Last Modified on May 13, 2016
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
Remedies for Ear Infection
The Popularity of Ear Infection Remedies - Full List
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.
Replied by Lynn
Replied by Uvaid
Fort Myers, Florida, Usa
Replied by Lydia
Replied by Allison
Replied by Allison
Replied by Donna
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
Replied by Om
Hope, Bc Canada
Replied by Michaela
Replied by Cindy
Replied by Mike
Replied by Cindy
Posted by Sp (Nashville, Tn) on 04/24/2010
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
Replied by Passionate For Animals
Replied by Dog-daddy
Las Vegas, Nv- Usa
Replied by Sp
Replied by Jundem
Replied by Suzanne
Replied by Brandi
Replied by Wendy
Ear infections in dogs and cats are quite common. Causes of ear infections include bacteria, fungus and ear mites. A pet with an ear infection is likely to be shaking his head, scratching at his ears or showing some other sign of discomfort. The inside of the ear may have a black substance in it, black dots (signs of mites), or there may be redness or swelling.
Posted by Jackie (Grand Rapids, Minn) on 01/28/2008
my cousin's lab puppy's ear was red and hot. there was dried blood and dirt in it too. i have a book of homeopathic remedies for dogs and cats. cleaned ear with acv then mixed 1 tbsp pure aloe vera gel and 1/2 tsp hydrogen peroxide. she's getting over it nicely' at first i used 2 eyedroppersful but got better results with 3 she had a small growth under an eye on the same side as the affected ear and it has disappeared. could it have been a mite? just want to mention,i mixed up the mixture to put in her ear fresh everyday.Replied by Sandra
Adelaide, South Australia
05/19/2011Replied by Angela
Olive Branch, Ms
08/03/2011Replied by Kim
10/06/2011Replied by Rebecca
02/18/2012Replied by Joe
NE PA, US
Posted by Katupatree (Ottawa, On Canada) on 01/23/2010
When my Irish Wolfhound puppy has a waxy smelly ear problem, I use ACV glycerine instead of water. Glycerine is anhydrous and therefore absorbs the water in the ACV and is itself readily absorbed by the skin. This keeps the ear dry and prevents a moist "squishy" ear, which is an ideal environment for bacteria and such. This goes back decades to when my very young son was swimming a lot and got an ear infection. The pediatrician suggested it... Works like a charm! http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What_is_the_use_of_glycerineReplied by Luckyseattlegirl
Seattle, Wa Usa
Posted by Stella (C, OH) on 05/05/2008
My dog started shaking his head and scratching at his ear. Last year and the same time of year he was doing this and I took him to the vet who gave him ear drops. So when he started doing it again this year, I looked in his ear and it wasn't red or anything and it was the very beginning stages of what ever was going on with him so I looked on earthclinic under pet ear infection and figured that before I take him to the vet I will give it one or two days trying the ACV/water solution in his ear. I did the ACV 3x in two days and then I went to the pet store and bought Halo brand Herbal Ear Wash. (I was all prepared to take him to the vet if I had to) anyway, I first used the ear wash on myself to make sure it didn't burn then I used it on my dog and the first 2x it seemed like his issue was getting worse but I continued to use it another night and Wa..La -- no more ear issue. I will however continue to use it for the full 14 days and then use it as maintenance prevention. I don't know from experience how well the Herbal wash works for ear mites but I have done some research that suggests people using it for ear mites I also saw it on sale at http://www.swansonvitamins.com
EC: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR -- AND WATER. One part ACV to two parts water seems about right.
Posted by Margo Burnett (Texas, Usa) on 07/22/2013
My standard poodle has had an ear infection in both ears for 7 years. I have had Vince on continuous anti biotics/meds/ raw food diet/thyroid meds and taken him to so many specialists. His eyes became infected about 3 years ago and were so raw they would bleed. Nothing I did helped my poor dog. I even tried allergy testing and gave him shots daily. Did not help any of the symptoms. Some days he just laid in his bed and moaned. Finally about 3 months ago I started cleaning his ears with peroxide and 50/50 apple cider vinegar and water. I also started feeding him twice a day and adding Dinovite in his food. It has taken 2 months but he is finally symptom free. It is the first time in 7 years that Vince is not in pain.
Posted by Jan (Downers Grove, Il) on 04/15/2011
My shizh-tzu had ear pain so bad he yelped at the slightest touch. He would scratch at it and whine in pain and then shake his head. I always treat his ears after his bath with tea tree oil/water, and tried just plain tea tree oil a few times, to no avail.
Then remembered the Manuka Wound Honey I had just purchased, so I squirted a glob in his ear. Of course, it didn't go inside to well, so I followed it with 2 good sprays of apple cider vinegar, which washed it down into the ear canal. I massaged his ear for about a minute to work in well, then used a damp paper towel to remove most of the sticky residue around the outside of his ear. He shook his head once or twice, some brown crud came out, which I wiped away, and he has been fine ever since!
It has been 3 days, and no more scratching, shaking or pain! That is way faster than any antibiotic, which requires 2-3 applications a day for several weeks. I'm so thrilled to find something so healthy that works so perfectly, and for almost no expense at all! Win-win! ;D!
EC: APPLE CIDER VINEGAR -- AND WATER. One part ACV to two parts water seems about right.Replied by Grace
Thunder Bay, Ontario
12/20/2011Replied by Sm
Sydney, Nsw, Australia
08/17/2012Replied by V
Posted by Jim (Perry, Mi) on 05/12/2012
My dog's ear was stinking real bad and she was itching. I used 2 cups vinegar 1 cup water 1 tsp rubbing alcohol mixed it all up put it in spray and treated her ears. She didnt like the smell but I noticed she wasnt scratching and the smell of her ears is going down. She is also a big swimmer will continue to treat her ears for a few weeks.
A popular remedy for ear infections in dogs, especially if they are caused by yeast is Arcane Solution, also known as "Healthy Ear Recipe." Dogs and cats can be prone to infections in their ears, especially dogs that swim regularly. Pets who shake their heads and scratch their ears may well have an infection. There may or may not be visible symptoms in the ears.
Posted by Dixiechick (Lakeland, Fl) on 09/22/2010
I just discovered something alarming about canned dog food. One of my dogs is 5 yrs. Old and has never had an ear infection or ear problem. I just recently converted both of my dogs to a wheat-free and corn-free diet. I switched them both to Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance L.I.D. Food. Everything was fine until I purchased their canned dog food to add to the dry food. The dog with the ear infection wouldn't eat unless I added something, so that's why I purchased the canned food. She got a severe ear infection 5 days after consumming the canned food. I tried ACV and MMS. They did nothing. My neighbor had this same exact problem with his dog. Last year his dog was rushed to the vet with the same symptoms. His dog was being fed dry dog food with Alpo canned food. I never saw the correlation until it happened to my dog. Symptoms start as head shaking, then tiny bumps in the ear, then redness, inflammation, then pus. Also included were nose rubbing, scratching, coughing, eye swelling. The symptoms started on the day after eating the food and progressed to the fifth day with full blown redness, inflammation, pus, eye swelling, cough. It was unbelievable. Went to the vet for treatment. Dog is currently recovering with home made food and meds. My neighbor's dog and my dog are officially off canned dog food. His dog recovered nicely. There is something in canned dog food that is causing ear infections. It may not happen with every dog, but if your dog is sensitive you need to avoid canned dog food. It doesn't matter what brand, whether premium or low grade canned dog food. I saw it first hand using a premium L. I. D. Food. That's limited ingredient diet.Replied by Pet Shop18
Posted by Megankalu (Ontario) on 05/25/2015
My dog (cocker) mix, has had black inner ears which I've attempted to clean with a dry kleenex. I take him to the groomer regularly when his hair starts to get too long and only once did I ask her to "clean his ears". OMG, I felt so bad for him. Sure, the ears were clean but they were red as a tomato and sore. He kept trying to touch them and shake his head constantly for about two days. Within a week his ears were black again. I called the groomer and asked her why they get so dirty since my dog doesn't interact with any other dogs and he's always on a leash when we walk. So why are they dirty. She explained it was probably a yeast infection brought on by too much "wheat" in his dog food and to try just giving him "raw" red meat for a couple of weeks. Well he wouldn't eat it. So I reverted back to his regular food. Also, I asked her what she did to clean his ears because although they were very clean, they really bothered him for a few days afterwards and she indicated she "poured" straight alcohol into his ears and flushed them out until the cotton was clear. I was appalled... straight alcohol? Are you kidding me? So after searching the web I found a recipe of 1/3 c of water, 2 tbls. baking soda and 1 tbls vinegar. Seems harmless, but I thought I'd get your opinion before I used it. What do you think? Thank you in advance.Replied by Wendy
Posted by Bonnie (Southwest Harbor, Me Usa) on 10/14/2009
I read a post about treating dog ear infection with home remedies. I used 1 Tbsp. Balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp. hydrogen peroxide and 3 Tbsp. water and swabbed ears with this. Two treatments and the irritation and redness was gone. Cleaned ears for three day and she was cured. No doctors visits. This works!!!Replied by Kamp4life
01/12/2015Replied by Kimm
Posted by Deb (Granby, Quebec Canada) on 12/07/2008
With regard to the smelly/itchy ear problem that I've seen in a couple of posts, we have used the Blue Power Ear Treatment from here: http://www.itsfortheanimals.com/Adobe/Blue Power Ear Treatment.pdf -- It gets you out of using antibiotics for your fur-kids. I'll be giving our two dogs small amounts of garlic with their meal once or twice a week. Too much of anything can cause problems.Replied by Liza
Posted by Pamela (Omaha, Nebraska) on 12/30/2007
My dog who has had constant ear problems for years has been on blue powder solution for 2 days and it is definitely providing relief. My veterinarian is out over the long holidays and it great not to have to pay for emergency care. I am hoping this is a more permanent cure that previous prescription ointments, etc. I have looked around the internet and found that many sites connect chronic ear problems to lack of some nutrients, and am currently going to try feeding my dog 1/2 a sweet potatoe every other day, and see if we can go longer between ear problems.Replied by Christina
South Lake Tahoe, Ca
Posted by renee (tully, new york) on 09/19/2007
The remedy is called Blue Power Solution and can be found on any search engine. My Bernese Mtn dog, Gunther had very serious infection in both ears and we tried clearing it up with prescription meds for 2 years. I found the solution by doing my own search for a natural treatment. After two years he was cleared of infection in about 2 weeks. I now only use it once a month. The vet was amazed!Replied by Karen
Posted by Dawn (Lewes, Delaware) on 03/13/2015
Canine ear discharge:
I take 150 ml of water and add a heaping teaspoon of boric acid and add 70 to 80 ml of clear vinegar to it. Then I pour it into those containers which have isopropyl alcohol sheets (can buy them in drug stores or Kmart or Walmart).
I pull out a sheet, squeeze out excess fluid and wipe out my dogs ears with it. Boric acid and vinegar kill bacteria and fungus. Boric acid can also kill ear mites.