A dog can get an ear infection because its ears did not dry properly after swimming or because of a food allergy or flea allergy. Ear infections might also be caused by hypothyroidism or a hereditary problem. There are some over-the-counter medications and treatments that can be used to clear up ear infections, but they may work more slowly than prescription remedies.
Epi-Otic flush is available over the counter from your veterinarian or online (see Resources). Drs. Foster and Smith Ear Clens Solution is also available online. Epi-Otic is used to wash loose particles from the dog's ear. If your dog is prone to ear infections, rinse its ears with Epi-Otic once per week. A heavily diluted mixture of vinegar and water (1 part vinegar, 20 parts water) also helps remove loose particles from the dog's ear. Both products help adjust the pH inside the dog's ear, helping to reduce ear infections. These products are usually used in conjunction with other medications.
Acidophilus is a friendly bacterium (flora) that normally lives in the intestines. It helps with digestion. It also competes with yeast, and the two keep each other in check. If yeast growth is not checked, it could cause thrush, rashes, diarrhea and ear infections in dogs. Treat as indicated on the container. When used in conjunction with ear washes and vitamin C, acidophilus boosts the immune system and keeps chronic yeast infections at bay.
Pau D'arco is an herb that contains an antimicrobial that destroys the fungi that causes ear and skin infections in dogs. It comes from the inner bark of the taheebo tree, which is grown is South America. Treat as indicated on the container. The VetInfo website recommends mixing Pau D'arco with mineral oil for ear drops. When used in combination with ear washes, some people believe, Pau D'arco keeps chronic bacterial infections at bay. However, Pau D'arco is unproven, according to University of Maryland Medical Center.
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Cayden Conor has been writing since 1996. She has been published on several websites and in the winter 1996 issue of "QECE." Conor specializes in home and garden, dogs, legal, automotive and business subjects, with years of hands-on experience in these areas. She has an Associate of Science (paralegal) from Manchester Community College and studied computer science, criminology and education at University of Tampa.