Herbal Ear Rinses for Dogs Humboldt TN
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Floppy Dog Ears
My Plott Hound, Clyde, has been scratching his ears a lot, and recently I’ve noticed a sour smell. What’s going on?
Plott Hounds are big boys, aren’t they? You wouldn’t happen to know if Clyde is seeing anyone right now, would you? Not that I’m interested … it’s just that as a health columnist it helps if I have all the information about the animal in question. You know, for professional reasons.
Now, where was I? Oh, yes, dogs who have big floppy ears—like your handsome hound—are prone to a condition called otitis externa, more commonly known as otitis. While floppy ears protect the entrance to the ear canal, they also create a hot, moist environment that’s ideal for yeast or bacteria. If you lift up Clyde’s ear and see dark red or brown crusty stuff around the opening to the ear canal, redness, or swelling, please take him to see his vet as soon as possible.
According to holistic veterinarian, Shawn Messonnier, DVM, in most pets, ear disease takes the form of a bacterial or yeast infection. Some possible causes for ear infections include food or environmental allergies, hormonal or thyroid imbalance, and immune diseases. Before embarking on any kind of treatment for Clyde, it’s important that your veterinarian accurately diagnose either a bacterial or yeast infection for immediate topical treatment. If Clyde’s problem turns out to be chronic, you will need to start eliminating possible causes with further testing—i.e., exploring diet changes, testing for thyroid or other adrenal issues, and eliminating potential environmental irritants. Sometimes dogs develop sensitivities to regular or, in the case of puppies, a high volume of vaccinations. Messonnier encourages minimizing vaccinations and recommends a blood-antibody test called a titer test to determine when your pet will need a booster shot. However, please keep in mind that rabies shots are regulated by the county in which you live and adherence to that schedule is nonnegotiable.
In most cases, regular ear cleaning, a healthy diet, and immune-supporting supplements will resolve chronic ear infections. Messonnier recommends using homeopathic and herbal ear rinses containing tea tree oil, peppermint oil, or eucalyptus oil. Diluted vinegar and water solutions also help break up debris in the ear canal and act as a mild disinfectant. Combined with a natural diet—or a new diet for ear infections caused by food sensitivities—and immunity-boosting probiotics, echinacea, and omega-3 fatty acids, your pet will be better armed to fight off infection. And when Clyde’s feeling better, please snap a photo and send it to me … I need it for research purposes.
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