Dog ears are sensitive and earaches can cause problems for your pet. A sign of an earache will be the dog frequently shaking his head, rubbing the side of his head against surfaces, or scratching inside the ear with a paw. Causes of earaches are often ear infections, built-up wax, debris or ear mites. Easy home remedies are available to try, but if a problem persists, call your dog's veterinarian.
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Cleaning your dog's ear should be done in a gentle manner with a cotton ball--never with a cotton swab. Shoving a cotton swab down your dog's ear canal can cause ear damage.
Use a mixture of one part water and two parts vinegar to make a homemade ear-cleaning solution. Vinegar creates an acidic environment, which will not allow yeast or bacteria to grow. Pour the mixture into a spray bottle, preferably with a nozzle to control the flow, and spray it into the dog's ears. You might need to ask someone to help hold your pet down on their side. Gently massage the home-remedy mixture down the ear canal. It is okay for your pet to shake her head around; it will help dislodge any wax or buildup. Gently clean out any debris, wax and dark-brown residue from the dog's ear. Only clean the surface that you can see, and never go inside the actual ear canal.
A tablespoon of rubbing alcohol can be mixed into the water and vinegar solution. Rubbing alcohol will help dissolve any built-up ear wax.
Mineral oil with herb pau d'arco (inner bark of a South American tree) as ear drops can be used as a natural antibiotic. An earache can be caused by ear mites, which can be smothered with a few drops of almond oil or household olive oil. Websites such as iherb.com sell pau d'arco and almond oil.
Vitamin C can be given to a dog as a supplement, and as a part of their diet, to help reduce inflammation caused by ear troubles.
The best home remedy for dogs with earaches is prevention by frequent examination. A dog's ear will be red, itchy and flaky and will have a dark brown discharge with a foul smell. In order to quickly catch a sign of an earache, you should examine your dog's ears weekly. Also, dogs with floppy ears are more prone to earaches as their ears do not get enough airflow. Use a soft cotton ball dampened with water to gently clean out your dog's ears, even if the pet does not have an ear infection. This will keep debris out and help reduce chances of earaches.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.