In many respects, dogs and young children are similar. They both overfill your heart to the point of bursting, they both make loud noises at inconvenient times, and they both suffer ear infections frequently.
Your dog’s ear infection can have a few different causes, and determining the cause is important in choosing the right treatment. Ear infections can be caused by:
- Hormone changes or imbalances
- Ear mites
- Immune system issues, which can start in the gut
You should visit your holistic vet if your dog is having frequent, recurrent ear infections to find the root cause of the problem. In addition to the causes above, there are times where your dog may have something lodged into his or her ear canal whether it’s wax or some type of foreign object.
Like in people, ear infections can cause a range of symptoms in dogs. The main symptoms are:
- Itchy, irritated ears
- Tilting the head to one side
- Pain when opening the mouth wide
- Hearing loss
- Nausea and vomiting
- Walking in circles
These aren’t the only signs of a dog’s ear infection, but they are the most prevalent. The most common symptoms can be accompanied by pain. That’s why it’s usual to see your dog tilting their head to one side or shaking their head.
You may not be able to tell if the ears are red or swollen inside. But, if the infection is severe you may smell it. If your dog is exhibiting behaviors that are unusual, you should contact your holistic vet. Ear infections aren’t generally a life-threatening issue, but loss of hearing is a possibility if the infection becomes severe for a period of time.
Holistic Options for Ear Infections
If your goal is to treat ear infections without needing a prescription antibiotic, you have a few options including:
Colloidal silver is antibacterial and antifungal. These characteristics can clean the ears and keep them clean. And, help kill the bacteria causing the ear infections. Colloidal silver can be used orally or rubbed into the ears.
Apple cider vinegar has antifungal, antiviral, and antibacterial characteristics, making it a good choice for treating ear infections. Apple cider vinegar, like colloidal silver, can be consumed by mixing a few drops in water or administered topically to the ears by combining it with a 50/50 water solution.
Coconut oil, which acts as an antifungal, is another excellent treatment for ear infections. Coconut oil, when coupled with CBD, an anti-inflammatory, can help treat ear infections when taken orally. CALM and EASE are the two CBD oils recommended when it comes to CBD for dogs (and they’re both combined with coconut oil).
Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs
Preventing ear infections is critical, but determining the cause may need some trial and error. Ear infections caused by allergies frequently begin with poor gut health. Gut health can be impacted by highly processed meals, over-vaccination, and persistent stress, which can lead to ear infections. It’s also crucial that you clean your dog’s ears on a regular basis. Your veterinarian, or potentially your groomer, could explain how to properly clean your dog’s ears. Generally, your dog’s ears must be cleaned once or twice per week.
You shouldn’t remove any fur from your dog’s ears unless instructed by your veterinarian because it could lead to inflammation. If the hair isn’t causing an issue, it must be removed properly by a professional.
As with any new treatment, talk to your holistic vet about the best option for your specific dog’s needs.