Ear infections are common in dogs and can be caused by a wide variety of things, including yeast, mites and bacteria. While you will need to have your dogs ears checked out by a vet to determine the exact cause of your dog's infection, the steps you take at home will remain pretty much the same regardless of their findings. The tube of prescription medicine you use may be different for an infection caused by mites rather than one caused by yeast; that's about it. Following are three steps you should take at home to treat your dog's ear infection.
The first step to keeping your dog's ears healthy is to keep them clean. You should clean your dog's ears at least once a month, more often if they are prone to wax buildup. To clean your dog's ears, gather a few cotton balls, some cotton swabs and an ear cleanser. Apply the cleanser to a cotton ball first and clean the ear with a scooping motion to pull debris out. Be careful not to push debris further into the ear canal. Finish up by cleaning all nooks and crannies with cotton swabs dipped in cleanser. Use a cotton swab to clean out the ear canal, using upward scooping motions.
If your dog has excessive discharge or if the discharge is thick, black or smelly, you may have to flush your dog's ears out. You can do this at home. However, if your dog's ears are red, swollen or painful, you should have a vet do it. To flush your dog's ears, first place a few drops of unscented all-natural liquid soap in each ear. Massage the base of the ear to work the soap in and break up the debris. Using a bulb-type syringe, squirt warm water into the ear and suck it back out again with the syringe.
If your vet prescribes medication for your pet, be sure to use it as indicated. Do not stop using it before the specified time, even if the infection appears to have cleared up. There's a chance that it hasn't. Not following the complete regimen may cause the infection to return.
When your dog's ears are healthy, you should be cleaning them regularly as well. Inspect your dog's ears and clean them once a month while looking for signs of infection. Also, pay attention to your dog's behavior. If they are scratching their ears a lot, they may need to see a vet. For more information, contact a veterinary office like Southwest Animal Hospital.