Pet Ear Infections

by Deena Caruso - Date: 2007-02-05 - Word Count: 926 Share This!

Is your dog or cat tormented by ear infections? Do you spend time
and money at the veterinarian's office trying to bring relief to your
beloved pet, only to find that another infection appears over time?
If so, you may want to try some more natural approaches to preventing
and treating your pet's ear infections.

Dogs and cats have an incredible sense of hearing. To protect their
hearing and prevent damage to the ear drum, their ear canals are L-
shaped. The problem with this design is that it allows the ears to
trap parasites, moisture, debris, and earwax, and any of these can
lead to ear infections. Up to 80 percent of ear problems in dogs are
linked to allergies, and earmites are often the cause of infection in

The traditional treatment for ear infections is to give antibiotics,
antifungal medications or other drugs. The problem with this
approach is that drugs upset the normal chemistry inside the ear and
can possibly turn a simple infection into a long-term problem. It
makes more sense to deal with underlying allergies and strengthen the
immune system so that it is able to fight bacteria and other germs
BEFORE they cause infection. Also, there are many natural treatments
for cleaning the ears and stopping infections without using drugs.

These are the Signs of an Ear Infection:

*Pet shakes head or holds it to one side.

*Pet scratches or rubs ears, or rubs head against furniture or

*There is a yellow, brown or black discharge in one or both ears.

*Ears smell bad or are tender or red.

The Solutions

*Clean the ears with vinegar - If your pet's ears are filled with
brownish-pink wax, there is a good chance that allergies have caused
a yeast infection. To clear up yeast infections, clean the ears
thoroughly. Veterinarians often recommend using white vinegar, also
called acetic acid, because it removes dirt and debris and helps
restore a healthy chemical balance in the ears.

Diluted vinegar works well. When using vinegar, pour a small amount
into the ear canal, massage the area, then gently wipe the inside of
the ear with a cotton ball. Do this once a day until the ear is

*Stop infections with pau d'arco - The herb pau d'arco, which comes
from the inner bark of a South American tree, is a natural antibiotic
that quickly kills fungi and bacteria. At the first sign of
infection, mix equal parts pau d'arco tincture and mineral oil and
put several drops in your pet's ears. Give the drops two or three
times a day for several days.

*Reduce inflammation with vitamin C - The adrenal glands produce a
natural steroid that can help reduce inflammation when ears get
infected. Giving pets vitamin C can help the adrenal glands work
more efficiently. Pets weighing under 15 pounds can take between 100
and 250 milligrams of vitamin C a day. Cats and dogs 15 to 50 pounds
can take 250 to 500 milligrams a day, and larger dogs can take 500
milligrams two or three times a day. Vitamin C can cause diarrhea,
so you may have to cut back the dose until you find an amount that
your pet will tolerate.

*Eliminate toxins with a healthy, all natural diet - Giving your pet
a healthy, homemade diet or high quality commercial food that doesn't
contain corn, additives or preservatives can greatly reduce the
amount of wax that the ears produce, while also helping to boost the
immune system.

*Air out the ears - Increasing air circulation inside the ears can
control the growth of bacteria, yeast and fungi. Trim or pluck hair
inside the ears periodically to allow more air to get inside.

*Strengthen the digestive tract - Supplements such as bromelain and
quercetin (with bromelain) can help prevent an allergic response in
the gastrointestinal tract, making food allergies less of a problem.

*Stop ear mites with oil - When an infection is caused by ear mites,
putting a few drops of almond oil or olive oil in each ear will
smother the mites and may allow the infection to heal. You usually
need to continue the oil treatments for three to four weeks, putting
three to seven drops of oil into the ear canals each day. To help
the treatment work more efficiently, clean wax and other debris from
the ears before
using oil.

*Try an over-the-counter remedy - One of the best ways to stop ear
mites is with over-the-counter products containing pyrethrins. Made
from chrysanthemums, pyrethrins are natural insecticides that are
very safe to use. Just follow the instructions on the label.

When to Call the Vet

Ear infections can look and smell awful, but they usually affect only
the outer part of the ear and aren't too serious. If you're unable
to get to the source of the problem (especially if your pet is still
scratching a lot), you will want to see your veterinarian to find out
what is causing the problem. Vigorous scratching can break blood
vessels in the earflap, causing the entire ear to swell like a
balloon. This condition is called hematoma and must be drained by a
veterinarian to prevent permanent damage.

Other symptoms to watch out for include head tilting, clumsiness,
walking in circles or drooping eyes. These are signs of an inner-ear
infection, and must be treated by a vet. Your pet will probably need
antibiotics to knock out the infection. In addition, your vet may
need to drain pus and other fluids from inside the ear!
Deena Caruso, author, teacher, & distributor of natural pet products
Helps pet owners create healthy, happy pets.
To receive FREE "Pet Pointers" Newsletter, go to:
Ph: 760/758-7963, 877/877-0665

Related Tags: dogs, cats, pets, veterinarian, antibiotics, medications, infections, pet ear infections, treating ear infections

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