Dog ear care is big business. One commonly prescribed drug for infection and inflammation is called Otomax. Made by Merck, it’s a combination antibacterial, anti-fungal and steroid cream. It sells for about $30 for a small tube, or about $44 dollars for the larger 30 mg. size. Then there are the vet bills. This is a prescription medicine, so your vet will probably want to examine your pet, both before and after treatment.
Unfortunately, one of the side effects of this medicine is deafness. This can happen, especially in older dogs. Because this drug contains a steroid, there’s the remote possibility of damage to your dog’s adrenal glands. This is more likely to happen if steroids, even topical ones, are used over a long period of time.
There is growing concern that prescription ear products can cause the development of stronger pathogens, resistant to treatment.
However, canine ear infections must be treated. They are painful and uncomfortable. Left untreated, they can also cause deafness. So it’s important that you do treat these, either with prescription medication or naturally. Also, I urge my readers to work closely with a vet.
Natural Alternative to Otomax
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Ear infections are yet another reason why it’s a good idea to seek care from a holistic vet, or at least from one who’s accepting of natural remedies. Instead of prescribing drugs whenever redness appears, a practitioner focused on natural healing will work with you to strengthen your dog’s immune system, so he’s not as likely to develop an infection. If allergies are the reason for redness, you can also try to find a way to reduce exposure to potential allergens.
Natural Ear Infection Remedies for Dogs
It’s very important to work with your vet, hopefully to arrive at a more natural solution to ear problems. Even when treated with prescription drugs, infections tend to recur unless something is done to prevent them. Dogs with floppy ears that block light and air are especially prone to ear irritation.
The Vet’s Best ear wash shown below is designed to create an environment in the outer ear that won’t allow pathogens to flourish. If your vet believes the ear infection needs more aggressive treatment, perhaps this wash is something you may want to use between regular treatments for maintenance and prevention.
Vet’s Best made from plant-based ingredients that contain natural infection-fighting compounds, as well as soothing agents. These include yucca, aloe vera, chamomile, tea tree oil, clove oil and echinacea.
This is a very simple solution to maintaining good ear health. According to the product literature, this wash is designed to “control odor and itching.” The description also says it “soothes raw red and greasy ears.” I love natural remedies such as this, which contain plant-derived essential oils instead of laboratory made drugs.
Best Treatment for Dog Ear Infection
In our effect to keep our 15-year-old dog healthy, we’ve typically turned to natural, rather than pharmaceutical solutions. This includes diet, flea control and also ear problems. The benefit of a natural ear remedy is that it can be used for maintenance, in an effort to prevent a raging infection from taking hold. Prescription ear control products are designed for just a short period of time. They can’t be used intermittently, as a way of keeping the ears healthy in between vet visits.
Please understand that I’m not a vet, so I can’t give medical advice. (So, direct any health questions to your dog’s practitioner.) I can only share with you what we do with our beloved family pet.
At one time, about once a week or so, we were also using one drop of pure lavender essential oil in a teaspoon of olive oil. We used just a little (about what will fit on a Q-tip) to coat the outer portion of his ear. Essential oils contain natural antimicrobial compounds.
Natural Ear Care Posts