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.
Fort Myers, Florida, Usa
Hope, Bc Canada
Hope, Bc Canada
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.
Los Angeles, Ca
Las Vegas, Nv- Usa
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.
Adelaide, South Australia
Olive Branch, Ms
NE PA, US
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
Seattle, Wa Usa
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.
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.
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.
Thunder Bay, Ontario
Sydney, Nsw, Australia
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
South Lake Tahoe, Ca
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!
(Mpls., Mn) on 10/09/2016
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:
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
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
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