Ear care for dogs

Last week, we explored some dental care, so I thought that I should touch base with ear care since that is where some of our own personal problems occur.  I have a puppy that is now 10 months old.  She has super short hair, so I only bathe her about once a month.  Otherwise, I just wipe her down with puppy wipes.  (BONUS!)

I had not looked in her ears for some time, as they always appeared clean.  Well, the other day I looked in them and I about passed out!  EWWW!!!  There was black gunk and goo in there, and it was disgusting!  I got out a q-tip and cleaned it out, careful to NEVER enter the ear canal.  It took a LOT of q-tips, but I finally got it cleaned up.  I learned a lesson to check those more often.

Personally, I am not a fan of spending a ton of money on vet bills, nor doctor bills for that matter.  So, I got out my awesome desk reference for animals, written by a veterinarian, and looked to see what essential oils support ear health.  Here is a “recipe” that I came up with:

Healthy Ear Support

  • Mix 5 drops of Lavender, 5 drops of Melaleuca (you can use Basil if you don’t want to use Melaleuca), and 5 drops of Geranium in 1 TBS. of coconut oil. After cleaning the ear with a natural cleaner, use a Q-tip to rub the essential oil mixture in the ear (being careful not to put the Q-tip in past where you can see it). Do this twice a day until the the ear no longer looks red or swollen.

Why the notation about Melaleuca?  Melaleuca, also know as Tea Tree Oil, is known to be toxic to dogs.  It is ONLY TOXIC at very HIGH levels.   Tea tree oil has phenolic compounds that can be hard for a dog’s body to process.  The oral toxic dose of phenol in dogs is about 0.22 grams (approximately 4 drops) per pound of body weight. This would mean that a 1 pound dog would have toxicity symptoms if you applied 4 drops of tea tree oil.  My smallest dogs are 4 pounds, so he and she would require 16 drops of oil to reach a toxic level.  That is WAY TOO MUCH even for an adult human.  Of course it would be toxic!!!

Also note that it says “after cleaning with a natural cleaner.”  I use a mild soap called Castille soap.  It is a liquid soap and I dilute it with water like I was going to wash dishes.  You know… like we did in the “Old Days” before we had dishwashers!  I also would not hestitate to use Dove, Ivory, or any soap made for children.  I also sometimes use baby shampoo.  🙂

PLEASE remember to dilute ANY AND ALL essential oils you use on your pets unless the direction specify otherwise.  Dogs sense of smell is MUCH more sensitive than ours, and you don’t want to over-do it.

Please note that this says it supports ear health.  You would continue this “recipe” until any redness is gone.  However, if it is not going away, you may need something else so please NEVER substitute any home remedy for veterinarian care.  I am not a vet, and even though the book was written by a vet, she can’t make a diagnosis without having seen a dog!!  You can try this and if it worsens or does not improve, GO TO THE VET!!!

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