Our veterinarian isn't sure why Brick's ears are so susceptible to yeast infections. Most likely it's a combination of an unknown allergy (one that can only be diagnosed with high-dollar blood tests) and the likelihood that one of the dogs in his mysterious gene pool had some wacky ears.
During Brick's early years, I would drag the poor dog into the vet's office every time his ears became gunky. The solution was always the same - an expensive and ridiculously tiny bottle of Mometamax. Unfortunately the drops never worked and it would usually take two or three treatments to kill the infection once and for all.
At one point, the infection was so severe that the insides of poor Brick's ears had become red and raw. It was obvious that my poor dog was in pain. In an effort to ease his suffering I decided to try and clean some of the black gunk from his ears.
I armed myself with three things... A bottle of witch hazel, some Q-tips and a few wet wipes. Witch hazel seemed like a good choice because I knew it wouldn't sting Brick's sores and it's anti-inflamitory properties certainly wouldn't hurt.
I poured a little witch hazel into a dish and placed the ends of a small handful of Q-tips in to soak. I began by taking one of the wet wipes and tried to gently wipe away some of the goop inside Brick's ears.
Next, I tackled the maze of nooks and crannies that make up my dog's outer ear canal. Dogs have some crazy ears! Using one of the witch hazel soaked Q-tips I would gently clean each crevice, being careful to get a clean swab any time one became visibly dirty.
It was tedious work but I was surprised by how quickly the skin changed from an angry red to a healthy pink color just by removing the gunk. Once Brick's ears were sufficiently cleaned, I used another wet wipe to give his ears one last wipe. I repeated this process daily until any sores or signs of redness were completely gone.
To my surprise, Brick seemed to enjoy having his ears cleaned and the infection didn't come back within a few days like it did with the medication. In fact, his ears stayed healthy and yeast-free for several months.
I use witch hazel to clean Brick's ears on a as-needed basis. The telltale sign that some ear funk might be brewing is a sudden increase in scratching. As soon as I notice that back paw clawing away at an ear I know it's time to break out my tried and true home remedy.
If your dog suffers with occasional or even severe ear infections, I hope you will give witch hazel a try. It might just be the solution you've been looking for.
I am not a veterinarian and I make no promises or guarantees that this treatment will work on your pet. I am simply sharing something that has helped my dog in the hopes that it might help yours as well.
This post is part of Works For Me Wednesday over at We Are THAT Family. Pop by for some more handy tips.