Many people call vinegar the “miracle cleaner,” using it to mix homemade household cleaners and furniture polishes. But, did you know that vinegar can also be a “miracle cleaner” for dog ear infections?
Vinegar’s Effects on Ear Infections
Sometimes, bacteria, viruses, and fungi invade and reproduce inside a dog’s ear canal causing an infection.
Ear infections are most common in dogs with floppy, hanging ears. Floppy, hanging ears create a damp, moist environment perfect for bacterial growth.
Vinegar treats dog ear infections in several ways:
- Antibiotic - Vinegar kills bacteria
- Antiviral - Vinegar kills viruses
- Antifungal - Vinegar kills fungi
- pH Restorative - Vinegar restores the ear canal’s proper pH balance.
How to Treat Dog Ear Infections with Vinegar
First, you must make sure your dog’s eardrum is not perforated.
WARNING: Inserting liquids in the ears of dogs with a perforated eardrum can cause severe problems including head tilt and deafness.
If your dog’s eardrum is intact, start the vinegar ear treatment.
First, make a mixture of half vinegar and half water and place them in a squirt bottle. (Make sure you use a squirt bottle, not a spray bottle.)
Next, completely fill your dog’s ear canal with the mixture. Be careful not to let the solution get into your dog’s eyes.
Gently massage the base of our dog’s ear.
After massaging, allow your dog to shake his head.
The excess vinegar solution will come out, along with any debris from inside the ear canal.
You don’t need to swab your dog’s ear but might want to wipe debris from the ear flap.
Apple cider vinegar is best but may stain white or light-colored fur.
If your dog has white or light-colored, you may want to use distilled white vinegar instead.
Vinegar Ear Cleaning Schedule
Treat both ears (even if only one ear seems infected) twice daily for two weeks.
For maintenance, dog ear infections are treated once or twice weekly.
If you don’t see an improvement in your dog's ear infection within a few days, contact your veterinarian.
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