What Are The Signs Of Ear Infections In Dogs
Ear infections can be painful or itchy, so here are some common signs youll know something is wrong with your dogs ears.
- Head tilting towards the side with the infection
- Head shaking
- Scratching or pawing at ears
- Rubbing ears
- Crusty, scabby or red, irritated skin inside the ear flap
In severe cases your dog may experience
- Hearing loss
- Dry eye, nystagmus
- Drooping of eyelids or mouth, drooling
- Dropping food, difficulty eating or drinking
If you see any of these serious symptoms, you need to see your vet.
How To Prevent And Treat Ear Infections Naturally
Did you know you could treat ear infections naturally without antibiotics? Learn all about ear infections here.
This is a guest post by Sheila Kilbane, MD. She is a board certified pediatrician who also trained with Andrew Weil, MD at the University of Arizona in integrative medicine.
As an integrative pediatrician, I have built my current medical practice upon real food. I have seen the affects of synthetic processed foods on children and anything I can do to help spread the word about whole food nutrition makes me over the moon excited!
Complications Associated With A Middle Ear Infection
Complications from middle ear infections are extremely uncommon, but can occur, especially in very young children with a not yet fully developed immune system. These complications include:
- Mastoiditis: When the infection spreads into the bones of the ear. Symptoms include fever, pain, tenderness, headache and a creamy discharge from the ear. This condition is treatable, but seeking medical attention early is important.
- Cholesteatoma: A result of tissue build-up from recurrent instances of infection. If left untreated, the condition can cause serious damage. Treatment typically involves surgery.
- Labyrinthitis: A condition that occurs when an infection in the middle ear spreads to the inner ear. Symptoms include dizziness, hearing loss, vertigo and loss of balance. It is treatable.
- Other complications: Other possible complications include facial paralysis, meningitis and brain abscess, but these conditions are extremely rare.
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Home Remedies For Ear Pain: 5 Things That Bring Relief
- NDTV Food
Ear pain can be sharp and piercing. There are many possible cause of ear pain. Cavities, sinus infections, earwax and tonsillitis are some common ones. The most common ear infection is acute otitis media or a middle ear infection. In this case, your middle ear may be swollen or inflamed due to the infection and the pain is caused by the fluid being trapped behind the eardrum. Ear pain may be accompanied by other symptoms like fever, slight hearing loss or flu. Ear infections are quite common amongst children. The American Academy of Pediatrics suggests that in case of ear infections, pain management should be the focus and not the use of antibiotics. This is because overuse of antibiotics may often lead to antibiotic-resistant infections. The good news is that you can find most of the things that can give you relief at home or in your kitchen pantry. There are plenty of home remedies for ear pain that are safe to try.
Home remedies for ear pain: Ear pain can be sharp and piercing
The most effective home remedy to ease that pain depends on the cause. In case of cavity, it’s best to consult a doctor, but if the pain is caused due to an infection you can resort to some natural ways to tame the pain while your body fights off the infection.
Dog Ear Infections: Natural Remedies That Work
Does your dog have itchy, gunky, smelly or even painful ears that dont seem to get better? Youre not alone. Dog ear infections are one of the main reasons people take their dogs to the vet.
Heres some information to help you fix your dogs ear infections for good especially if she gets recurrent ear infections,
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Use Breast Milk If Youre Still Breastfeeding
Trying to find remedies for babys whose immune systems are still developing is hard. Doctors dont want to prescribe medication if they can help it. Your breasts will have the best cure for your baby. Yes, breast milk is a powerful treatment option. Its one of the big reasons why doctors recommend mothers breastfed their babies for the first 12 months .
If you are breastfeeding, consider expressing some of your breast milk for a natural cure for ear infections. The breast milk is full of antibodies that are completely made by you. These antibodies will speed your childs natural healing process. Youre not fighting the infection, but youre encouraging the babys immune system to kick start and get rid of the infection instead.
The breast milk also has some anti-inflammatory properties. Youll find that the swelling goes down, boosting the healing benefits.
This works best when the milk is dropped straight into the ears. You can also rub it gently around the ears, although the sensitivity due to the inflammation may be too much for your child to allow the touch on the ears. You can use this remedy every few hours.
Breast milk isnt just good for children. It can be used on adults if you choose to. Its also good for other minor wounds and some eye infections!
Natural Remedies For Pediatric Ear Infections
A pediatrician using an otoscope to look into the ear of an 8 month old baby boy.
During the winter months, it seems like kids are sick nearly every week with another cold, virus or ear infection.
Its not uncommon for a child to have an ear infection more than 80 percent of children in the U.S. are diagnosed with ear infections by the time theyre 3 years old.
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Here’s What I Tell My Patients
Most ear infections are self-limiting that means they go away with time, patience, and supportive therapies.
Amazingly, approximately 80% of kids with acute otitis media get better without antibiotics in 2-7 days! Not only that, they have no increased risk of hearing problems, ear infections in the other ear, or need for more invasive medical intervention. Also, they do not have any of the adverse outcomes that kids who received antibiotics experienced including the development of antibiotic resistant pneumonia. Those who went on to need antibiotics did just as well as kids who had received them from the onset of infection.
So a watch and wait attitude with some comfort measures is often all thats needed. But if your child doesnt recover in 48 or so hours, or worsens, an antibiotic can still be prescribed. Lets check in in 24 hours and see how things are going. You can speak with my nurse, and if she feels things arent improving, shell put you through to talk with me and well figure out the next steps together.
In the meanwhile, you might want to consider natural therapies and comforting treatments. Ive used natural remedies for kids ear infections for 3 decades and have not been disappointed! Herbal treatment can work quite well to relieve earache symptoms and infection. These are the first-line treatments I suggest to my own friends and family in addition to my patients.
To Reduce Pain
Garlic-Mullein Earache Oil
Warm Oils For Earaches
Warm oils are a great place to start with earaches, but its important to make sure the eardrum hasnt ruptured before putting anything, even warm oil, in it.
Signs of eardrum rupture include:
- Sudden sharp ear pain or pain and pressure that goes away instantaneously
- Drainage from the ear
- Noise, buzzing or hearing loss
A doctor can tell you for sure whether the eardrum has ruptured.
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Herbal Steam For Earaches
Herbal steam inhalation is a great earache remedy, because it can help reduce sinus congestion and swelling that may be causing the pressure in the ears.
Heres how to try this earache remedy:
- Boil some water and pour into a basin.
- Add herbs like sage, rosemary, calendula, or lemon balm.
- Drape a towel over your head and inhale the steam to clear your nasal passages and reduce inflammation and swelling.
Chiropractic Care For Earaches
There is some evidence that chiropractic care can help treat earaches. In one study, 93 percent of all earaches improved with chiropractic caremost kids felt better in 7-10 days and with only 1 to 2 treatments. Though more longterm studies are needed, proponents say chiropractic adjustments can improve middle ear drainage and decrease ear infections.
Studies show pediatric chiropractic care is very safe, but its important to choose a provider that specializes in treating kids.
Its a completely different process when you work with kids, and you have to know what youre doing in order to treat them appropriately. You need to know the proper techniques, contacts and depth. The contacts need to be smaller and the thrust more shallow with less force. Jennifer Brocker, DC, DICCP
Find a pediatric chiropractor using this database.
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Preventing A Middle Ear Infection
There are several ways to help children avoid a middle ear infection. They include:
- Breastfeeding rather than bottle feeding
- Avoiding a childÃ¢â¬â¢s exposure to tobacco smoke
- Ensuring a child is up-to-date with their routine vaccinations Ã¢â¬â particularly the pneumococcal vaccine and the DTaP/IPV/Hib vaccine
- Avoiding situations where exposure to bacterial infection is a risk
- Avoiding use of a pacifier
Trying Remedies For Bacterial Or Mite Infections
Warning: While natural remedies for a bacterial or mite infection may work for some dogs, they aren’t always effective. Delaying vet care to try natural remedies may allow the infection to worsen. If you want to try natural remedies, it’s best to do it under the supervision of your vet.
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Apple Cider Vinegar With Warm Water Ear Drops
- Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar with warm, not hot, water.
- Apply 5 to 10 drops in each affected ear using a clean dropper bottle or baby syringe.
- Cover your ear with a cotton ball or clean cloth and lean on your side to let drops enter and sit in the ear. Do this for about 5 minutes.
- Repeat this application as often as desired to treat an outer ear infection.
Minimize Pharmaceuticals And Other Chemicals
Dogs who live a more natural lifestyle are less likely to develop ear infections. Try to minimize exposure to chemicals in your dogs environment, indoors and outside.
Vaccines, antibiotics and other medications, and chemical pest preventives all harm your dogs gut health and disrupt her immune system. Make sure you only give the vaccines your dog really needs to protect her. Use natural alternatives to antibiotics and other medications when you can, and use natural pest prevention to keep the bugs off your dog.
You can also reduce toxins by minimizing chemicals at home and in your yard. Choose natural shampoos to bathe your dog, avoid toxic cleaning products in your home, including your own body cosmetics and other products with artificial fragrances.
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How To Get Rid Of An Earache Fast
It doesnt matter how old you are earaches hurt. And since most earaches are not the result of a bacterial infection, antibiotics wont help get you better.
But you dont have to take a wait-and-see approach.
There are several earache treatment methods that can help to reduce your symptoms, including the pain and swelling youre experiencing.
When To See The Doctor
Any time you are seriously worried about your child, it is absolutely appropriate to call or make an appointment to see his doctor. Like most docs who take care of kids, I never mind getting a late night call or an office visit from a worried parent.
When I received the call mentioned earlier, I reassured Janie’s mom that since Janie had a cold, was able to be settled easily with only one age-appropriate dose of Tylenol, and had what I would consider a low fever at its highest , this was likely a mild case of an ear infection and that waiting and watching overnight would be totally safe and appropriate.
I asked her to please call me back if Janie got worse. But if by morning she was better or even about the same, she could continue to wait and watch but that at this point, and in most cases of acute otitis media, no antibiotics were needed. We discussed the safe use of Tylenol and ibuprofen, since she didnt have any herbal remedies for pain relief at home (stocking a home herbal medicine chest is a great idea and will be discussed in a future blog and is covered extensively in my course Healthy All Year.
Heres when I absolutely ask my patients to bring their little one in for a look-see:
- Your child is under 6 months old
- There is pain that wont resolve
- There is high fever and persistent ear pain
- There is drainage from the ear
- There is neck pain or stiffness
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When To Come Into Gohealth Urgent Care
Most earaches will go away in a few days. But if it doesnt get better, or symptoms worsen in 24 to 48 hours, its time to visit a GoHealth Urgent Care center.
Other reasons to seek medical advice include:
- Pus-like fluid or blood oozing from the ear
- A high fever
- Headache and dizziness
- Swelling behind the ear
- An object might be stuck in your ear and needs to be removed
- Severe ear pain that suddenly stops
Healthcare professionals at our centers regularly see and treat earaches and ear infections. Just use the dropdown below to save your spot online or you can walk in to the GoHealth Urgent Care nearest you.
How To Use Warm Oils For Earaches
Straight-up olive oil: Warm the olive oil to body temperature and put a few drops into the ear. It works by soothing the inflamed eardrum.
Homemade garlic oil: Crush a clove of garlic and heat in olive oil to infuse. Cool the mixture to body temperature and place a few drops into the ear. The addition of garlic adds an antimicrobial property which can help fight infection.
Garlic Mullien oil: This special and potent oil is A MUST for a child who is susceptible to ear infections! . Mullein oil is an analgesic, anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, tranquilizer, anti-microbial, and a muscle relaxant. If youre not convinced just read the reviews:
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Key Points About Ear Infection Remedies
- Ear infections tend to occur in young children, but they can affect anyone.
- Ear infections can either be viral or bacterial. Treating a viral ear infection with conventional antibiotics typically is ineffective and includes undesirable side effects.
- Do ear infections clear up on their own? Yes, they certainly can, especially when you do what you can to boost your or your childs immune system!
7 Natural Remedies for Ear Infections
When Are Antibiotics Needed
The latest guidelines from the Academy of Medicine have come around to recommending what natural practitioners have known for a long time that prevention and a watch-and-wait attitude are the best approaches for most kids with ear infections, most of the time.The new guidelines encourage doctors not to overuse antibiotics.
Antibiotics are recommended for:
- Babies under 6 months old, or babies 6-23 months old with ear infection of both ears
And any children with severe infection defined as:
- Rapid onset of symptoms
- Moderate or severe ear pain
- Ear pain lasting 48 hours, and
- Signs of an ear infection on exam
- Temperature > 39°C )
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention agree: Both recommend a watch and waiting period of 48-72 hours to see if mild ear infections in babies over 6 months resolve on their own before using an antibiotic.
When there is ear pain, treatment to reduce pain not antibiotics should be recommended unless there is a severe ear infection. Antibiotics should never be prescribed preventatively to reduce the frequency of AOM episodes in children with recurrent AOM. Keep in mind that just because antibiotics are recommended, it does not always mean they are necessary. Use good common sense and talk with your child’s doctor if your child meets these criteria but you’d like to try natural approaches before the antibiotics.
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