There’s nothing worse than watching your dog dig and scratch painfully at his/her ears. You want to help, but you’re not sure how. Peroxide often comes to mind and you may ask even ask yourself whether you can put peroxide in a dog’s ear or not. It seems harmless, but is it? This post will help you find a safe, inexpensive solution to your dog’s itching without resorting to harmful substances.
The reality is that a lot can be happening in your dog’s ear canal. Sometimes a simple rinse just won’t cut it. There’s a lot more to know before you go digging around in your dog’s ear canal. In fact, just don’t do it. Keep reading to find out why.
Why Home Remedies Can Make Your Dog’s Ears WORSE
A dog’s ear is much more than what you can see on the outside. In fact, you can really only see what’s going on in there with a medical instrument called an otoscope, which is what you’ll probably see the veterinarian do on a regular check-up.
A dog’s ear consists of the pinnae (the other structure that you can easily see and wipe clean), the middle ear and the inner ear. The otitis externa (aka the outer ear) is where infections commonly occur in dogs. This type of ear infection is usually easily treated and can be caused by things like allergies, yeast, or mites. We’ll talk about these things a little further into the post.
A Simple Puncture Can Cause Deafness and Pain
A dog’s eardrum (just like a human eardrum) is a thin flap of skin that rests at the bottom of the ear canal. It acts like a drum and actually vibrates when sound hits it. The vibrations then move the delicate bones of the middle ear. Those vibrations then move into the inner ear.
The eardrum is designed to withstand the vibration of sound, but not the tip of a cotton swab. Home remedies often involve inserting a cotton ball into the ear canal coming precariously close to the eardrum. All it takes is one slip (your dog may suddenly jerk his/her head, for example) to poke a hole into that delicate membrane.
In addition to extreme pain, a punctured eardrum can lead to temporary deafness while leaving the middle and inner ear even more vulnerable to infection.
Can You Put Peroxide in a Dog’s Ear? Why You Shouldn’t.
It’s easy to get carried away when you’re messing around in a dog’s ear. Gently cleaning the outer ear is considered safe, but you really have to be careful about not getting near the ear canal. You’re only a fingertip away from the ear canal to the eardrum.
There ARE safe methods of cleaning your dog’s ears from home. In fact, a little further into this post you’ll find a list of highly recommended treatments for dog ear infections.
The biggest danger of putting peroxide in a dog’s ear is the moisture it leaves behind. Over-the-counter and prescribed ear drops are often formulated with anti-bacterial agents, skin softeners like aloe, and other ingredients designed to naturally dry out the ear after use.
The fizzing action of peroxide makes it seem like it’s working. In fact, it might even loosen a little ear wax. However, it doesn’t leave the eardrum dry. What it does is leaves moisture in the area and that moisture is a breeding ground for yeast. In addition, hydrogen peroxide and things like rubbing alcohol can be painful and irritating to an already sore ear.
Things You Don’t Want to Happen to Your Dog’s Ears
The ears are a sensitive area that need to be treated with respect. If you notice your dog itching his/her ears a lot, it’s okay to do a gentle cleaning from home as long as it’s done properly. If you don’t think you can do it without your dog making sudden moves, it’s best to seek veterinarian care.
Yeast, mentioned above, occurs naturally on the skin. However, excess moisture (like the moisture left behind from putting peroxide in your dog’s ear) creates an overgrowth of yeast. The best way to diagnose an overgrowth of yeast in your dog’s ear is to have a veterinarian look into the ear canal using an otoscope.
Yeast infections are extremely itchy and smelly. You may not notice anything but the smell in the beginning.
Creepy Crawly Ear Mites
Ear mites belong to the arachnid family. They are microscopic creatures that wriggle around in the ear canal feeding on ear wax and natural oils from the skin. These critters create unbearable itch. Ear mites are not cured by putting peroxide in a dog’s ear. There are prescription drops that your veterinarian can prescribe, or you can purchase high-quality products to treat the problem at home.
NOTE: It may take several treatments before ear mites are fully eradicated. Please be gentle and be sure to follow the instructions on the bottle carefully. If there continues to be dark discharge that looks a little like coffee grinds it means the mites are still present. If they do not go away after home treatments, they may require professional extermination. Please see your veterinarian.
Some Dogs Itch About EVERYTHING
Allergies are a common complaint in some breeds. You might not consider the ear canal as part of the skin, but if your dog has skin allergies, there’s a good chance those allergies extend to the skin inside the ear as well.
Allergies in dogs is a complicated subject. There are so many things that your dog could be allergic to that it’s almost impossible to pinpoint the problem without the help of a veterinarian. A veterinarian can assist with food elimination diets and can test for underlying conditions that may be causing your dog to itch. If your dog is prone to allergies and you notice he/she excessively digging at the ears, it could be a sign of a systemic problem, not just a problem of the ear canal.
7 Home Treatments You’ve Never Heard of Before
There are so many good products on the market these days that there really isn’t a need to create your own. There are countless “recipes” online, but you really can’t be sure you’re mixing the proper balance. Remember, your dog’s ear is a delicate balance of oils. You could end up leaving so much moisture behind that it causes even more problems.
Put the coconut oil and olive oil back on the shelf. The following treatments are considered safe (please follow the instructions) and are created specifically for the delicate pH balance of a dog’s ear.
Animals Apawthercary is a made in the US company that sells amazing (and inexpensive) natural animal products. Click the link to Herbs Direct below and search for Animals Apawthecary Herbal Ear rinse.
This inexpensive but top quality formula was formulated by veterinarians. This ear wash is designed to clean your dog’s ears including the flaps and ear canal. It removes dirt, wax, and other material safely.
For more information, go directly to the company via the link below and do a search for “Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs”.
This one is hard to find through common online markets. The link above will take you directly to the company Cherrybrook Premium Pet Supplies.
Oticlean-A Medicated Ear Cleaning Solution can be used on dogs and cats and is designed to be used for routine cleaning and odor control. It’s also good for dogs who swim a lot!
CLICK THE LINK BELOW FOR MORE INFORMATION
#3. Zymox Plus Advanced Formula Otic Enzymatic Solution
Zymox is a name you may have heard of before. This is a popular pet product designed to clean your dog’s ear while soothing mild inflammation with hydrocortisone. As always, if you suspect your dog has a serious ear infection and you can see visible signs of redness, inflammation, or your dog shows signs of pain, please visit a health professional/veterinarian.
Do your dog’s ear stink? Most dog’s ears have a particular odor but it isn’t offensive. If you find yourself repulsed by the smell of your dog’s ears, it’s likely a yeast infection. Serious ear infections should be treated by a licensed veterinarian.
However, if you’re just looking to keep your dog’s ears cleaned and deodorized, consider Stratford Pharmaceuticals Ear Cleansing solutions. They are specially designed to clean, dry, and deodorize. Click the image below for more information on the product.
#5. Bio-Groom Pet Ear Care Cleaner
Bio-Groom is designed to help remove excess wax build-up. The formula is made to be non-sticky and non-oily which means the container is easier to hold without slipping. A little goes a long way.
#6. Dechra EpiKlean Ear Cleanser (8 Oz)
Trouble finding a good quality product for your dog’s ears? Decha EpiKlean is designed for non-infected ears. Consider it more of a general cleanser to prevent the buildup of wax in the ear canal. When in doubt, check the ingredients and ask your veterinarian for suggestions on good dog ear cleaning products.
#7. Gerrard Larriett Dog & Cat Ear Cleaner
Important Advice for Safely Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears
Still wondering if you can put peroxide in your dog’s ears? The general consensus is that you shouldn’t. When using any product designed to clean your dog’s ears there is a right way and a wrong way. Not every dog will tolerate it so do a practice run before you put anything in the dog’s ear canal. Have someone gently hold your dog’s head while offering words of encouragement. Practice lifting the ear flap and gently touching the inner flap or outer ear.
If your dog flinches, pulls away, yelps, paws, or jumps, you might be better off seeking help from a professional groomer. It’s normal for your dog to be a little curious. Some movement is normal.
The force of one squirt from a bottle of ear cleaner can put enough pressure on a delicate eardrum to puncture it. Ear solutions like the ones mentioned above just require a few drops. You’ll want to do it quickly but without squeezing the bottle too hard.
Once the solution is in the dog’s ear quickly massage beneath the ear flaps (you’ll feel the cartilage) and gently rub so that the solution gets moved around. Your dog is going to want to shake his head. Go ahead and let him! Consider cleaning your dog’s ear outside or in an area that can get a little messy.
Summary – Can You Put Peroxide in a Dog’s Ear?
People clean their dog’s ears all the time, and you can too. The trick is not to do it too much because you can upset the skin environment and cause more problems. Ask your veterinarian how much is too much. Read product instructions carefully.
Remember not to squeeze the bottle too hard and always take special care around a dog’s delicate eardrum. If you suspect your dog has an infection, get medical advice. Ear infections that are not treated can go on to become chronic. They can also affect the middle or inner ear. When that happens, your dog can develop vestibular disorders.
I want to thank you for taking the time to read this post. I hope you were able to get the information you need and some great suggestions for ear cleaning solutions. If you liked this post, please share! It helps more than you know.