Ear itch and pain in dogs is common. The veterinary name for these conditions are otitis (meaning ear) external (outer), media (middle) and interna (inner). The externa is by far the most common condition. These conditions can also be referred to as ear canker.
Problems of the middle and inner ear can occur from complications of the outer ear.
Common Symptoms of Otitis Externa
You may see reddening of the outer canal when you look inside. The ear flap maybe warm to touch. There may be thickening on the inside of the flap. There may be discharge with or without an odour. There may be itchiness in the beginning, which may become painful as it progresses. It may be one sided only.
Discharges vary from thin to thick, with or without a blood tinge, and there may be some ulceration.
Ear problems in dogs are normally another expression of a general skin problem.
Causes of Canine Ear Problems
Skin problems are commonly allergic reactions to normal, everyday substances. They are an expression of an overreactive, confused immune system very often brought on by vaccines. They may occur immediately after one, or take months or years to manifest.
Other causes of ear problems in dogs can be a narrow ear canal, a lot of hair (such as in poodles) and the long, drooping ears (such as in spaniels). These conditions don’t allow for free air circulation to dry out the inner canal, especially when they have been swimming, out in the rain or in a very humid environment.
The first signs tend to be an increase in wax, progressing to a discharge. There is often head shaking, pawing at the ear or itching. The head may be held to one side, normally the problem ear tilted downwards.
Progression may lead to extreme pain, so much so that the dog may uncharacteristically bite you if you try to examine it. The dog is not being aggressive here. You need to consider the extreme pain. You’d probably do the same in a similar situation.
What Are Your Options For Ear Canker In Dogs?
Apart from the structural causes already mentioned, which are best dealt with by keeping on top of any new developments with cleaning and airing, you do have a range of holistic treatments at your finger tips.
Ear itch and pain in dogs is no less troublesome for them as it for us. Ear itch can be highly irritating and ear pain can be severe.
While many people opt for the antiiotics vets dish out like smarties, which are suppressive and deeply disturb the natural gut flora, leading to digestive issues, others prefer a more natural approach.
- A natural approach that honours the dogs attempts to heal themselves.
- A natural approach that is healing rather than suppressive.
- A natural approach that is permanently healing and doesn’t progress into more chronic problems later in life, so common after suppressive treatment.
- A natural approach that doesn’t have side effects.
The first thing to consider is how to improve your dog’s immune system as clearly this is unable to function as it should. You can do this by addressing three important factors.
The first, and most important, one is your dog’s diet. If you’re feeding them commercial dog food, you’re aiding and abetting their decline in health. Commercial dog food is great for the manufacturers and the retailers, but lousy for your dog.
Dogs evolved on raw meat and bones, not the chemically laden cereal and waste food in pretty packets. Their anatomy is perfectly suited to raw meat and bones.
A change to a healthy diet can make all the difference to restoring health. And it can be a very fast improvement.
The second consideration is to use natural treatments for all ailments, treatments that don’t just cover up the symptoms with harsh drugs, but actually heal. Homeopathy is one of the best healing modalities for anything and everything. And everyone.
The third aspect is to make sure your dog’s living conditions and environment are suitable for the species. They include:
- company, as dogs are pack animals
- exercise according to their size, age and ability
- adequate shelter from cold, heat, rain, wind, noise, disturbance, toxins, etc
- training according to their needs, rather than ours, understanding ‘dog’
It can take people time to digest and then put into practice new things. There can be initial resistence. However, if the results are not just economically viable, but also much less stressful for everyone concerned, then it has to be worth persuing.
There is always a reason for everything. Use the problem of ear itch and pain in dogs to make dramatic and healthy choices, not just for your dog as this approach can get you thinking differently for all the family. If you listen, your dog can be your teacher.