Dogs will commonly scratch and rub at their ears and shake their heads when they have an ear infection. It will almost look like the dog is trying to shake sand out of their ears. You may also notice an abnormal smell and redness in their ears.
Most infections are caused by yeast and bacteria, ear mites are a common cause in puppies. Infections can also occur from growing hair, trapped water, tumor or foreign body in the ear canal.
Some dogs may be more susceptible than others. Those who are allergy prone or have floppy ears may have more ear infections than those who don’t.
If your dogs ear looks dirty you may clean using a cotton ball dipped in a cleansing solution, but not too often in order to prevention irritation. Common homemade solutions include a mixture of apple cider vinegar, hydrogen peroxide and water. Here’s a link to a homemade solution on Pinterest.
Q-Tips may be the first thing that comes to mind, but don’t use them. Why? Using Q-Tips could cause the debris to be pushed deeper into the ear canal. Don’t use rubbing alcohol either, since it could irritate the infected skin. I bet it would burn too! You’re probably thinking, “well what can I do?”
Taking your dog to the veterinarian would be the best option since they can prescribe either medicated ointment or drops. The duration of treatment will depend on the severity of the ear infection. At the veterinarian’s office they may perform a professional cleaning and suggest you keep up with regular cleaning at home in addition to the ointment or drops. Good luck!