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Ear problems in pets! How to treat them naturally!

Ear problems in pets! How to treat them naturally!


Does your pet scratch his ear or shake his head repeatedly? Have you noticed a bad smell from your pet's ears? The Feelgood Pets team looks at how to treat ear problems naturally in pets.

Ear problems are one of the most common conditions that affect both dogs and cats. Despite veterinary treatment, many pets often experience recurring ear infections, inflammation, pain and discomfort. These treatments include antibiotics or steroids to treat the symptoms but usually only provide a temporary fix. Taking a holistic approach to your pet’s ear health will help to manage the problem naturally - with long term and more effective results!

How will I know that my pet has an ear problem?

There are certain warning signs that will help you to determine if your dog or cat has an ear problem:

  • Shaking and tilting of the head
  • Excessive scratching and pawing at the ears
  • Rubbing the ears on the ground or against objects
  • Redness, swelling or even bleeding
  • Unpleasant odour from the ears
  • Yellow, dark brown, green or black discharge
  • Crusty skin
  • Hair loss
  • Stumbling, clumsiness or inability to maintain balance

What causes ear problems in pets?

  • Anatomy and design of pet ears

Both dogs and cats have L-shaped ear canals which makes them susceptible to wax build up, bacteria, moisture, dirt and mites. Because of the design and size of the ear, these substances get trapped in the ears, thereby causing infection or inflammation.  Certain dog breeds, in particular those with floppy ears such as Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Schnauzers, Poodles, Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels are prone to ear infections.

  • Environmental and food allergies

Because ears are an extension of the skin, pets with allergies to pollen, dust, food or fleas are even more prone to ear problems. If there is excess sugar or grain in your pet’s diet, then this could also be the cause of ear problems. Sugar causes yeast overgrowth which results in secondary bacterial infections – that smelly odour from your pet’s ear which is so offensive is actually yeast build up! In many cases, pets that suffer from itchy skin or hot spots, will also experience ear problems.

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  • Lifestyle

Dogs that swim or are bathed regularly are also prone to ear problems. Humidity and moisture which results from swimming and bathing is the perfect environment for bacteria to breed, resulting in ear problems. Both cats and dogs that spend lots of time outdoors in fields or forests are also susceptible to long grasses or seeds settling in their ears. As you can imagine, anything that gets lodged in the ear can cause lots of discomfort and pain!   

  • Mites and viral infections

Mites and a weakened immune system can also cause ear infections in cats and dogs and cats can also develop ear problems when infected by the feline immunodeficiency virus or feline leukemia.  

How to treat ear problems naturally in pets

  • Regular cleaning and maintenance

In order to prevent ear problems, it is very important to clean and care for your pet’s ears. NEVER use sharp objects or ear buds to clean your pet’s ear canal as this will cause further damage. We recommend that you rather use a cotton ball or soft swab together with a natural cleaning solution to remove wax or dirt. Remember that ear wax is healthy and perfectly normal and helps to protect the ear. However, excessive ear wax can cause problems.

You can use a few drops of Feelgood Pet’s Ear Dr in your dog or cat’s ear, gently rub the ears to spread the oil and then wipe the ears with a cotton swab. Be gentle when cleaning your pet’s ear because the inner ear is delicate. If quite a bit of buildup develops in your dog or cat’s ears, you would probably have to clean them daily or three times per week.

Pets with hair in their ears will often develop ear hair that becomes tangled and matted. Get your groomer to remove excess hair in the outer ear canal with a tweezer. Lastly, dry your pet’s ears thoroughly with a soft towel after swimming or bathing to prevent irritation and infection.

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  • Change your pet’s diet

If you are feeding your pet a diet that contains grains, preservatives and colourants, then this is probably why your dog or cat has chronic yeast infections or allergies.  These types of food contain sugars which yeast feeds on and which pets become allergic to. Choose a natural or raw diet which is very beneficial in treating ear problems because it also strengthens the immune system, thereby promoting resistance against illnesses and infections. Try DoggoBone Raw Active Food for dogs as well as Vondi’s Cooked Food for dogs and cats. Both these foods contain 100% natural ingredients of meat, fresh veggies and herbs for flavor. Available from Feelgood Health, 15A Westlake Lifestyle Centre, Westlake Business Park, Cape Town.

For additional support for your pet’s long term ear health, add Feelgood Pets Immunity & Liver Support. This herbal remedy strengthens the immune system, acts as a general tonic and natural antibiotic and aids quick recovery.  

  • Keep allergies and itching under control

If your pet has developed allergies to pollen or dust, use a natural antihistamine such as Feelgood Pets AllergiClear Pets. This is a herbal remedy specially formulated to reduce allergy symptoms, flea dermatititis or inhaled allergens such as pollen and grass. Use it in combination with Feelgood Pets Allergy Itch Ease to reduce itching and Skin & Coat Tonic to improve the health of the skin, including the skin inside the ear. Allergy Itch Ease is a 100% homeopathic remedy which helps to reduce itching and scratching in pets. Feelgood Pets Skin & Coat Tonic helps to promote a healthy, glossy skin and treats skin conditions such as eczema, hot spots, dandruff or fungal infections.

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  • Treat ear infections naturally

Pets that develop recurring ear infections are usually prescribed antibiotics and other ear medications from the vet. These medications often only provide temporary relief and are not a long-term cure. It is therefore very important that you adopt a holistic approach and consider your pet’s diet and lifestyle as well as the underlying cause if you want long term results.

Use Feelgood Pets Ear Dr which contains natural ingredients in an olive oil base to treat ear infections. This remedy helps to treat and prevent acute and chronic ear infections, yeast infections in the ears and ear mites, without the side effects of prescription drugs. Add Immunity & Liver Support which acts as a natural antibiotic and will strengthen the immune system.

Treating ear problems in pets can very challenging but if you incorporate a holistic approach, your pet’s ears will definitely be healthier – meaning a happier pet and fewer visits to the vet!  

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