There he goes again – you can tell by the constant jangling noise of his collar that your beloved dog keeps shaking his head or scratching at his ear again. You know this is not normal and figure there must be something wrong. He’s miserable, and so are you, just watching him suffer!
Two typical causes are the most likely suspects: An ear infection or – shudder – ear mites. (Note: Another less typical cause is a foreign object in your dog’s ear, which would require immediate professional attention.)
What you need to know about ear infections
Ear infections in dogs are very common and can be very painful. They are typically caused by an overgrowth of yeast and/or bacteria in the ear canal, which is deep and moist, providing the ideal conditions for yeast (which is a fungus) to grow. Yeast tends to be the more common cause of dog ear infections. An infection due to a yeast build-up has a terrible odor, is especially itchy and often accompanied by a brownish/grey greasy discharge.
How Does the Yeast or Bacterial Infection Get Started?
- Allergies are a common cause, so if your dog has skin or food allergies, she may be more susceptible. A change in diet can often go a long way to resolving this issue, since foods or treats that are high in sugar content are thought to contribute to yeast growth.
- Dogs that have long, floppy ears have increased chances for ear infections, because the ears do not allow for good airflow. This creates a greater likelihood of warm, moist conditions that lend themselves to fungal/bacterial proliferation.
- If your dog loves to swim, run or otherwise be out in the hot sun, the water and sweat that gather in the ears may create those conditions that foster yeast/fungus.
- Sometimes it’s the result of something that’s causing an imbalance in your dog’s immune system, such as medicines she’s taking, her diet or other illnesses. A thoughtful review of medicines and past illnesses may shed some light in this area.
- Low thyroid function has been linked to chronic ear infections in some dogs. This condition is not curable but easily treatable once diagnosed.
An ear infection typically starts out affecting the outer ear (otitis externa). But if it’s left untreated, it can spread ever deeper into the ear. If it reaches the inner ear (otitis interna), it can result in serious issues such as deafness, facial paralysis and difficulty walking.
Best Treatment for Dog Ear Infections
Let’s Talk About Ear Mites (do we have to?)
Ear mites are tiny parasites that are actually classified as mange. They feed off the wax in your dog’s ear. They are very difficult to see with the naked eye, and it’s easy to write them off as a nuisance like fleas – but they should be taken seriously, as they can lead to ear infections (see above) and even move on to attack other parts of your dog’s body. Ear mites are more likely seen in puppies and kittens due to their weaker and developing immune systems.
Mercifully, ear mites don’t appear to like humans – but they are highly contagious for your other animals. So, if one of your pups has ear mites, your older dog/s may contract them and you’ll need to treat ALL of your pets. And since ear mites are transmitted socially, you’ll need to clean the environment: wash pet bedding in hot water with bleach and dry it in a hot dryer; vacuum all common areas thoroughly, etc.
Ear mites cause inflammation and irritation – and your dog will let you know by scratching and shaking his head constantly. If you look in your dog’s ears, you might see dark, grainy specks that look a bit like coffee grounds.
For some dogs, an infestation of ear mites might just be a slight irritation. For others who are more sensitive, ear mites can become a raging battle with more serious symptoms. A dog can scratch so much that it creates a painful hematoma (blood blister) on the ear that needs to be seen by a vet.
Best Treatment for Dog Ear Infections and Ear Mites
If your dog is showing signs of either of these conditions, take him/her to a vet for a diagnosis, especially if you notice redness, swelling and bad smell. The vet can take a swab of the ear canal and diagnose the problem. Once the diagnosis is clear, your dog can get the proper treatment. For a bacterial ear infection, the vet may prescribe an antibiotic. Antibiotics are not effective for fungal infections. If she has ear mites, the vet may prescribe an easy-to-administer, anti-parasitic formulation to get rid of them swiftly.
Banixx Pet Care Remedy Benefits
- It’s a potent yet painless spray that’s easy on your dog’s ear tissue, quickly helping to repair any ear surface that has been irritated, inflamed or rubbed raw.
- It’s so easy to use. Just moisten a cotton ball with Banixx and coat the inside of the ear 2-3 times each day. It begins working immediately upon contact, and you’ll see positive results in a couple of days.
- It can also be used on a regular basis as a dog ear cleaning solution. Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly is an excellent and simple way to stop recurrences of yeast infections and ear mites. Never use Q-tips – use cotton balls or gauze and discard after use. Click here to find a store near you that carries Banixx or buy Banixx online.
Why Veterinarians Recommend Banixx As a Home Remedy Treatment
- Other applications are caustic on tissue (they are often iodine, alcohol or tee-tree based). Banixx contains no alcohol or steroids.
- It goes on smoothly with no stickiness to attract dirt and is not greasy.
- It’s non-toxic with no added color or fragrance. In fact, Banixx has no scent at all, which is so important when treating your pooch, who is thousands of times more sensitive to smell than you!
- It does not sting or burn.
- It can be applied daily – you don’t need to worry about over-dosing.
- Banixx is completely safe for use around the eye (proven by independent clinical testing).
So when your dog is obsessively scratching, itching, moaning and otherwise telling you he has a problem with his ear, don’t wait. Get a solid diagnosis on the cause – and swing into action with the best treatment for dog ear infections and mites – visit Banixx Pet care.