We fell in love with our husky mix Denver from his photo on an adoption website. He had these big floppy ears and an even bigger goofy smile. With his big floppy ears, he is prone to ear infections and what we have coined as “ear cheese.” It usually started with a lot of head shaking, then scratching his ear with his back paw until he whimpered, and moved to him flinching if you pet that side of his head.
How do you know if your dog has an ear infection?
Here are some signs your dog has an ear infection: there have been occasions when Denver’s ear was stinky or even had discharge. Other signs of an issue with your dog’s ears might be redness, swelling, yeasty odor, and/or bleeding. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, please consult with your vet immediately for a treatment plan. If your dog’s ear has an abscess or your dog’s ear is swollen shut please consult a vet immediately.
Here is our home remedy for his ear infections that avoids discomfort and can even prevent ear infections.
1. Clean the exterior. Just a simple wipe down with a warm paper towel or cotton ball on the exterior of the ear. Ear infections are usually caused by an underlying allergy. If you wipe their ears regularly, it helps with removing any allergens that might attach to their fur when they are outside.
2. Use a cleansing solution. If your dog isn’t prone to ear infections like Denver, you can do this once every few months. For Denver, we do this once a month during the warmer months and less frequently in the colder months. We recommend the Naturvet ear wash with tea tree oil. Tea tree oil helps with itchiness. We also like the Vetwell ear cleaner for dogs, which includes soothing aloe.
3. Lift the dog’s ear up and holding the bottle near (but not touching) the ear canal, dispense the solution. Do not stick the tip of the bottle directly into the dog’s ear canal because this can harbor bacterial growth and cause other issues. This could especially be problematic if you have multiple dogs like we do.
4. Hold the ear down and massage the base of the ear for a bit before letting your dog go. They WILL shake so have a towel handy for clean up.
Do not use straight tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide in your ear. High concentrations are way too harsh and could harm your dog. Consult with your vet if you have any concerns. Good luck and here’s to no more “ear cheese.”