We have seen a trend lately in the shop of chronic ear infections which are not responding to treatment, but for some mysterious reason, are put on the same useless course of antibiotics over and over. We even have one customer whose infection spread all over his body and is so chronically uncomfortable that the owner was considering euthanizing him! What has been frustrating to us is that when we ask what the vet has suggested, since the current treatment is not working, we get a confused “I don’t know they just said to keep doing this!”
On the flip side of this we have several clients whose dogs would be expected to have infections because of their breed, but yet have never had one. One of my favorite clients cleans her dogs ears with Stridex pads and this dog has never had even a touch of redness or inflammation. This dog is a labradoodle, a breed infamous for ear infections!
There are different causes of ear infections, and not all of them would be treated with a simple course of antibiotics. Inflamed ears can be caused not just by bacterial infection, but from allergies as well. Also, if the pet is having recurring bacterial infections, it is important to find out why! There could be an underlying health issue which is weakening their immune response.
To clean your dog’s ears at home you can use a variety of store-bought preparations, or something as simple as witch hazel, hydrogen peroxide, or apple cider vinegar.