Thursday, February 25, 2016

How to Combat Ear Infections in Dogs

   Do your dog’s ears hang low? Do they wobble to and fro? If so, you probably have dealt with the dreaded ear infections. They are painful and in most cases require a visit to your veterinarian. It is best to get to the vet at the first sign of an ear infection. Left untreated an infection can lead to not only excruciating pain but in some cases, deafness. It is time to declare war and combat ear infections in our dogs.
Basset Hound with long ears out beside him in a heart frame
   There are certain breeds of dogs that are more prone to infections. These include those with an abundance of hair in or around the entrance of their ears and those with floppy ears. Dogs have an outer, middle, and an inner ear just like a human. It is the shape of a dog’s outer ear that is so different and that is where the trouble begins. Where our ear canal is horizontal, a dog’s ear canal descends vertically then takes a sharp turn only to proceed horizontally to the eardrum. Most dogs are able to vigorously shake their head and dislodge any foreign matter, but that is not always the case. Dogs with long drop or folded ears have a difficult time ridding their auditory canal of water and debris. This makes it a hotbed for infections.
What are the main causes of infections?
   The most common causes of ear infections are bacteria and fungi. Even though bacteria and yeast are always present in your dog’s outer ear, when trapped water, ear mites, foreign objects or allergies are added in the mix, an infection is likely to occur. Being a Basset Hound in the south, Bentley has to deal with the moisture from our humidity and the fact that inside his ears very seldom see sunlight. As you can imagine, the fungus among us LOVES a dark moist place to thrive.
Signs of an ear infection in your dog
·        Excessive head shaking
·        Scratching
·        Rubbing their ears
·        Discharge
·        Redness
·        Unpleasant odors
·        Painful
·        Ears feel hot to the touch
Basset Hound getting his inner ear flap cleaned
How to Prevent Ear Infections
·        Healthy diet
·        Keep the ears clean
·        Trim hair away from ear entrance
·        Keep ears dry
·        Use a preventative
   I use two different products to keep Bentley’s ears infection free. The first is Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Ear Wash. This is to be used on the inner ear flap to remove dirt and wax. It leaves his ears smelling fresh.
Blue bottle of Dr. Harvey's Herbal Ear Wash
   The second product is a homemade recipe that was provided to me by My GBGV Life. I cannot thank her enough for this easy to make “Purple Stuff.” It is the only thing that I have found that totally eliminates the yeast smell in Bentley’s ears. Believe me when I tell you that over the last eight years, I have used countless products to no avail. Just when I think I have found the perfect solution, he gets another infection. It has been the only health issue that I have not been able to get a grasp on until now. I find myself telling complete strangers about this “miracle” Purple Stuff formula. *Purple Stuff is a preventative, not a medication. Do not use with a dog that has a current ear infection.
Gentian Violet, Boric Acid powder, isopropyl alcohol and purple stuff
Purple Stuff for Dogs
Ingredients
16 oz. isopropyl alcohol
4 tbsp. Boric Acid Powder
16 drops Gentian Violet (1% solution)
Preparation
   Mix ingredients in the alcohol bottle and shake well. It is important to shake solution every time you use it to mix the Boric Acid Powder. You can use a baby ear syringe or a plastic squirt bottle to put the solution into your dog’s ears.
Basset Hound getting Purple Stuff drops in his ear
Directions
   Hold the squirt bottle under warm water so it is not a cold shock to your dog. Vigorously shake the bottle before using. Gently flood the ear with solution and massage the base of the ear. You can hear the solution moving inside the ear. Allow your dog to shake its head to remove the excess. *It is best to do this outdoors because the Gentian Violet will cause staining. Wipe the ear with a dry tissue or cotton pad.
   Treat 2 times daily for the first week to two weeks depending on the severity of your dog’s ears. Treat daily for the next one to two weeks. Treat once a month afterwards.
    I was able to find the Gentian Violet at CVS. It is behind the pharmacist’s counter so you will need to ask for it. The Boric Acid Powder proved to be a bit more difficult to locate. I was finally able to find it in the first aid section of Drug Emporium.
   I have been using this formula regularly since the first of the year and Bentley’s ears have never been this healthy. They have absolutely zero smell. I could not be happier and neither could Bentley. We are hoping to have battled our last ear infection!
   I am happy to be sharing this important topic with my good friend, Carol Bryant. Visit Fidose of Reality to see how she keeps her adorable Cocker Spaniel Dexter's ears healthy. 
two women smiling in a selfie

*Always consult your veterinarian prior to self- medicating your dog. Do not administer this into a dog’s ear that is currently infected. I am not a veterinarian or medical professional so use the Purple Stuff at your own risk. I am sharing this recipe based on my personal experience and those of my colleagues. 
Sources: 
cartoon dogs in a line
It is Thoughtless Thursday’s blog hop with Ruckus the EskieLove is being owned by a Husky and me. The rules are, there are no rules!

57 comments :

  1. I definitely would try this. Maddie's ears are a hot mess even tho I clean them!!

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    1. I am beyond happy with our results! Bentley's ears have given us fits through the years. This is a winning combination.

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  2. I am so happy to be sharing our ear care tips for dog moms and dads. I love that you found two things that work for Bentley because ear infections are no fun. Love the pics and Dr. Harvey's is a fave of ours, too!

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    1. Thanks, Carol. It is such fun to share our information together. I look forward to future posts.

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  3. These sound like excellent products that have worked well for you! I have been very happy with the Bayer Expert Care for the girls' ears...but they are not quite as long and floppy as Bentley's!

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    1. Pierre doesn't have any problems with ear infections either. It is those long floppy ears that cause trouble. LOL!

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  4. Out pups are always getting ear infections no matter how much we try! These products sound great! We will have to try them. Thank you!

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    1. It is recommended that you use it after bathing or swimming to dry the water. Bentley used to get infections after his baths but since I've been adding it, he has't had any. ☺

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  5. Thanks for the shout out. We have given this recipe to so many pet parents and every single one of them has been amazed. It is a miracle solution! So happy you finally have healthy clean ears too! I actually love it after Mom squirts it in, she massages my ears so it gets way down in the canal and it feels oh so good! Cheers to healthy ears!

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    1. If Bentley wasn't already in love with you, he would be after this discovery! BOL! ♥

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  6. we had problem to find the gentian violet too... they pharmacy-guy was so nice to order it just for me .... I hope it works for my ears too :o)

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    1. I thought the Gentian Violet would be the most difficult to locate, but the first drug store that we went to had it! Nursing mothers use it.

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  7. OK...after our brief discussion about this topic the other day, I noticed that some dog has a slight ear infection! Good grief...allergy season is already here in Florida. I am thankful that Emma shared this concoction with you and allowed you to share it with us. AND, thank you for letting me know where you found the ingredients as that was going to be my next question. I am definitely trying this! THANK YOU

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    1. I hope that it is as successful with Oz as it has been with Bentley. It is on my list of must-haves in this hot humid weather.

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  8. I haf those floppy foofy ears, I do haf to keep a check there's nuffin naughty going on in my eary holes
    Loves and licky kisses
    Princess Leah xxx

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    1. I love floppy ears but they can be a hotbed of infections.

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  9. Great post! 3 bum swings! 3 more!
    I tend to loose my balance while playing in the lake, river or my favorite pond, because of this I find myself suffering with stink ears in the warmer seasons. Last summer was the worst. My pawsome Vet prescribed antibiotics & an ear cleaning solution. We went through the course of meds only to experience another flare up shortly after. My huMom read about this Purple Power & decided to try it out. It seemed rather messy so we went outside to administrate this possible cure. Good thing! because I shook it all over me, my huMom & the beach towel we were sitting on. It worked wooftastically! In one application we could smell & see the difference.
    When we mentioned this to my Vet she warn us that Gentian Violet can also destroy good bacteria in the ear. We didn't need to apply it again but will likely this oncoming spring & summer seasons. We will use it again if we need to but will take precautions not to over use. It worked & was inexpensive, especially since we still have plenty left for another season or more!
    nose nudges,
    CEO Olivia

    In my humble canine opinion, this Purple Stuff was pawsome!
    Keep those gorgeous ears smelling sweet Bentley :)

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    1. I have tried a ridiculous amount of products from the vet and store but this is the only thing that has eliminated the yeasty smell in Bentley's ears. After his last infection we got a clean "ear of health" from our vet and that is when I began using the Purple Stuff. We only use it monthly now unless he gets a bath. I use it anytime his ears get wet. You definitely want to use it outdoors due to staining. It does make a lot of formula.

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  10. Having dogs who have been prone to ear infections, I know how important this info is. Great post!

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    1. Thanks Nichole. Anyone who has ever suffered with an ear infection can certainly sympathize with our dog's pain.

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  11. Thanks for this great information! Phoebe has floppy ears but thankfully hasn't had an ear infection yet. I've been using an all natural dog ear cleaner to keep her ears clean, but I'll keep the Purple Stuff on file in the event she gets an infection.
    Love & Biscuits,
    Dogs Luv Us and We Luv Them

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    1. I am so glad that you have found something that works for Phoebe. ♥

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  12. Rosa is prone to ear infections too. I feel empowered now that I have a recipe to try with her! Thanks for sharing it.

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    1. That's awesome!The time to start the Purple Stuff is when she doesn't have an infection so hopefully, she won't have another.

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  13. So glad you have found something that works for Bentley!
    hugs
    Mr Bailey, Hazel & Mabel

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  14. Mom is always sticking her fingers in our ears thanks for the info
    Snorts
    Lily & Edward

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    1. Since I have been using this formula on Bentley, I smell his ears all of the time. LOL!

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  15. I have three dogs: Two labs and a pit mix. Piper, the pit mix has ears hatstand straight up most of the time so they are really easy to keep clean. The two labs seem to have seasonal ear infection flare ups. Must try the purple stuff! Thanks :-)

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    1. My Westie doesn't suffer from ear problems either. I will always use the PUrple Stuff with Bentley. It has made a huge difference.

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  16. Ear infections can lead to other issues as well, such as hematomas (blood buildup) in the ears. We noticed Sheba had a droopy eye, so we brought her to the vet. We hadn't noticed her shaking her head excessively, but she had done it enough and hard enough that the outer part of her ears were swollen with blood! Luckily we got her to the vet just in time...any longer and she may have had to have surgery to relieve the pressure & swelling on her ears. Antibiotics cleared it up, and I've been far more diligent about cleaning her ears ever since!
    Jan, Wag 'n Woof Pets

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    1. Poor Sheba! I have always been able to tell when Bentley has an ear ache because he shakes his head so much. His ears would also feel hot to touch. Sheba might do well with this too.

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  17. This is some really good information. Most hoomans so not have floppy ears and need instructions!

    Keep Calm & Bark On!

    Murphy & Stanley

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    1. Exactly! They do get ear infections though so they know how painful they can be.

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  18. It is great that you found something to stop Bentley from getting ear infections. They can be so painful! My dogs don't seem to get them very often, but this purple stuff sounds amazing.

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    1. I am so happy that you don't have to combat ear infections. They are no fun for anyone.

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  19. Luckily even though Mr. N has floppy ears, he hasn't had an infection yet. I do check them regularly and clean them.

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    1. Keeping their ears clean and checking regularly is the best way to stay on top of any infection.

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  20. Good information. I do love Dr. Harvey's and it is always better to be proactive!!

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    1. I love all of Dr. Harvey's products and this is great for getting dirt and wax off of Bentley 's ear flaps. It doesn't go down in the ear though.

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  21. Those are some beautiful ears for modelling! Such a sensitive area needing much care. Great information.

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    1. Thank you. He used to trip over those long ears when he was a puppy. ♥

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  22. Leroy has chronic ear infection. He had them really bad before he got sick and then they cleared up! A few months ago it came back in his right ear only. We have tried every medication and cleaner on the market and they don't touch it. After Emma's last post about the purple stuff I finally decided to give it a try because nothing else worked. We are on week 2 of the treatment and his ears have never looked better. I am so happy with the results! I'm assuming, based on the ingredients, it changes the PH in the ear but whatever, it worked! I'm very interested to see how they will maintain after the treatment.

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    1. We have been using it for two months. It has made an incredible difference. His ears aren't red, they don't smell "yeasty" and are infection-free. I don't think there is an ear medication available that we have not tried over the last 8 years! Let me know how Leroy does.

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  23. Oh, I gets the ear infections all the time! Ma uses Zymox. It has been a lifesaver!!!!! They have eardrops, ear cleaner, skin spray, they have saved so much money and vet bills, I can't even begin to tell you! The good thing about Zymox is that you don't clean the ears before use. It is mainly used for yeast infections, butts can help in other ear imbalances too.
    I have heard of this ear cleaning solution before, butts the gentian violet has kept Ma away. There is really no good place to have that flung! Butts, I am gonna keep this recipe if the Zymox stops working. Thanks bunches!!!
    Kisses,
    Ruby ♥

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    1. Zymox has been my go-to medicine for years. I don't know if Bentley built up a resistance to it or what happened. It didn't help on his last few infections so I had to try something else. Hopefully, your cute ears will be fine with it. ♥

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  24. We had a cocker spaniel who was prone to ear infections. I cleaned them every day and still had problems.

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    1. I understand I have been diligent with Bentley's ears but he still had way too many infections. The vet even wanted to operate on his ears. I am now relieved that I didn't opt for it.

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  25. Great post, Melissa! I'll be putting the recipe for Purple Stuff in my file for sure! While our Huskies rarely get ear infections, the heat and swimming has given two one in the past, and after a vet visit, I now clean them at home. This is great info to have!

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    1. Thank you! It is perfect to use after the dogs go swimming or taking a bath. ♥

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  26. Wonderful post! I had my first ever ear infection a couple of months ago and it was no fun! We were able to figure out the cause and stay away from foods containing grain.

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  27. So glad you found something that works great on Bentley's ears. I was hoping you would tell us where to find the weird ingredients. Heard of the purple stuff for years but never knew what the ingredients were or where to get them.

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  28. So happy to see the Purple Stuff doesn't have vinegar in it - so many home remedies do, and the Merck Manual warned that it actually caused irritation and promoted inflammation (eek!).

    Way to go on both counts, and how cool that Emma's mom had this recipe!

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  29. We usually don't have problems with ear infections in our home, as my dog Lilah — or Dr. Lilah as we sometimes refer to her — cleans everyone's ears. So I have to be careful what I put in everyone's ears, because she'll lick it out. Great advice, though. Love the home remedies.
    —Wags (and purrs) from Life with Dogs and Cats

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  30. With a bassie, beagles and a slew of rescue foster hounds, I have seen a few ear infections! For us each one seemed to be for different reasons so we follow our vet’s instructions. I do sniff the pups ears once a week and have a ear cleaning spray the vet gave us for routine cleaning. I am intrigued by "the purple stuff" and think we shall give it a try when our current bottle runs out.

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  31. Having a standard poodle, we know all about ear infections but fortunately Colorado doesn't have the humidity of the South. That said, I check him frequently if there's any head shaking or scratching. We follow Dr. Mercola's page and find his advice and products to be a great resource. Thanks for sharing with us! ღ

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