Ear Infection Remedies for Pets

Last Modified on Mar 05, 2015

Dietary Changes   0  0   

Posted by Bluetickmom (Cleveland, Tn, Usa) on 03/28/2013

I have a 7 year old Blue Tick with terrible skin problems and ear infections. The vet continuously prescribes steroid shots and antibiotics. As soon as the antibiotics are finished, we are back to square one. We have changed foods to a grain free and have started giving her raw goats milk. Any suggestions? I know she is completely miserable.

Replied by Kerri
Clarkston, Mi
My black lab had ear infection issues for the longest time and we treated him with everything under the sun the vet could think of, she ran every test. I changed his food, made his food, and finally the one couple things that have helped are warm water mixed with apple cider vinegar to clean the ear if its full of debris. Then after the debris is cleaned I put a few drops of tea tree mixed with coconut oil. I do this twice a day until I see improvement. Its important to clean the ear thoroughly by massaging under the ear drum while the vinegar water mixture is in the canal. Let the dog shake his/her ear after you put the fluid in it will losen and debris and then take either a cotton ball or gauze pad to clean completely. Good luck hope it helps!!

Dietary Changes, Black Walnut   1  0   

Posted by Allie (Bc, Canada) on 06/09/2013

[YEA]  For those dogs with itchy ears, ear infections.... I have a holistic dog consultant that helped me greatly. She recommened two main things: proper food - no corn, soy, or grain; and a deworming with Black Walnut. You can get Black Walnut at your health food store - my dog is 55 lbs, and I use 20 drops Black Walnut, in a syringe and into her mouth every day for 5 DAYS, then stop for 3 weeks, and then do it again for 5 DAYS. Right into your dogs mouth with the syringe and squirt it in. It tastes bad so putting it on their food won't work. ALSO, rotating food as well.... Switch from a chicken blend, to a lamb blend (lamb is actually best tolerated) to a fish blend, and round and round. Do a gradual switch though - so blend the new food into the old gradually increasing for about a week which gives your dogs digestive system a chance to adjust to the change otherwise you will have diahrrea and stomach upset. Good Luck!

Replied by Jr
Coloma, Michigan
You mentioned doing a de-worming with Black Walnut for itchy ears. Were the itchy ears caused from the worms? Would this work for tape worms?

Dish Soap Warning   0  0   

Posted by Stella (Ohio)

[WARNING!]  How potent is Joy dish-soap? Here's a little Food for Thought; A few yrs back when my dog had an ear infection the ointment that was used got on his fur & wouldn't come out for nothing so the Groomer used J...dish-soap and Yes it took the ointment out of his hair but also took the hair out along with it. Needless to say my dog still has a bald spot and the hair hasn't even attempted to grow back... Maybe J...dish-soap is the answer we've all been looking for, for hair removal on our legs & armpits.

Distilled White Vinegar   3  0   

Posted by Joeybluesmom (San Diego, Ca) on 07/31/2011

[YEA]  Oh my goodness, I just have to get on here and say thank you for this website!!!!!! I thought my dog was going deaf. He hadn't been able to respond to anything for about 5 days and I just thought it was old age... My dog is currently on Tom's mange treatment and just developed a nasty ear infection of which at the age of 11 he has never had. Poor guy. So, I jumped on earth clinic to see if there was a cure for ear infections that I could do from home. Sure enough, vinegar and water! Go figure. So, I made a 50/50 solution of the white distilled and water and used a medicine dropper and filled his ear with it. I rubbed that hollow area from the outside for a few seconds and let him shake his head to get the excess out. And guess what? Within a few minutes he was responding to everything we said! I almost cried. I've never been so happy to hear my dog growl and bark when we say "Here, Kitty kitty"!! There are no words. My heart is so happy right now. If I hadn't seen it myself, I'm not sure I would have believed it.

Posted by Tom (S.Salem, NY) on 07/28/2009

[YEA]  I have a rescue pit bull which has had chronic ear infections since she was about 5 months old. Since the first infection I have administered nothing but pure white vinegar. This always works and usually in a short time. I lay the dog down using voice commands (For this routine she is very reluctant but obedient, ALWAYS offering the good ear and I have to flip her). From here I almost fill the ear canal w/the vinegar (Which is warmed in hot tap water). I then massage the ear for up to 2 minutes(Listening for the gurgling in the canal to know I'm getting it all), drain, wipe it out with cotton balls cleaning all of the ear.Thoroughly dry when finished. I then put a very light coating of olive oil or bag balm on the skin (Administered w/fingertip). I have spoken to vets who agree this is a good remedy because the vinegar will balance the ear's atmosphere and the oil may kill bacteria. I never heard of using any water mix with the vinegar. My concern is that the water or a moist atmosphere (Like in humans) is what causes a lot of infections. I also never heard of using ACV just white. I like the idea of adding rubbing alcohol to help dry the ear but this will also burn the skin that is often damaged from scratching or rubbing.

Replied by Bruckey
La, Ca, Usa
I see all over the 'net not to use alcohol but absolutely no evidence to back up that assertion. Alcohol is miscible in water and helps water evaporate from the ear canal. Of course if the dog already has an infection, alcohol can hurt. But for preventative care, alcohol is just fine.
Replied by Airpan
Houston, Tx
I have also heard of grain alcohol (everclear) being used to dry out ear canals in pets and humans. I was on a dive team when I was a kid and I kept getting swimmer's ear. My grandmother purchased a bottle of it and with a capful would fill my ear, I would let it sit there for about 30 seconds and then tilt my head over a towel to drain. After that, never got another swimmer's ear infection again.
Replied by Sarafina
San Francisco
[YEA]   Therubbing alcohol works for swimmers ear because it breaks the surface tension of the water trapped in the ear, which facilitates draining. The trapped water is not sterile and creates a nice warm humid environment for bugs to grow in.

Get the water out and no infection develops. I use the cocker spaniel ear cleaner which is alcohol based after my setter has been swimming to avoid problems from this. And I learned it when I was a kid, from dad, who was a competitive swimmer ; -)

DMSO   0  0   

Posted by Colleen (Greenwich, Ny, Us) on 08/12/2011

My cocker spaniel has had ear infections forever and I was wondering if anybody has ever used DMSO (dimethyl sulphoxide) to treat it? I think I'm going to try it on a q-tip after I clean her ears. I would appreciate any thoughts. Thanks.

Replied by Colleen
Greenwich, Ny, Us
So I tried the DMSO in my dogs ears and 2 days later the redness and discharge have decreased considerably. I've cleaned them again and squeezed the DMSO from a cotton ball into her ears again. I'll let you know of the results.
Replied by Colleen
Greenwich, Ny, Us
So I have an update in regards to my cockerspaniels ear infections. After a year of trying to figure out the perfect solution to clean my dogs ears to cure and then prevent her ear infections I learned that the only way to keep her infection free is to put NOTHING liquid in her ears! Soon after my last post I took her to the vet with a raging ear infection in both ears which they suggested removing her ear canal for a long term prevention treatment! Of course that was a big fat NO! After clearing up her infection with Mometamax and Baytril Otic, I maintained her condition by wiping her ears out with a tissue every day!!! I put NOTHING in her ears! Now I am able to wipe out her ears maybe 1x a week. I've also started putting a drop of Zymox Otic Enzymatic solution in her ears, wiping that out with the tissue then following it up with a little powder. She has been infection free for MONTHS!!! AFter 10 years of fighting for a solution for her problems i've figured it out! She smells great and doesn't hate her ear cleanings anymore! I hope this helps anybody who is struggling with this same problem. One last thought, I literally put a drop of the enzymatic solution in her ears, no more. Also, I always have the meds on hand in case I smell the beginning of an infection. Fortunately I have not had to use them!!!

Cheers!! Colleen

Ear Infection Remedies for Dogs   0  0   

Posted by Shawn (Cape May Court House) on 08/24/2013

I have a 4 year old French bulldog this is his first ear infection. I took him to the vet she gave me ear medicine to use twice daily until gone a prescription for cephalexin 250mg I've been giving it to him for 2 weeks now if anything he's getting worse :-( I cannot afford a $620 diagnostic test the vet recommended for him if he is not getting any better by the 3rd when I get my disability check I will have no choice buy to put him down which is my last choice I just think it would be best for him not to suffer anymore than he already is he barely walks before falling on his face I need help/tips anything I can try to make him better asap

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn
Hello! I am not sure what to advise, except that you may wish to surrender your dog to French Bulldog rescue if you can no longer afford to vet your dog and euthanasia is your only option.


It sounds as if your vet treated accordingly; you SHOULD have seen improvement by now. Additional testing IS needed for a proper diagnosis. You can try the home remedies - the ACV sounds appropriate, Ted's remedies for changing the PH of the dog sound appropriate but they won't work over night, and the hit and miss approach will likely prolong your dog's discomfort.

Perhaps the rescue can work with you to help get your dog treated - its worth a shot.

Replied by Lidia
Dallas, Texas
To Shawn from Cape Court House

your dog has inner ear infection. The reason he falls because they see the room spinning and he loses his balance. The equilibrium is off. It happen to my dog and she cried because it was so painful. Humans get the same from the inner ear infection. It is in the deep inside of the ear. It is not visible. The vet gave her predisone to minimize the inflammation of the ear and amoxicilline for the infection. The inflammation cause the ear to loose their balance, and the dog will have double vision. It happen to my dog. Do not put your dog to sleep.

Garlic   1  0   

Posted by Malcolm (Chapel Hill , North Carolina) on 01/04/2011

Since onion is bad for a dog, is garlic oil in the ear also bad? I ask this since I have had great results with garlic oil for ear infections in my boys when they were little. I have given my children a few drops of garlic oil in the ears when they've had bacterial ear infections (I pierce a garlic oil gel tab and squeeze a few drops into the ear canal). Would this be okay for a dog? Dr. Weil states that garlic is a natural antibiotic.

Posted by Jan (Niwot, CO ) on 11/04/2008

[YEA]  I have 4 cocker spaniels. Anyone who has had cockers knows they have ear problems. Also they are prone to skin conditions. I had 2 previous cockers one that skin condition so bad at 8 years old.........she got so sick and died. The other I spent a fortune on medications again and lived to 7. I bought a very healthy male and female at 6 weeks old. Waited to make sure they had no skin or health problems. Of course they were on otomax every other month That's the ear thing. We breed them and had a litter of pups. We kept 2 of them. One of them has severe ear and skin problems. All of a sudden the Mom started the skin problem. Again vet bills on medications. I have changed food so many times figuring allergy. I finally went to a no-grain dog food. The ears and skin cleared up , but it kept reacurring every couple months. I finally did 2 days of searching on the internet. They are still on the no grain dog food........but, I am adding a teaspoon of chopped garlic packed in water to their dinner meal. Also a few squirts of flaxseed oil, and a little powdered Acidophilis. We keep treating a condition and not getting to the root!!! After 4 days.and a bath 2x a week with Selsum blue shampoo. my baby that has had problems all her life (3 years) does not scratch any more. great skin and coat. and no more bad ears!!!! The other three have had same diet and they are amazingly more happy and active. They don't scratch anymore either!!! I know it's the garlic!!! It is the best natural medication there is!!!! They all weight about 20 pounds each..........and for 3 weeks now.no side effects except i can sleep with out my bed shaking from dogs scratching , licking feet and shaking their heads!

Replied by Lisa Johnson
Indianapolis, Indiana
Replied by Teresa
Edmonton, Canada
Yes change your food to grain free, as turns to sugars that feed yeast, give some yogurt or probotic pills to help fight yeast by introducing better bacterias into the gut. And maybe the message way above yours that said they tried Milk of Magnesia spread in the ears to remove moisture may help. (It must have other ingredients that fight fungus) also to many antibiotics just create yeast and its a never ending cycle.

Green Tea   1  0   

Posted by Tina (Seattle, Washington) on 10/19/2014

[YEA]  I use herbal green tea as a drops solution for my Beagle's chronic ear infection. I've only used it for 4 days but he's no longer scratching at his ears and yelping. Herbal green tea has been a natural healing solution for many different problems, not just dog infections and it works great. You put two bags of Tea in a cup of boiling water, let it steep for a few minutes, and when its cooled you put 10 drops in each ear 2-3 times a day. It doesn't sting and it smells good so the stinky ears part goes away. What you don't use can be refrigerated for up to 3-4 days for repeated use.

I am however looking for a solution to my dogs inflamed ear flaps that won't sting please so if you have good ideas for that please respond here, I will check this daily. I am still working on my present E-mail as for some reason I can't check it due to problems with getting passwords to work.

Thank you and I hope my solution helps others.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Apple Cider Vinegar   1  0   

Posted by Gloria (Hagerstown, Maryland) on 01/25/2009

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  ear infection: I read that you take equal amts of water, perioxide and apple cider vinegar and warm a little to put in my 11 year old Shin Tzu badly infected ears, there is puss just oozing from both of them and the prescriptions and wash from the vet does no good. Her immune system is shot because of antibiotics.Please let me know if this is to be done daily or twice. We just started yesterday and she isn't shaking her head as much. Any more suggestions I would certainly take. She also is on precription dog food called CD for re-accuring bladder stones which she has had 2 surgerys and 3 prescriptions which include an antibiotic for her skin which is smelly and nasty- 2 baths a week at home. Appreciate any feedback. The vet costs are huge.

Replied by Anh
Sewell, NJ
To Gloria from Hagerstown - You need to get your dog off all the antibiotics and meds. Find a homeopathic vet in your area. A good raw diet with supplements will make the difference. Contact the homeopath post-haste!
Replied by Looola
Falmouth, Cornwall England
we have a retired greyhound who had bladder stones when we got her, hundreds of pounds later she had to be fed CD for 4 months. our fantastic vet suggested cranberry tablets, one a day with her supper. we have not had any problems with her since! hope this helps
Replied by Frances
Lincoln, Nebraska
I have a mix breed hound that has had skin problems for several years. After alot of vet bills I have found that a rice and raw veg. diet has worked wonders. I mix it with a dog food that I have found that is additive free (no colors, additives). It has made the biggest difference. A friend who had not seen my dog in over 6 monthes came to visit an ask what happened to the old dog I use to have. I was so happy to point and say "There she is!' She has now switched her dogs to the food I use and makes her food as well. My friend is a breeder and shows; and the food is called ____ Choice and is affordable and was developed by a vet.
Replied by Susan
Calgary, Alberta
I have read several of the comments and remedies about dog ear smell. My spaniel has very bad ear odor and stuff in it. i have had medication over yrs and its just last for awhile and ear cleaners.

I noticed it said Hydrogen peroxide and apple cidar vinegar. Would that work well? what is the portions for each? water, H Peroxide, ACV equal amounts or how? Is the peroxide, vinegar safe for the ears.


Also what is good for her skin odor?

Posted by Rita (Hammond, USA) on 07/22/2007

[YEA]  Thank you for the remedy about using the peroxide in the cats water. I believe it cured his ear infection and saved his life. My cat was running diarrhea,vomitting and would not eat for two days. I used an ear dropper with the water peroxide solution, gave him Pedialyte so he would not dehydrate. I also, rubbed apple cider vinegar on him until I could get him to the vet. He started drinking on his on even before I got him to the vet. He is back to his old self. Also for now, I'm not gaving him water from the sink. I'm also letting him eat a little raw chicken, which he loves. I freeze it first. He's doing great.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Coconut Oil   2  0   

Posted by Tim (Magnolia Springs, Alabama) on 09/18/2007

[YEA]  We have a poodle Bridgett who gets infections after grooming. My wife takes 1/2 peroxide and water and cleanse her ears and then takes virgin coconut oil and rubs her ears and it works great no scratching and rubbing until the next grooming.

Replied by Lovemydogs
Loveland, Co, Usa
[YEA]   I used hydrogen peroxide/water and this was the ONLY thing that helped Honey's ears. She is a 4 yr. old Shar Pei/Boxer mix and this dog is everything to me.

I had tried at least 4 different vet-prescribed medications and 1 OTC product for her chronic otitis externa. The vet also suggested a mix of vinegar/water to flush out the gunk but it didn't provide lasting relief. Basically, nothing worked.

My mom, in all her wisdom of 55 years, then suggested a 60/40 mix of peroxide/water, respectively. I saturated two cotton balls with the mixture, placed one in each ear, and massaged gently, letting the liquid loosen any buildup. I let her shake her head to get any excess out (and I get very dirty in the process). :)

I repeated this treatment once a day for one week. And her ears are better than they've ever been. They're not red and inflamed, nor are they as stinky. She isn't scratching at them as much, but she will lightly scratch at them every so often.

Now that they've cleared up, I'm going to try the coconut oil to soothe the skin in her ears. (The OTC treatment I had tried before the peroxide had left her with dry skin inside her ears). I'm going to apply the coconut oil with a swab but not POUR it in. I tried using coconut oil before but this was when she was on the other medication and her ears were not as cleared up.

I've read all over the internet "Don't use peroxide!" or "It can harm your dog's ears!" and my vet even hinted that she wouldn't put peroxide in her ears so don't use any product that contains it on my dog. BUT it has worked better than any other medication they've prescribed. How do you explain this?

Could it be that they want me to spend $15-$30 on a tiny tube of crap that doesn't even work so they can drive an Audi and not care about my dog's well-being and health? I'm not a conspiracy theorist but I'm looking at the cold, hard facts. I'm looking at the most amazing dog I've ever had and finally seeing her ears healed! How could the vet not have known about this miracle treatment that can heal my dog's ears and, not to mention, save me tons of money. I can buy a bottle of hydrogen peroxide for $1 and it lasts me for months.

My dogs mean the world to me; they are my family. And I would not take time make this post if I didn't really try this treatment and believe in the results. So you can try this if you want and post the results. I hope it will work for your dog, too!

Replied by Sophie
Kamloops, Bc, Canada
I don't think the vet is telling you not to put peroxide in your dogs ears so you'll buy medication, remember, the vet did suggest vinegar! I believe the effects of peroxide are long term and are not visible at first, but the peroxide could be doing long term damage to your dog's eardrum and causing hearing loss which may not manifest itself until it's too late!

"It is a common misconception that hydrogen peroxide is a disinfectant or antiseptic for treating wounds. While it is an effective cleaning agent, hydrogen peroxide is not an effective agent for reducing bacterial infection of wounds. Further, hydrogen peroxide applied to wounds can impede healing and lead to scarring because it destroys newly formed skin cells"

This information can be found in a journal dedicated to wound repair and regeneration: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com

Replied by G Allen
Some infections are sensitive to the presence of O2. Some infections do not care if O2 is present.

For those infections that cannot live in O2 then hydrogen peroxide will kill them when the reaction causes the O2 to be released. Here is the kicker the O2 is released when the hydrogen peroxide reacts with organic matter and destroys it. Pus in a scabbed wound or an abscess is a good place to find infection that does not tolerate O2. Break the wound open and flood it with hydrogen peroxide will cause the peroxide to boil off the O2, the O2 will kill infection (some of them) and the action of the boiling will flush out the pus. Good approach for trapped pus that needs cleaning out.

Now, just think about what is going on in your ear that meets the above conditions and decide if digging around in your ear then flooding it with hydrogen peroxide is something that you would do and expect to hear from that ear again? If not why do it to any pet?

Now would the boiling action loosen matter in the ear canal so it could be flushed out, most likely. But so would a sweet oil or ACV and water. Leaving the ear canal in a slightly acid condition will cause many things that might want to grow there to find another place.

What you want here is a clean place that is dry and not prone to infection.

My lab does not complain about his ear washes so long as his ears are healthy. No redness, rashes, open sores. If these are present then he objects until they heal. Tough luck for him, if I keep his ears clean he has good luck. If I goof off he suffers. Get the message? If your dog or cat has sore ears it is because he or she is not getting the care needed. That's not my pets fault it is mine. Spend some time keeping your pet groomed (might mean poking around in the ears) both your pet and you will learn it is better than using meds from the vet that end up having all of the time.

Hydrogen Peroxide, Vinegar, Rubbing Alcohol   2  0   

Posted by Dawn (Thunder Bay, Ontario Canada) on 02/16/2009

[YEA]  I have a 4 year old pug who usually only got ear infections in the summer due to her love of swimming (she has a lab big brother what can I say.) this winter she has had two ear infections, both cured with home remedy. (I have a solution from the vet seemed to only clean it but not kill it.) So I tried equal parts vinegar, rubbing alcohol and peroxide. It worked, period. The smell, ooze, scratching, all stopped after 1st treatment. Cleaned and repeated 3 timnes a day until cleared and continued to clean with vet solution. I dont know what the vet will say when we get her in but it has worked twice now...I'll update if I get in trouble!

Replied by Christine
Vancouver, British Columbia
[YEA]   Our daschund, Copper, had a bad ear infection that had caused the ear to swell almost shut and was oozing a black discharge. We took 3 equal parts vinegar, rubbing alcohol and hydrogin peroxide, mixed well and applied enough to the ear to fill the canal area. We then massaged the ear for 2-3 minutes and had the dog shake her head several times to drain out the fluid. We then took papertowels and cotton swabs and swabed out the area carefully, as the skin was quite red and swollen. Within half and hour the ear swelling was reduced by half and the redness was significantly less. I treated her ear once a day for 3 days and the ear cleared up by day 3. Each day since I check and wipe out any new loosened wax, however the ear has never looked better. This remedy did not seem to cause our dog any discomfort, but we did use an ear lotion from the pet store to sooth irritation after the irrigation. Total cost was less than $10 and the quick healing for Copper was priceless.
Replied by Leann
Machesney Park, Il
I want to thank you for that remedy for the ears!!! Worked very well!!!! Saved me $150+ for not taking him to ER VET BECAUSE it was a weekend.

Irritated and Itchy Ear Remedies   0  0   

Posted by Katie (St. Helens, Merseyside) on 08/03/2013

My west highland terrier has had ear problems for a while but only flares up every now and again. She keeps shaking her head, itching her ears and tilting her head on both sides. I can not get her to a vets as it is the weekend. What is the best thing I can do until I can take her to the vets???

Replied by Lynn
Venice, Florida
You may have a good result for your Westie with Apple Cider Vinegar. Try mixing with water, 3 to 1. (1/3 cup ACV with 2/3 cup lukewarm-warmish water) With a cloth apply very generously to the scruff of the neck right at the SKIN so it can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream. Wetting just the coat/fur will not be sufficient. I would not be afraid to leave the area wet and even somewhat dripping. I might also do the same with the area behind and around the outside of the ears but NOT (!! ) inside the ears. Depending upon the severity I would repeat this perhaps 4 times a day. I have never had any of my patients or pets object very much to being subjected this, which indicates to me that they know something I don't.

I have not read any explanation as to what it is with the ACV that provides healing of so many ailments. Obviously there is a scientific explanation of the mechanism of healing but, as ACV is so inexpensive a remedy, Big Pharma and it's bedmates will not be doing any looking into this anytime soon. The first time I used ACV on my animals I felt almost silly, but, for me, it rarely doesn't help and often completely heals so I'm sold.

Of course if your pups infection (I'm guessing) proves to be beyond the reach of the ACV we must get to the vet. The possibility exists that something may be in the ears that must be removed or otherwise addressed by the vet. Best wishes for a healthy, happy dog.

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