Ear infections are common in dogs and can be caused by a variety of factors, such as allergies, bacteria, yeast, mites, or foreign objects in the ear canal.
If left untreated, ear infections can become more severe and lead to hearing loss or other complications. It's important to pay attention and care if your dog is showing signs of an ear infection.
It's also important to identify and address any underlying causes of the infection, such as allergies or mites.
In most cases, nutrition is going to pay a vital role. More on this later.
Preventing ear infections in dogs involves regular ear cleaning, avoiding exposure to allergens or irritants, and taking steps to prevent the buildup of wax and moisture in the ears.
- Allergies: Dogs can be allergic to things like pollen, dust, or certain foods, which can cause inflammation and increase the risk of ear infections.
- Bacteria or yeast: These microorganisms can infect the ear canal, leading to inflammation and discomfort.
If your dog has a nutrition-related ear infection, you will be able to solve it with just food. It's important you pay attention to the quality of food you are giving your dog. Check our article on The Elimination Diet.
It is likely that a high-carb diet is the cause of yeast/bacterial infections running rampant. Infections thrive off sugar, carbs convert into sugar.
Rice, wheat, barley, cereals, potato and other starches are contributing to your dog's infection. Changing the food is a good idea if the quality of the ingredients you are currently feeding is subpar.
The food you should feed is a high-meat, carb-limited one. It's crucial you read the ingredients on the back of everything you give the dog.
It's also important for you to learn about recommended foods by veterinarians:
- Ear mites: These tiny parasites can infest the ear canal and cause irritation and inflammation.
- Foreign objects: Objects like grass seeds or debris can get stuck in the ear canal and cause irritation or infection.
- Anatomy: Some dogs are more prone to ear infections due to the shape of their ear canals or the amount of hair in the ears.
Symptoms: The most common signs of ear infections in dogs include:
- Head shaking or tilting
- Scratching or rubbing at the ears
- Redness or swelling of the ear canal
- Discharge or odor from the ears
- Sensitivity to touch around the ears
- Loss of balance or coordination (in severe cases)
Treatment may include:
- Antibiotics or anti-fungal medications to treat infections. These meds should always be temporary.
- Anti-inflammatory medications to reduce inflammation and pain
- Ear cleaners to remove debris and excess wax
- Topical treatments like ear drops or ointments
- Keep ears clean and dry: Regularly clean your dog's ears with a gentle ear cleaner to remove excess wax and debris. Be sure to dry their ears thoroughly after swimming or bathing to prevent moisture buildup.
- Address underlying allergies: If your dog has allergies that contribute to ear infections, work with someone who knows about nutrition to identify the allergen and develop a management plan. This may include medications or a special diet (but maybe not one recommended by your vet)
- Treat underlying conditions: Certain underlying conditions like hypothyroidism or Cushing's disease can increase the risk of ear infections. If your dog has an underlying condition, make sure you manage it effectively.
- Avoid irritants: Avoid exposing your dog to irritants like smoke, perfumes, or cleaning products that can inflame their ears.
- Monitor your dog's ears: Regularly check your dog's ears for signs of redness, swelling, or discharge. If you notice any changes, contact your veterinarian right away.
- Grooming: Keep hair around the ears trimmed to allow for better air circulation and prevent the accumulation of debris and moisture.
- Be cautious with ear medications: Some ear medications can be harmful if not used properly. Medicating your dog for months on end will put unnecessary pressure on their liver and kidneys.
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