Ear problems are very common in pets. Ear infections in dogs and cats most commonly involve the external or outer ear canal, whereas in people the middle ear is more commonly involved. Infections caused by bacteria or yeast are most frequently seen although ear mites ( a small parasite that lives in the ears of dogs and cats) are common in puppies and kittens.
Ear infections always have an underlying cause. That cause can be food allergies, environmental allergies, hormone imbalances ( such as thyroid problems), excess moisture ( swimmer’s ear) , immune disease or excess wax. Breeds with floppy ears seem predisposed as there is very little natural air flow.
Excessive scratching at the ears can cause blood vessels in the ear flap to break causing a bubble of blood under the skin. This is known as an aural hematoma. These hematomas may require surgery although they can be treated with herbal and homeopathic medicines in some cases.
Diagnosis of ear problems is made by examining the ear debris under a microscope and looking for bacteria, yeast, mites or inflammatory cells. Once a diagnosis is made then the proper therapy can be prescribed.
The pet’s ears need to be cleaned first. There are many natural ear cleaners on the market. You can make one up yourself with olive oil and garlic. After cleaning, then conventional ear medications or natural herbal medications can be applied. Medications with tea tree oil and chamomile are great for ears . Echo gold is one such product.
Chronic ear problems should always be investigated for underlying issues such as food allergies and hormone problems. Many of these dogs need herbals or homeopathics to strengthen their immune systems. I have successfully used Chinese Herbals to clear up and prevent infections in some of my patients.