(Natural News) It is fairly easy for even the healthiest of dogs to develop an ear infection. Since man’s best friend doesn’t know how to treat its illnesses, its master should know what an ear infection looks like – and how to treat the condition.
There is a good reason as to why parents have always advised children to keep their ears clean. Pathogenic bacteria are everywhere, especially outdoors. Some of them are bound to reach the ear and enter the ear canal.
If the ear canal is dirty, the bacteria will thrive and spread throughout the tube, causing it to get clogged up with fluid and mucus. The resulting ear infection is painful and can affect the hearing, sometimes on a permanent basis. It can even lead to more serious illnesses. (Related: Natural solutions for an ear infection.)
Your dog may have an ear infection – here’s what you should look for
Dogs are also prone to ear infections. In many ways, they are even more vulnerable than human children. Most dogs spend a lot of their time outside the house. Not only does this increase their exposure to disease-causing bacteria, but it is also very likely for small insects to enter their ears.
The symptoms of an ear infection are fairly obvious. A sick dog will often shake its head in a frantic way, desperately scratch at the inside of its infected ear, or scrape the ear along the ground.
Even if the dog is not acting up, check the flap of its ear and its ear canal for any unnatural redness. And if there is a foul stench or see a discharge of unhealthy fluid, the animal is suffering from a fairly severe ear infection.
Let the vet handle it, but also watch how he does it
Normally, you will be able to take your ill dog to the veterinarian. If the vet diagnoses the dog with a bacterial ear infection, the treatment is likely to be a medicinal drop that should be applied onto the infected ear for several weeks. Take note of the brand of the medicine in case you need to get it again.
Insects are more difficult to deal with. They have to be physically removed from the ear, which can be painful for the dog and take a long time since some bugs are difficult to spot or extract. The dog may need to be put under sedation during the entire treatment.
The veterinarian might be a practitioner of holistic or homeopathic medicine. Ask him about medicinal herbs that are available at the grocery store. Depending on the vet’s recommendation, those herbs can help the dog recover faster from its illness.
These medicinal plants can alleviate the swelling and pain of ear infections
Nature provides many plants and compounds that can reduce the inflammation, irritation, and pain caused by various ailments, including ear infections. These substances work for both humans and dogs. They are much cheaper and safer than pharmaceutical drugs.
Chamomile, marigold, myrrh, and tea tree oil are the most widely used examples of these medicinal plants. Their essential oils proved to reduce inflammation and soothe irritated tissues in animal studies and human clinical trials.
The essential oils of these plants can also be applied directly on the swollen surface of the ear to relieve the pain felt by the dog. They also possess antimicrobial properties, so they can help fight the bacterial infection and speed up recovery. The best part is that chamomile, marigold, myrrh, and tea tree oil can be mixed together to increase their natural healing effects.