Dog Ear Medicine

" Dog ear medicine that is available via a prescription tends to be specific to each ailment. Dog ears can be affected by number of conditions including infections, infestations, allergies, injuries, tumors, endocrinal abnormalities and histological (functional) defects. Dog ear medicine that is specifically used to treat these conditions usually requires a prescription, which is decided after a detailed clinical examination along with laboratory tests. Most of the available therapeutic agents or medicines are for specific use only, e.g. antibiotics, antifungal, anti parasitic and steroids etc. Some other dog ear medicines are meant for a supportive purpose, which means that they are not required, but can hasten the recovery and to maintain future ear health. There are several side effects related to specific and supportive medicines, therefore natural remedies are recommended for mild conditions and as a supportive approach to strengthening dog ear health. "

Types of Dog Ear Medicine:

There are many infectious and non infectious conditions related to the dog ear, so there are many options available to treat these conditions as well. The term medicine specifically relates to the specific treatment of a pathological condition, thus dog ear medicines are used for treating any condition specifically. Some of the most commonly used drugs/medicines for treating dog ear problems may be:

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics are those substances or compounds used for killing or inhibiting bacterial growth. Along with the antibacterial activity of antibiotics, some of these medicines may be effective against other microorganisms as fungus and parasites.

    Antibiotics are prescribed only after a detailed ear examination and confirmation of any bacterial activity. Anti-biotics have severe side effects and resistive properties if they are misused or administered without any pathological evidence of an infection.

    Different species of bacteria, both gram positive and gram negative (different classifications of bacteria) exist in a dog’s ear in a limited population. The bacterial population may grow into larger colonies if the immune system becomes suppressed, thus causing an infection in the dog’s ear which may spread to other parts of the body. Bacterial infection can be primary or secondary in nature, i.e. either caused solely by bacteria or caused by opportunistic bacteria, secondary to other problem respectively.

  • Antifungal: Dog ear medicines meant for treating fungal infections in the ear are derived from anti fungal agents. Like antibiotics, antifungal drugs should only be administered or applied with a prescription.

    Fungal tissues and mammalian tissues are histologically the same on the molecular level, thus there is a chance, that antifungal drugs can destroy normal mammalian tissues, thus a prescription is required for administering these drugs. A detailed clinical examination and sensitivity towards different anti fungal agents need to be confirmed prior to administration.

    For dog ear problems, medicines with an antifungal base are usually administered in the form of a solution or topical ointment. In some severe cases, these may be administered orally.

  • Anti Parasitic: Parasites which cause dog ear problems might be either fleas or mites. Both of these are treated with specific anti parasitic drugs, which are either miticidal or are insecticides by nature. These too should be administered only with a prescription, but many base formulations of these medicines might not require any prescription.

    Dog owners should be cautious when applying these drugs, though these might not require prescription. The required dosage and frequency of administration should be clearly defined prior to administration.

  • Anti Allergic: Food, seasonal and flea bite allergies are the most common types of allergic conditions in dogs, including canine ear problems. Different drugs include anti histaminic preparations and some steroids which might help to reduce the affects of the dog allergy. In addition, some anti inflammatory drugs might be required to treat allergic as well as an inflammatory response which is medically termed “therapeutic correction”.
  • Cleansers: These are antiseptic solutions or preparations which can be regularly used for ear cleaning only.

Issues Related to Dog Ear Medicine:

The specific dog ear medicines mentioned above are effective and approved options for treating common dog ear problems. Unfortunately these might cause some adverse effects on a dog’s health. This may happen due to poor calculation of their affect on the ear disease and incorrect analysis and administration of these medicines. Also, for effective results, some supportive dog ear medicines might be required, like supplements, vitamins, tonics, antiseptics and anti inflammatory agents.

Natural Remedies as Dog Ear Medicine:

Due to the concerns over the adverse effects caused by specific dog ear medicine and the limitations of supportive agents, research has proven that natural remedies such as Ear Dr. , if used along with a specific medicine can help to not only reduce any side effects but hastens the rate of recovery. Natural remedies such as Immunity & Liver Support Formula can also help to strength the bodies own defenses against disease, particularly in an immune compromised dog.

At home, dog owners can use commonly available solutions and preparations as an alternative dog ear medicine. Vinegar, almond oil, olive oil, Vitamin E, Garlic, Mullein and Pot Marigold are some examples of available natural products used for different dog ear conditions. However, one should remember that these should be used only for mild conditions and with the recommendation of a veterinarian.

To make your own dog ear home remedy for dog ear itch, crush 4 cloves of garlic and let sit in a cup of olive oil overnight. Strain out the garlic and then warm the oil (not hot, just to the touch). Put several drops in each ear when ready.

If your dog's ear is blocked with crust, a few drops of mineral oil can loosen it..  You can then use a rubber ear syringe using a 1:1 mixture of lukewarm white vinegar and distilled water to gently flush the crust and other remaining debris from the ear canal.  Be careful not to press the liquid into the ear too hard or with too much pressure in order to avoid injury.  Don't squeeze the liquid in all at once.  Do it in small squirts.   Use a cotton ball to clean the area after cleaning.

A good time to clean a dog's ears is after the bath.  Try some hydrogen peroxide on a cotton swab that is dipped in the solution. Then use the cotton to clean the visible parts of the ear.  If you use a Q-Tip (not recommended), never go into the ear beyond the point where you can't see the white tip.  A dogs' ear is very fragile, so be careful.

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K. J. Bathe, “Encyclopedia of Dermatology” (Aligarh Press. Mumbai 2004)

The Doctors Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats

Merck Veterinary Manual (Merck & Co. 2008)

Dog Health Search

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