Three steps to take care of your dog's ears without steroids
A week ago, I wrote PART 1 on the natural approach to ear infections in dogs.
I mentioned that infected or sore ears are the red warning light that something deeper and more systemic is going on.
I also suggested that if your dog has ear problems you should take it through the following four steps:
1. Liver cleanse for dogs
2. Check the levels of minerals and heavy metals with a HairQ test
3. Supplement your dog’s diet with GreenMin - an all-natural, plant-based source of minerals, amino-acids and blood purifying chlorophyll.
If you didn’t get a chance to read PART 1, click on this link here: Natural Treatment of Ears. If you are up to speed on PART 1, it is time to go to STEPS 5, 6 and 7.
STEP 5 - Collars and ears
Before you continue reading, I would like you to take your hands, surround your neck with your thumbs touching your Adam’s apple and pull your hands back hard.
I hope you didn’t pass out and that you felt the pressure in your head rising. This is exactly how your pooch feels if he or she is a puller or if you use a retractable leash (the spring generates the pull).
In such situations, the blood, lymph and energy flow stagnates and very often, it negatively affects the ears.
You can believe me or not, but collars are one of the primary causes of ear problems, besides toxin build-up and inappropriate or nutrient-deficient food.
Here is what you can do:
1. Stop using a retractable leash
2. Stop attaching the leash to the collar
3. Start using a natural, shock-absorbing leash.
4. Get a front-clip harness (the one where the leash attaches to your dog’s chest, not the back)
STEP 6: Uncover the ear-cleaning myths
Most people mistakenly believe that if the ears are full of wax or discharge and they are flushed, they will stay clean. Unfortunately, It only takes a few days to realize ears get dirty again very fast. In fact, the harder you clean, the worse the problem gets.
Healthy ears have an amazing self-cleaning ability. The skin of the ear canal actually grows out in a similar way as nails. It carries all the impurities and dirt out and the self-cleaning mechanism can be compared to a very slow-moving conveyor belt.
You now know that ear inflammation is a result of a deeper systemic imbalance in the body and that is why repeated ear cleaning is not enough to solve the problem.
Ear cleaning has only a limited use when you need to clear the wax and debris at the beginning of the treatment.
However, repeated cleaning disturbs the self-cleaning conveyer belt of the ears. Ear cleaning solutions are often irritating and they bring more moisture in the ear, which leads to bacterial infections and growth of aggressive antibiotic-resistant bacteria such as Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus or Proteus.
Excessive ear cleaning makes the inflammation worse and therefore is pointless. It can be compared to washing your car to try to fix an oil leak in the engine.
Over time the inflamed ear canal becomes very narrow, sorer and your dog is more likely to end up in a vicious circle of steroids and antibiotics.
In such cases, surgeons usually recommend ear canal resection – (ear ablation), but I urge you to wait and apply what you learn here before cutting your dogs ears. I have not seen a single dog that could not be helped by other, more gentle means.
Many people are surprised when I suggest not cleaning ears frequently. I usually say that if your dog appears comfortable, a little bit of blackish or reddish wax is not a big problem. Just let it be unless it appears to plug the ear canal and your vet can tell you if it does.
Some breeds are predisposed to ear wax and if your dog is one of them see if the wax amount decreases after you are finished with a cleanse, giving healthy supplements and adjusting their diet.
If the wax is still present, you just have to accept the fact that your dog has a propensity for waxy ears. In such cases, doing less is more when it comes to cleaning.
Here is what you can do:
1. Have your dog’s ears examined and cleaned professionally at a veterinary clinic
2. Start implementing this ear program
3. If your dog doesn’t scratch, leave the ears alone
4. If your dog scratches and your vet confirms a yeast infection, clean the ears once and use an all natural Zinc-based drops like Zn 4.5 Otic.
How do I apply Zn4.5 Otic?
- The ear should be cleaned with a suitable cleanser before a regimen of treatment is started.
- Administer five to eight drops once to twice daily into the vertical ear canal, gently massage and then wipe away any excess with a tissue.
- Continue this treatment for two weeks and stop.
- If your dog reverses to itchy ears, I suggest that you have a bacterial ear culture done.
STEP 7: Avoid steroids! Use anti-inflammatory alternatives
From my experience, chronically inflamed ears can be painful and itchy. Conventional treatments consist of steroid/antibiotic drop combos that give people the illusion that all is better. However, steroids only suppress the immune system response, decrease the body’s ability to resist infections and absorb into the blood stream and affect the whole body.
It is unnecessary and outdated ear treatment.
If your dog’s ears are severely inflamed, sore and itchy, you may consider using Zyflamend, a turmeric-based internal anti-inflammatory. I have been using it safely for the past five years.
Zyflamend has been shown in preclinical studies to promote a healthy inflammation response that can benefit the whole body.
Whole-food antioxidants, including ginger, turmeric, green tea and rosemary, help combat oxidative stress and support healthy aging.* They deliver the full-spectrum benefits of whole herbs in their natural profiles, not isolated compounds.
I trust that as time progresses, you will be able to see the positive results, make your dog more comfortable and your life easier.
I would also be very grateful if you also share this info with others.
Next time, I will talk about food, intestinal tract and temporal mandibular joint and their relationship to ears.
When I consult with my new clients and their dogs with an ear problem, usually they tell me that their dog’s treatment cost them hundreds and often thousands of dollars.
My goal is that within three to six months, your dog will recover completely. If his or her ears have been damaged from long-term inflammation, this and also the upcoming info will help you find an acceptable equilibrium and reduce your treatment costs by 80 percent or more.
© Dr. Peter Dobias, DVM