Dr. Elliott: Ear Problems

Signs and causes of ear problems in dogs, and suggestions for how to treat and prevent issues.

The ear is the highway of vibration rhythms through the ear canal. These vibration rhythms help the dog determine a course to undertake.

The ear can be defined as having 3 main mechanisms of action:

  • Outer ear - ear flap and ear canal
  • Middle ear - eardrum and auditory ossicles (tiny bones that vibrate sending vibrations thru ear canal)
  • Inner ear - sensory structure (hearing and balance) and the organ of Corti (the hearing organ)

Various problems are prone to certain breeds, for instance:

  1. Dense ear hair grown in dogs and dogs that have hair lining the ear canal and dogs that do not shed (Poodles, Schnauzers, Old English Sheepdogs, Bouviers, Lhapsa Apsos) do not allow for proper exposure to air or sunlight.
  2. Water dogs can have excessive water left in the air even after head shaking.

Signs of Ear problems:

  • disagreeable odor coming from ear- yeast infection
  • excessive shaking of head and scratching of ear(s)
  • redness in ear
  • lack of coordination
  • yelping when ear is touched
  • sad eyes, depression

Additionally, these can also cause ear problems:

  • allergies
  • parasites
  • commercial cleaners
  • infections
  • skin disorders
  • wax buildup can trap dirt, debris or bacterial, viral or other microorganisms causing ear problems
  • commercial dog food
  • commercial dog treats
  • foxtails, mites, ticks, fleas
  • hematoma - breakage of blood vessels under the ear flaps usually caused by trauma to the ear
  • Liver or Kidney problems
  • Thyroid
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The best remedy for ear problems is to try to avoid the problem.

A regiment of home care is beneficial.

A solution of Oxy Doc mixed in warm water can help alleviate problems before they start. Aloe Vera juice mixed with Neem oil is another good precautionary measure.

Many dog foods and treats utilize inferior ingredients which can cause ear problems. These foods lead to allergies, poor digestion, skin disorders and more. Buy high quality food from a health conscious pet store. Change to a natural, preservative-free diet adding eNZYmes Pro into the food. Use spring water instead of city tap water.

If parasites are the case - utilize a combination of herbs including black walnut, fern, senna and aloe vera. Canned pumpkin has also been use to alleviate worms.

Here is another alternative recipe for cleaning:

1 part Organic Aloe Vera juice

½ part Apple Cider Vinegar

5 drops Colloidal Silver

Mix together- amounts will vary on size and age of dog.

For a 50lb dog- use ¼ to ½ oz in bad ear, massage ear canal for one minute (you should hear a squishing sound). Let dog shake out excess, then clean ear lightly with a soft tissue. Repeat every day for 3-5 days.

For additional information:

The book “The Healthy Wholistic Dog” has a chapter on ear problems.



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