James
Birmingham, Uk

Sage is right. Let's use some common sense. Of course a dog is going to dislike having something poured into its ear - it doesn't understand why you're doing it! Sometimes, with patience, you can gain the dog's trust. Try letting the dog see/sniff what you're using, so it knows it's not something to be afraid of. We used to have a problem with one of our bull terriers, but with patience she now tolerates having something put into her ear. And, of course, as has been repeated several times, the vinegar MUST be diluted. And, even then, it may sting when applied - that will depend on how inflamed and sore the ear is. So just because some dogs reacted badly to the treatment, doesn't mean it's a bad remedy - perhaps their ears were already very sore, or the dog is particularly timid. It also depends to some extent on the breed - some are very stoic and seem to tolerate pain much more than others. So please - a bit more common sense and a bit less hysteria.
Replied by Deedra

I realize this is not ACV, but Grapefruit Seed Extract in a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral and antiparasitic. I mix it with Coconut oil (a few drops is sufficient) and drop into dogs ears. Seems to work very well with no trauma. So whether your dog has mites, or a yeast infection-- this should work.
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Deedra!

Thanks for this helpful tip!!

Replied by Liz
Santa Monica, Ca

[YEA]   Apple cider vinegar is awesome! It does clear out the infection better than anything else I've tried. A note to all the people saying their dogs had negative reactions to the experience: let me remind you that putting vinegar on an open wound is going to sting. Make sure there's no blood in the ear before you put vinegar in it, I made this mistake once and that was the only time my dog yelped and was obviously in discomfort afterwards. If they shake their head a little bit afterwards, I wouldn't be alarmed, again you are messing with their injured area and they don't enjoy that. My dog obviously feels relief after the first few minutes, and has never been "traumatized" by the apple cider vinegar experience. You are only traumatizing your dog by being insensitive to its injuries. Have a little common sense.
Replied by Karen
Kentucky, US

Deedra, I use Coconut Oil on a cotton pad to clean my dogs infected ears and its amazing on it's own. I'll try it with the Grapefruit Seed Extract next for sure. Thanks for the tip. I've tried the ACV and also a remedy containing alcohol, povidone iodine and vinegar and boric acid. You would think that combo would kill just about anything but the plain ole Coconut Oil was what finally cleared up the infection.
Replied by Alexandra

Trying the ACV and water for the first time will see how it goes. Another suggestion if your dog has lotsa hair growing out of his ears it helps to pull them so the ear can vent better and not so much gunk or moisture will get trapped BUT PLEASE HAVE A VET show you first how to do it right so you don't hurt your pooch! I have to do this for my Sheepdog and it really helps to keep infections away.This ear infection is kinda my fault because I wasn't keeping up on his ears :-(

Posted by Michael Ratcliffe (Victoria , B.c. Canada) on 03/18/2011

hello my poddle-shih x has had cronic ear infections since she came into my life two years ago. Ive dealt with ear infections with other dogs as well. My sugestion for anyone trying a new holistic remidy for a dogs ear would be to start with your solution 20-80 20 Apple Cider Vinegar/ 80 h20. See if ther is pain or too much iritation then try 40-60 however dont go and flush the poor dogs ear 5 times in a row. Try a test every 24 hrs perhaps. I apreciate everyones coments. Im gonna put my idea to work. ill let you all know .m

Replied by Ellen
Ann Arbor, Mi.

This is crazy. 80% water solution? That will make everything worse. WORSE. NOT BETTER.

Remember, moist, dark, damp = perfect breeding ground for bacteria. DO NOT PUT WATER IN YOUR DOG'S EARS!

Posted by Tsmom (Boston, Ma Usa) on 09/05/2010

[WARNING!]  WARNING: After 12 days of my 45 lb dog's dog's ear infection, I put about 8 drops of 50% AC vinegar/50% water solution into the ear. It bothered her so much she shook her head for 25 minutes, resulting in a very large hematoma (swelling) covering 2/3 of her ear. It looked like she would need surgery for this. Luckily it resolved, but my holistic vet said that ACV can aggravate an ear infection. Be careful with ACV for very inflammed ears.

Replied by Massage Mama
Sagle, Idaho

A hemotoma is a bruise, not a swelling. I think this guy is just trying to debunk the uses of ACV; trying to be all scientific and failing, lol.
Replied by Lisa
Bristol, Ri

Hematoma is a Swelling with blood involved! Eccymosis is a bruise.

Posted by Gilby (Santa Clara, California) on 06/06/2010

[YEA]  I just wanted to say to the "Pepole" who support this web site are "AwSoMe" and thank you for all the information on this site. My cat had an ear infection and I tryed the ACV treament, WOW, it works cat is not drooling anymore, which is signs of infection in the ears and gums.again

thank you
Gilby (Cat Daddy)

Replied by Tsmom
Boston, Ma Usa

About dog ear infections: After I put ACV/H2O) 50/50 dilution into my dog's very inflammed ear, it irritated her so much, she shook her head for 25 minutes until a large area of swelling on the ear flap (hematoma) developed. I gave homeopathic Arnica right away twice a day until it cleared, (you can give it up to a week. ) Also I gave Rutin, 250 - 500 mg for this 45-lb dog 3 times a day with food. These two things reduced the swelling to zero after 24 hours. You can get both at a health food store.


Posted by Denise (North Branford, Ct) on 05/19/2010

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  dog with ear deterioration

My 6yo german shepard was diagnosed with ear margin dermatitis, allergies, yeast and bacteria in ears. One vet told me he may have to amputate her ears and gave her lots of meds, the naturopathic vet started her on a natural anti-inflammatory and a few other remedies--neither cured the underlying problem. I started using 1tbsp of ACV in her food each day about 1 month ago. She no longer is on the meds both vets gave me. Her ears are not completely healed but they are no longer bleeding and appear to be healing slowly. She also has not had diarrhea.

Posted by Charlie (San Jose, Ca) on 01/31/2010

Hello - My dog woke up this morning with an ear infection. She's a 9 year old black lab mutt that hasn't had an ear infection in over 8 years. I'm trying the ACV mixture, but how many times a day do I squirt the mixture in her ears? Thank you!!

Posted by Eric (League City, Texas) on 12/21/2009

[YEA]  dog ear solution

it really works!!!! the apple cider vin, work in two days for my pit with his clipped ears ear infections are a normal thing after $$$ at the vet i tried it and he doesn't scratch at his ears or shake his head all the time. plus i use the ear dropper to shoot it down his throat and his winter pains are gone too.. its like having my puppy back... he hates the taste and i put alot in his ears and make him sit there for a half a min at least but its so worth the results and him being happy again!!!

EC: WARNING: Please note that Apple Cider Vinegar must be diluted with water (at least 50/50) before applying to any area on a pet, otherwise it can burn the skin and cause terrible pain. Apple Cider Vinegar should also be diluted before giving it internally as well.

Replied by Brian
Elizabethton, Tn

my 11 yr old shitzu has an ear infection on and off for 8 months now and have been keeping his ears clean and dry as possible. I will try the 50/50 cider vinegar/water solution but, I'm not sure about feeding it to him daily. As I've seen it's mostly women who have posted here and I think you all know what vinegar does to your bodies. It kills ALL the friendly bacteria not only in your digestive system, but your other parts also. My wife says it causes yeast infections in women. It does the same to men if they ingest alot of vinegar like what happened a few years ago. He ate pickled everything and Italian dressing on his salad daily. So if anyone knows more about the side effects on our pets, please post. I figure I should feed my dog a teaspoon of plain yougurt every few days to help his digestive system.
Replied by Tink
Asheville, Nc

All of you folks who are asking about dilution and frequency, it's all in the original post. You don't need to put so much of the solution in your pet's ear that they are shaking it out for half an hour. You can also follow it with aloe vera gel, which is soothing and also will loosen deposits in the ears. If you put the solution in a spray bottle and spray into the ear you won't end up soaking your pet's ear canal and causing them to give themselves injuries due to shaking out all that liquid. One thing that I changed from the original post and would suggest to all of you: use a tablespoon of vodka in place of rubbing alcohol. The solution potentially will drain into the animal's throat from the ear canal and/or be absorbed, and rubbing alcohol is not a healthy substance to ingest. Vodka is clean and digestible. I have poodles, prone to ear issues, and this works for me.
Replied by Buzz
Toronto, On

Of course an antibacterial will kill all bacteria, but, just as following the use of prescribed antibiotics, you should add pro-biotic/good bacteria back into your body. Eat yogurt.
Replied by Claudia
Portland, Or

Brian from TN opines that vinegar kills bacteria and causes yeast infections. Brian (and his wife) are confusing ANTIBIOTICS, which have those effects, with vinegar, which COUNTERS them. I am afraid someone will read his comment and become afraid of vinegar for the wrong reasons--completely oppositely wrong, in fact! (Sugar is more deadly a culprit in this situation than vinegar. ) P. S. --It has nothing to do with the gender of the person using it.
Replied by Cathy
Picayune, Mississippi

To the one who stated that what goes in the ear canal drains into the mouth is not true. I have a standard poodle who has been prone to ear infections. According to the vet the dogs ear canal has a L shape. Whatever goes in the ear travels into a corner at the bottom and just sits there. Thats what causes the ear infection. Bacteria grows from the moisture left in the ear.
Replied by British
Long Island, Ny

Can anyone help me please. My cat has an ear infection, a tooth infection and his rectum is so big and red and swollen, like a baboon's. I was so scared when I saw it. I'm sorry to say he looks like a rape victim. He is so miserable. I rushed him to the vet and was given 'Clavamox' 125mg plus 2 liquid meds to put in his ears. Oh, plus a cone around his neck. Unfortunatly I lost my job last month so I could only afford the office visit, Clavamox, ear cleaning and the collar ($121). I desperately need a home remedy that will really work and won't hurt or damage him. I'm a bit confused with all the 'yeas and nays', the dosages and the application. It is so hard to see my baby this way as i'm sure any pet owner can relate. I'd really apreciate any helpful tips that will ease his dicomfort and eradicate this problem. My cat and I thank you and wish u all the best of luck with your precious ones.
Replied by Nh Gardener
Sanbornton, Nh, Usa

For British from Long Island re. Cat with ear and tooth infection and swollen behind--Please give him/her food grade diatomaceous earth in his raw apple cider-dampened food, starting with 1 tsp. Once a day, increasing gradually to rounded to heaping tsp. 2 X/day. DE absorbs and eliminates toxins from body, and is inexpensive. Check health food store or internet for sources, or I would be glad to send you some if I knew your postal or email adDr.Also add gently melted coconut oil to food, starting with 1 tsp once a day, increasing slowly to 1--2 tsps. 2 X/day. You might try dropping into ear from eyedropper, diluted ACV with DE in it; or if possible after swabbing out, applying gently melted coconut oil into ear. For the behind, if possible, I would gently massage or simply apply gently melted coconut oil with DE in it at 2 or 3 X/day. If kitty doesn't allow you to touch it, the DE in his food should help a lot. If he refuses his food with these supplements, apply to fur, paws, legs so he'll lick it off. Try at least a few times in his food, though. Best wishes to cat and to you.

Posted by Donna (Cape Breton, Canada) on 12/12/2009

[SIDE EFFECTS]  We have a long haired 10 year old cat that has had chronic ear infections all her life. Vets have told us that it is a yeast infection, not mites. Same story as everyone else. Many vet visits and much $$$ later, no relief.

I read about Apple Cider Vinegar and tried some in her ear last night. Just a couple of drops of organic ACV. I didn't dilute it with water - didn't read the posts on this site until after I had done it. It was clearly painful for her and I felt terrible so I'm hesitant to try it again. Would diluting it have made a difference in the how much it would sting?

Her ear is red, hot and has some scratches from her constant digging at it. I was wondering if I could use Traumeel Gel for a few days to help with the inflammation and scratches so that if I use the ACV again it won't sting her as much.

Also wondering about witch hazel. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.


EC: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR -- AND WATER. One part ACV to two parts water seems about right.

Replied by Donna
Cape Breton, Canada

I also meant to ask how much Apple Cider Vinegar to put in a cat's water. We have 4 cats and water bowls all over the house which I change daily. Is this something that takes time for the cats to get used to or is the amount added so small that they don't notice? Thanks again!
Replied by Winterhawke
Spokane, Wa/usa

My 15 year old cat has some sort of med resistant ear infection. In the past year, I have taken her to 3 different veterinarians and who each prescribed 3 different ear meds. The last vet prescribe an otic ointment called gentamicin. In researching it after it too failed to address her ear condition, I found it to be a very broad spectrum medication that is effective to every ear pathogen, including yeasts and fungi, that I, (a previous vet teach of 10 years), have ever heard of.

I am on a very low income and so can not afford the huge cost of another vet visit. Thus, I did an Internet search and came upon your wonderful site, and noticed many contributors using vinegar as an ear treatment. I have been treating her with a 50/50 solution, of white vinegar to water, for about 2 weeks now which has had no effect and the dark brown liquidy discharge has continued along with her discomfort.

Yesterday, I ran out and purchased some ACV and mixed it to a 50/50 to water solution and shall begin a treatment with that hoping that the particular kind of vinegar used may make a difference. I am really at a loss as to what to try if the ACV solution does not work. I would very much appreciate any ideas that anyone can contribute. Seeing my feline friend suffer is just not acceptable, and so, if any of you could post an idea ASAP, I would certainly appreciate it. There is also a store in town where alternative ingredients can be purchased, or perhaps someone could suggest an online company that sells a product that may work. No matter what, I thank you for reading my plea and for any advice that you could give to me. A Cat Lover in Spokane, Washington

Replied by Peg
Katy, Tx, Us

Feed your pets some Plain Yogurt daily. Just a spoonful a day will do and they love it. Not temporarily just to treat the problem, but always as their daily routine because it's good for them anyway and will be a preventative. When it's a yeast infection in the ear then they have a yeast infection internally in their body. Drops in the ears from vets are not treating their whole body. Yogurt works on their whole body. Also, if your pet is having chronic yeast infections then you should look into them having a food allergy. Find a food that is for pets with allergies. Do some research online about pet food quality and how to narrow it down to find out what their allergy could be. Animals with allergies tend to get yeast infections. Also, if they've been on antibiotics they can get yeast infections.

Posted by Cindy (Barry, Texas) on 11/10/2009

[YEA]  Apple Cider Vinegar works wonders! I have a 3yr old chocolate lab that suffered from re-occuring ear infections for over a year ! Many trips to the vet ,surgury for cleaning and prescription drugs ( over a $100 a month ) did not rid my girl of her ear aches ! I decided to search the web ! I found your site .Seems daisy is allergic to corn ! I changed her dog food and she gets 1 teasoon of vinegar a day. Its been 2 weeks and I have my girl back . Daisy has done so well that I give 1 teaspoon ACV to my 9 yr old chocolate lab who suffers from arthritis. Red barely limps now . Just Amazing ! My kids ( Red and Daisy ) now have a new lease on life thanks to this site and ACV!

Replied by Donna D
Nanaimo, BC

Concern about the ACV solution!! First time user of this solution and wondering if it is normal for a dogs ear to ooze puss after using the solution.. Our dog seems to have relief but we were or are concerned about this being a problem??
Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Donna!

Without seeing your dog's ears in real time, it is hard to comment on the pus being normal or not.

If you cannot afford a vet, I would continue the flushing 2x3 times a day to see if it helps heal the ears. If it get's worse you may need to see the vet, as a worsening condition can lead to deafness in that ear.

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DISCLAIMER: Our readers offer information and opinions on Earth Clinic, not as a substitute for professional medical prevention, diagnosis, or treatment. Please consult with your physician, pharmacist, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements or following any treatment suggested by anyone on this site. Only your health care provider, personal physician, or pharmacist can provide you with advice on what is safe and effective for your unique needs or diagnose your particular medical history.

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