Ear infections basically come down to two types - yeast or bacteria but sometimes can be both together. Cytology by a veterinarian will determine what is present.
Symptoms include scratching or rubbing the ears, shaking the head, discharge, unpleasant odour coming from the ears, redness, heat, and pain.
Long and floppy eared dogs are most prone to ear infections due to there being little air circulation in the ear canal. Dogs that swim are also prone to infections. Yeast and bacteria love warm, dark, moist environments.
Bacterial infected ears usually present as clear, yellow or green discharge, inflammation, sometimes an odour and significant pain. Bacteria infected ears will need treatment from a veterinarian as a culture may be required to determine the correct antibiotic drops needed.
Yeast infected ears present as brown waxy discharge, yeasty smell (corn chips), inflammation and pain. NAS Ear Clear is an effective treatment and preventative for yeast infected ears.
- AIR CIRCULATION Keep hair around ear canal and underside of ear flap trimmed short and flap open your dogs ear flap when they're sleeping on one side. Poodle breeds can have their hair plucked from the ear canal.
- GUT HEALTH Feed a good quality multi-strain dog-specific probiotic. Human probiotics are the wrong strains and any bacteria in natural yoghurt is killed off by the dogs stomach acid before it reaches the large intestine. Beware, there are many probiotics being marketed on social media with bold claims that have only 2-3 strains and are over-priced. When looking for a dog probiotic, look past the marketing and count the number of probiotic strains. The more the better. Ours has 7. We even have one that can be used whilst your dog is on antibiotics - Saccharomyces Boulardii.
- NUTRITION Reduce or eliminate high carbohydrate foods. Dry food, kibble, pasta, rice, potato, bread, dentastix, peas, chickpeas and lentils are all foods that yeast love and feed off. Starve the yeast of it's food source by eliminating these and feeding a varied and nutritionally balanced fresh whole food diet containing plenty of fibre-rich pulped plant matter. The more variety of foods fed, the more diverse the gut bacteria will be which will strengthen your dogs immune system. Don't be afraid of "human foods" and "scraps" as long as they're the right type.
- ADD ANTI-FUNGAL FOODS to the diet like virgin coconut oil, oregano, calendula, spearmint, garlic and turmeric.
- HAVE A PREVENTATIVE ON HAND Use preventative ear drops once a week or fortnight if required. Our most tried and trusted is NAS Ear Clear. If you notice the symptoms an infection starting, a few days use of NAS Ear Clear should stop it from developing into a full blown infection
- DON'T POKE Ears flaps can be kept clean using some natural chemical-free wipes or diluted raw apple cider vinegar (1 part vinegar to 1 part filtered water) and cosmetic cotton pads. Do not cross-contaminate pads. Never poke anything down the ear canal or use cotton ear buds.