Ear Infection
Natural Remedies

Ear Infection Remedies for Pets

Oct 08, 2017

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

Acidophilus and White Vinegar  

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Posted by Nancy (San Diego, Ca) on 01/26/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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
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 ?

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa
5 out of 5 stars

I'm not entirely convinced that you need to wash out the ears. I have a chihuahua who hates having anything done to him. He had a hot spot that I just barely touched with some ACV and water on a paper towel before he squirmed away. I figured I'd have to take him to the vet because I am not one to force an animal to do something they don't want to do. I just can't do it.

Anyway, the next day, the hot spot had scabbed over and the scab was already falling off with no evidence of the awfulness that had been there the day before, under the scab. I was floored. A couple of months later, he had another hot spot and I did the same thing as soon as I noticed - just touched it with some solution on a paper towel, and the next day it was gone. No scab or anything as it wasn't all gooey like the first one which I didn't notice because it was right up under his chin. The second was right on the back of the neck, so I noticed it right away.

So, now he has been shaking his head and having trouble with one of his ears. So, I mixed up some ACV and water - with more water than ACV, about 2:1 - I rolled up a piece of paper towel, dipped it in the solution so that the end of it was soaked but not dripping, snuck up behind him and just sort of poked it into his ear. It was just a paper towel, not tightly rolled so no problem, right?

He hopped around and shook his head a bit and then came over to me as if to say "do that again", so I did, and he yelped and ran off again but hasn't scratched or shaken his head in a couple of hours.

I used to have a Lhaso Apso that had terrible hot spots for months and months until we found a food that didn't bother her. I wish I'd known about the ACV then.

I haven't changed the wawa's food or done anything other than just touched the hot spots with a paper towel dipped in the ACV/water. And when I hit that first hot spot, I used ACV with just a tiny bit of water, so it was mostly ACV, and he took off like a shot! But I had just barely touched it so it worked out anyway.

Replied by Mike
Raleigh Nc

Like the other post. We had this problem for years!!!! All you need is Zymox Plus Otic-hc Enzymatic Solution. Kills it forever, in one week, and you can add it as often as you like. Forget all the expensive dog food changes and huge vet bills.

Replied by Cindy
Illinois, Usa

One day later, after ear problem and he's back to his perky self and his ear is standing up straight again. When he was scratching and shaking his head, he was also sort of laying it down. But, all back to normal now.

And I want to add how nice it is to not feel so helpless about things. I was utterly helpless with my Lhaso Apso's miserable hot spots and this ear thing reminded me of when I had a horrific earache in the middle of the night, long before the internet came along.

I would bet that just knowing you all are here relieves a great deal of stress for a whole lot of people. I know it does for me. Thank you.

Replied by Susie12

Please make sure it's NOT hot, only lukewarm, I know someone that burnt their dogs ear :(

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Posted by Sp (Nashville, Tn) on 04/24/2010
5 out of 5 stars

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
5 out of 5 stars

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 http://drdogs247.com

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.

Replied by Brandi

Would this remedy work on an already infected ear? My cat gets this infection in her ear but I'm not 100% it is actually an infection. She has dark stuff and wax in her ear and it is just the one ear which gave me the conclusion it was just an infection instead of it being ear mites. I was just curious because I don't want to see a vet if I can deal with it at home. I just need help I am really worried about her as she is scratching her face a lot because it is driving her insane.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Brandi!

You can try infused garlic oil to treat the ear. It sounds like there is waxy buildup and that can cause irritation and scratching to clear the wax out. You can crush a couple of cloves of raw garlic and let them sit in 1 cup of olive oil overnight; then strain the garlic and warm to body temperature and work into the ear. Do this 2-3 times per day, to loosen the waxy debris and get it out of the ear. If after 3 days the skin inside the ear looks healthy and pink, and not scratched raw then you might consider flushing the ear with equal parts water, hydrogen peroxide and rubbing alcohol OR water, white vinegar and rubbing alcohol. Once you have the gunk out of the ear and the ear looks pink and healthy you will need to monitor the ear and stay on top of it - when you see wax starting to build up it is time to flush the ear clean again.

Replied by Wendy

Do a search on this site for "Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane)". It's an excellent remedy for ear infections (yeast and/or bacterial). Originally created for dogs, I don't see why it couldn't be used for cats.

Replied by Patricia

There is a surgery the vet can do where they cut an incision at the bottom of the ear canal on the outside and it helps air out the ear and to drain. It's about $500 an ear, I learned about it by watching Brandon on Sat mornings.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Aloe, Hydrogen Peroxide  

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Posted by Jackie (Grand Rapids, Minn) on 01/28/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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
1 out of 5 stars


I noticed this from a vet on another site about the danger of using peroxide, so I have cut and pasted it here:

Peroxide should NEVER by used to clean out a dog's ear canals.... Unless you just *want* him to go deaf. It will damage the eardrum, often beyond repair. Straight rubbing alcohol will do the same thing, but can be safely used as an ingredient in a mixture.

The safest thing for you to do today is to clean them out with a mixture of distilled white vinegar and water (50% of each) just ONE TIME, until you can get your dog in tomorrow for proper diagnosis and treatment. Delaying that will only end up costing you more money and causing your dog more pain in the long run.

Caught early, ear infections are easily diagnosed with a visual exam of the deep canal with an otoscope, along with a swab that is stained and viewed under a microscope. Often, a prescription ointment is all that is needed (IF caught early enough.)

Allowed to progress, however, and your dog will need the above, PLUS one or more (sometimes all) of the following:
1. Sedation and a deep ear canal flush.
2. Antibiotic injection, followed by a course of oral antibiotics at home for 1-2 weeks.
3. Antiinflammatory injection. (And in the most severe cases, oral corticosteroids to prevent the canal from swelling permanently shut, which will require major surgery to open it back up for drainage.)
4. Pain injection, followed by oral pain medications at home for 4-7 days.

Permanent, severe damage can result if not properly taken care of. There could even be a foreign object (grass seed, etc. ) or a growth down in there.... In which case, you're wasting your time if it's not removed. Ear infections can also be due to food allergies, etc....

Please call tomorrow, first thing in the morning, and make that appointment. Your DVM will also be invaluable in helping you prevent this problem from coming back as soon as you get it cleared up. The techs there will show you how to clean your dog's ears correctly..... most owners do it wrong, because they've never been properly taught.

Replied by Angela
Olive Branch, Ms

Your comment based on information from a vet is subject to great doubt on this website as, if you will read all the postings under this subject alone, veterinary treatment of this problem has been highly unsuccessful after people have spent much money they often couldn't afford, much time, also hard to afford, much worry and misery, not to even mention the suffering of their beloved pets. They then usually found cures using remedies posted here the same way I did on several occasions using a mix called Old Coon Hunter's Ear Wash which does contain some peroxide along with some witch hazel, and sweet oil. I have used it on four german shepherds when they have had ear problems over the years and none of them have lost their hearing so far and it requires you to fill the ear up with the solution and do it frequently over a period of a few weeks so I would propose that, as usual with those in the medical profession, in the case of this veterinarian you are quoting that it is again "all about the money".

Replied by Kim
Chicago, Il

@Angela- the focus of the vet info is that HYDROGEN PEROXIDE can destroy animals' ears. The entire DVM post was not edited for content; it was the entire post.

You went right for the jugular about something unimportant, glazing over that peroxide in the ears is very, very bad. Apologize for being a meanie.

Replied by Rebecca
Pleasantville, Michigan

Actually hydrogen peroxide is not VERY, VERY BAD- all ear flushes contain it. Also I have had advice from SEVERAL vets including one in whoms office I have worked who has recomended diluted hydrogen peroxide, and even small amounts of straight. It can also be used in human ears and is done so quite often.

Replied by Joe

If you can find a homeopathic remedy for a simple problem, investigate every website you can find on the topic, ie, ear infection, wound, etc., and try the remedy. Don't let these veterinarians talk their talk that every little sniffle requires a vet's diagnosis. Even the vet here agreed that a "prescription "ointment is all that is needed. See, they want your MONEY. There is a big difference between a prescription and a homeopathic remedy, you will not have any MONEY left in the bank after that veterinary office visit, leads to they have to do this and that, and oh they won't even treat your pet unless it's shots are up to date = more MONEY. ALL veterinarians are RIP OFF CON ARTISTS and have killed 2 cats of mine with these bogus "required shots". If anyone ever walked out of a vets. office with MONEY left in their wallet, please report this vet. Good Luck.

Replied by Joan

Where do you get your Old Coon Hunter's Ear Wash? I have a friend with an old coon dog who has had ear infections for two months now, and they've gone to the vet several times, to no avail. I thought that maybe this would help, as I always try natural remedies with my dogs before going to a vet, and they usually work.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Joan,

You might try adding Betadine solution to warm water - use 1 cup of water and add drop by drop the Betadine until it is the color of tea [for reference, look at the bottled teas in the grocery store] and use that to wash the ears out.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Glycerine  

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Posted by Katupatree (Ottawa, On Canada) on 01/23/2010
5 out of 5 stars

Ear problems

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_glycerine

Replied by Luckyseattlegirl
Seattle, Wa Usa

I was wondering if you were trying to say to use apple cider vinegar glycerine or apple cider vinegar and glycerine? Also, what kind of glycerine? Is it a liquid kind? Also, what measurements do i use?

Apple Cider Vinegar, Herbal Ear Wash  

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Posted by Stella (C, OH) on 05/05/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide  

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Posted by Margo Burnett (Texas, Usa) on 07/22/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Apple Cider Vinegar, Manuka Honey  

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Posted by Jan (Downers Grove, Il) on 04/15/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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
1 out of 5 stars


PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE!!!! DO NOT USE TEA TREE OIL ON YOUR PETS!!! I uses this years ago on my Boxer for itchy skin. A solution of water and tea tree oil suggested by a site on the internet. It almost killed my dog. I sprayed it on her belly one night before bed, and the next morning, my dog could not walk. I immediately took her to the vet...

Long story short... I had to walk, and walk, and walk her throughout the day and evening. As soon as she would lay and rest, she would become lethargic and could barely move again. I almost killed my dog. I informed the site right away of what happened, and unfortunately they never removed it. After further research, I discovered that people have lost their cats this way. PLEASE DO NOT USE TEA TREE OIL.

Replied by Sm
Sydney, Nsw, Australia

Totally agree. I'm a dog washer and will not use tea tree in any product I use on dogs. Some dogs tollerate it, but many have bad reactions. Not worth the risk.

Replied by V


About tea tree oil and your dog. I have read that diluted tee tree oil for ear infections in dogs is okay, however you must be very careful that the dog (or cat) can not lick or ingest the oil as it is highly toxic when ingested. Because it was on the belly, is possible that your dog ingested the oil in some way which may be what made her/ him sick.

If used, I would be very careful!

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Posted by Jim (Perry, Mi) on 05/12/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

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Posted by Dixiechick (Lakeland, Fl) on 09/22/2010
0 out of 5 stars

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

Wonderful post about pet food, thanks.

Baking Soda and Vinegar  

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
Columbus, Oh

Please Do NOT EVER take your cocker to that groomer again! Pouring straight alcohol into already red/inflamed ears is tantamount to ABUSE!!! Your poor dog must have been in agony!

Please use only THIS remedy (Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane) for healing your dog's yeasty ears:

Read it very carefully and completely! It's an excellent remedy for ear infections (yeast and/or bacterial) in dogs. I've used it on my Golden Retriever's ears when she had a yeast infection. Totally cleared it up. Plus, find a new food with NO GRAIN and NO RICE (rice=sugar which yeast loves).

Healthy Ear Recipe (from Arcane)

1 tube Monistat (generic is fine)
1 tube Polysporin (use the real deal - it's inexpensive)
1 tube Cortaid (generic works here as well)

Use tubes of similar size. Mix all three together in a container that can be closed well. It takes a bit to incorporate because the Polysporin is a bit like Vaseline. Once incorporated, it stays mixed.

If ears are gunky, inflamed or smell bad, start with using a pea sized dollop twice a day. Use your finger to gently push it into the ear. Rub. Dogs will only shake their heads once or twice! It's a creamy, very soothing mixture. Once you have the ears under control, lessen how often you use it till you're only using it once a week. Once a week, it keeps ears from getting bad again.

My doctor (human) is the one that came up with this as her dogs were having ear issues that weren't really under control from the things her vet was prescribing! Anyone that I know that has gone to using it has had remarkable results and the dogs are much happier and SAFER than using anything with alcohol in it. I was told by my vet that alcohol just dries the ear out - which includes drying out the ear drum AND that if there is even the tiniest of perforations in that ear drum, it can let alcohol down into the middle ear where it can do permanent damage. That's why this cream is SOOOOO good! There's nothing "liquid" about it. It goes in and melts its way down to where it's needed. No alcohol to cause drying or damage and it will take care of anything yeast, bacterial etc...

From: http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/ear_infection7.html

Balsamic Vinegar, Hydrogen Peroxide  

5 star (1) 
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Posted by Bonnie (Southwest Harbor, Me Usa) on 10/14/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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
Loomis, Ca

Just a question. What about the millions, and I do mean millions of pet owners that are feeding their dogs both dry and canned foods? I've had dogs for more than 50 years and each was served dry with a little canned food (various brands) with absolutely no side affects. With the big health craze about our pets to get them to eat like we do, there is a problem. THEY AREN'T PEOPLE and have before they were domesticated, eaten meat, vegetation, and pretty much what ever they needed to survive. Just a thought.

Replied by Theresa
Mpls., Mn

Hey Kamp4life!

My thoughts on this are that many *good* kibble companies have changed hands over the years and with each change the quality of the ingredients also changed to less wholesome types. For some animals this had no impact, but for sensitive animals it has had a huge negative impact- hence the *fad* diets that have popped up in recent years.

I feed a combination of a so called quality dry kibble, supplemented with human grade goodies, along with raw bones and when I get enough human grade scraps collected home made diet as well.

My bottom line is this: if you feed it and get great results, great! And if not, it is time to upgrade the groceries to whatever works best for your pet.

Replied by Kimm

I think the idea behind feeding dogs raw food or homemade food is that those options are much closer to a natural animal diet than commercial foods. canines don't eat corn gluten or flour and they can't cook.

Blue Powder Solution  

5 star (4) 
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Posted by Deb (Granby, Quebec Canada) on 12/07/2008
5 out of 5 stars

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
Ottawa, Ontario

Before continuing giving garlic to your dog, please check with your vet and do some independent research as, from what I have read & been told, Garlic is TOXIC to dogs. It's of the same family as Onions which are toxic to dogs.

EC: More information on Garlic for Dogs here: http://www.earthclinic.com/pets/garlic_for_dogs.html

Posted by Pamela (Omaha, Nebraska) on 12/30/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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

hi. I wanted to know more about blue Powder solution. My dog has suffered from severe ear infections and constant licking at rear and feet. There is no evidence of yeast, but she has a poor immune system. We have all but given up hope. Does any of this sound like what your dog experienced? Any advise encouraged. Thanks.... Chris

Posted by renee (tully, new york) on 09/19/2007
5 out of 5 stars

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
Roscommon, Mi
5 out of 5 stars

Our dog suffers from recurring ear infections. Our vet continued to give him a prescription cream. It would work while being used, but once it was gone, the infection returned. I finally did a search on the internet for a natural solution and found a recipe for the Blue Powder Solution... I mixed up a batch and finally, his ear infection was cleared up!

After being ear infection free for over a year, I got lazy about the solution and hadn't used it in quite some time.. He ended up with another flare up while we were on vacation. We purchased a herbal product, but it didn't seem to do much of anything..

As soon as we got home, I mixed up a new batch of the blue powder solution, only because his ear was very raw and tender, I used witch hazel instead of rubbing alcohol... It appeared to be very soothing to him, and within 2 weeks, the infection was gone..

I've learned my lesson.. I'll make sure he gets one dose a month from now on, which is recommended once the infection is under control.

The solution calls for boric acid and Gentian Violet Solution. I found boric acid at a "real" pharmacy and the pharmacist from Walgreens ordered the Gentian Violet for me (it only cost a couple of bucks)..

Great natural remedy that cost pennies, but most importantly, works!

Blue Power Ear Wash  

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Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 10/09/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I have posted the Blue Power Ear Wash formula on Earth Clinic elsewhere, but cannot find the post. I LOVE this info on Blue Power Ear Cleanser. It's from Facebook and has the best information. Please post it.

Blue Power Ear Cleaner
The good, the bad and the ugly about this popular home made ear cleaner.

By Joan M. Beck
Starlight Springers, Minneapolis, MN

Blue Power Ear Cleaner (also known as Blue Voodoo Ear Cleaner and Gentian Violet Ear Cleaner) is a very popular home made remedy for keeping canine ears clean and infection free. Lots of Internet web sites tout its benefits, and it is frequently mentioned on dog-related chat groups. Most advocates of this treatment say its great, almost magic for treating ear infections, few if any mention how or why the preparation works and if it is safe for our canine friends. Being a natural skeptic of anything advertised as “magic", I decided a little research was in order.

Here is what I discovered:

The Formula:

There are several recipes for Gentian Violet based ear cleaners on the web. The following recipe seems to be the most popular and based on my research the safest and most effective formulation: 2 cups (1 pt.) 70% Isopropyl alcohol (don't use the 91% solution, it is too strong for use in an ear cleaner and can physically burn the delicate ear tissues) 4 Tablespoons boric acid powder 16 drops of 1% gentian violet solution or 8 drops of 2% gentian violet solution. (Order from your local pharmacist)

For best results, place two cups of isopropyl alcohol in a glass measuring cup and heat until luke-warm in the microwave. Heating the alcohol helps the boric acid powder dissolve in the liquid. This recipe calls for a very saturated concentration of boric acid compared to the amount of alcohol. If you don't heat the alcohol first, then you tend to get boric acid crystals settling out at the bottom of your bottle. Boric acid crystals in suspension (particles floating in the liquid) are less effective for altering the pH of the ear canal than boric acid in solution (particles dissolved in liquid). After mixing the boric acid and alcohol, then add the gentian violet. Be sure to place newspapers under the area where you are working. Gentian violet is a strong aniline dye and permanently stains, especially in its concentrated form. I have found that adding one drop of liquid dish soap to this warm purple mixture helps make this mixture work even better because the soap helps break down the surface tension of the earwax so the alcohol can dissolve it. Adding more than one drop of soap starts to change the pH of the solution and reduces its effectiveness. It is recommended that this product be used once or twice a day for two weeks to fight ear infections, then twice a month afterwards to prevent overgrowth of the microbes that cause infection. If your dog produces a lot of earwax and needs more frequent ear cleaning, you might consider alternating the use of this formula with a commercially available ear cleaning formula so long as the commercial ear cleaner also acidifies the ear.

The Good-Why it Works

In case you are wondering why this formula works, here is the scoop. Gentian violet is a fairly powerful antiseptic. Antiseptics are agents that destroy or inhibit the growth and development of microorganisms in or on living tissue. Unlike antibiotics that act selectively on a specific target, antiseptics have multiple targets and a broader spectrum of activity. Gentian Violet was quite popular prior to World War II, especially in veterinary use. It is particularly good at killing fungus like yeast and Staphylococcus bacteria, both big culprits in ear infections. For it to truly work, the solution needs to be in contact with the fungus or bacteria for a minimum of sixty seconds. So filling the ear canal and massaging it around for a minute is a good idea. I suggest you warm the solution slightly in the microwave to make it more comfortable for the dog and to help the alcohol (also an antiseptic) dissolves the wax build-up. Be sure to test the temperature on your own wrist before pouring it into the ear canal. The boric acid in the recipe helps to acidify the pH of the ear canal making it an inhospitable environment for nasty beasties to grow back.

The Bad - Some of the dangers

Now why, if this stuff is so great, don't we see commercial preparations of this formula? One reason is that Gentian Violet is a mild carcinogen (cancer causing agent) Studies at the National Center for Toxicological Research (and similar studies listed below) have shown Gentian Violet to be a thyroid and liver carcinogen for laboratory animals like rats, mice and rabbits. Another reason is that Gentian Violet is toxic to the sensitive cilia cells of the inner ear. If some of the solution happens to seep through a perforated eardrum it can cause a debilitating and permanent dizziness or deafness. A third consideration is its reported effects on the fetus. Pregnant animals in the Gentian Violet studies showed fetal abnormalities including those to the musculoskeletal and urogenital systems. Gentian violet also affected fertility and was deemed the cause of a high rate of post-implantation mortality (either death or reabsorption of the fetus). These factors make the product too big a potential liability for a commercial production. The FDA has banned its use as a food preservative and discourages its use in human medical and veterinary preparations designed for chronic use (like ear cleaners) although the agency seems to have no problem with occasional use.

The Ugly- More is not better

Please don't use more gentian violet than is recommended in the formula. Antiseptics, like Gentian Violet, have been found to be toxic not only to bacteria and fungus, but also to cells essential to the wound healing process, such as fibroblasts, keratinocytes, and leukocytes. However, this cell toxicity appears to be concentration dependent. In other words, in low (recommended) concentrations, antiseptics like Gentian Violet retain their antibacterial and anti fungal activity, but they don't end up killing off beneficial cells. The Moral of the Story When used properly this is a good ear cleaner/disinfectant. It has been reported to stop some ear infections when all other treatments have failed. Given the research studies, especially the cancer studies, it may not be advisable to use this as your dog's only ear cleaner, but it is a good product to get ears back under control. The fetal death and abnormality studies suggest that it is not advisable to use this product on a pregnant or lactating bitch. The risks of fetal abnormality are just too high. Colloidal silver preparations and non-staining iodine compounds work almost as well as Gentian violet preparations and have been shown to be very safe. Many commercial preparations are also very good and very safe. Look for those that do not contain chlorhexidine (also can cause birth defects) and state that the product leaves the ear acidified to discourage re-growth of bacteria and yeast.


National Center for Toxicological Research
www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/ cpg/cpgfod/cpg578-600.htm

Littlefield, N. A., B.-N. Blackwell, C. C. Hewitt, and D. W. Gaylor. 1985. Chronic toxicity and carcinogenicity studies of gentian violet in mice. Fundam. Appl. Toxicol. 5:902-912

Case, R. A. M., and J. T. Pearson. 1954. Tumours of the urinary bladder in workmen engaged in the manufacture and the use of certain dyestuff intermediates in the British chemical industry. Br. J. Ind. Med. 11:213-221..


www.fda.gov/ora/compliance_ref/ cpg/cpgfod/cpg578-600.htm

Antiseptics on Wounds: An Area of Controversy
Anna Drosou, MD, Anna Falabella, MD, Robert S. Kirsner, MD
Wounds 15(5):149-166, 2003. © 2003 Health Management Publications, Inc.
Posted 06/11/2003

Characteristics of systemic and topical agents implicated in toxicity of the middle and inner ear
Peter S. Roland, MD

Dermatologische Klinik und Poliklinik der Technischen Universität München, Biedersteiner Strasse 29; D-80802, Dr. Knut Brockow: München (Germany)

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