Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. It should be evaluated by a vet. There could be some underlying general issue like allergy, uncured infection, anatomical defect…

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

Some type of maintenance otic therapy is usually required, such as a cleaning and drying agent (to keep the ear canal free of wax buildup), antimicrobial ear cleaners (eg, for recurrent ear infections), and sometimes topical glucocorticoids (for severe hyperplasia or stenosis, when surgery is not an option).
Antibiotics (e.g., amoxicillin-clavulanate, enrofloxacin, clindamycin, or cefpodoxime) will be used for a bacterial infection for a minimum of six to eight weeks. If the infection is fungal, an anti-fungal medication (most often itraconazole) will be prescribed.
In the meantime, there are some home remedies you can try to ease your pet`s discomfort, such as a warm compress, vinegar or hydrogen peroxide ear flush, and the use of natural anti-inflammatory agents like coconut oil or aloe vera gel.
They can usually be easily cured with medication, but it`s important to determine the cause to prevent recurrence. While ear infections are not always preventable, owners can help lower their dog`s chances of getting an ear infection by establishing healthy ear hygiene practices.
Left untreated ear infections in dogs can develop quickly and result in symptoms such as balance and coordination issues, pain and in severe cases facial paralysis.
Dogs that have long-standing ear infections may develop an irreversible disease of the ear canal. Due to chronic inflammation, the ear canal becomes very thickened and can turn into bone. As a result, the infection will not resolve with medications.
Because a dog`s ear is L shaped, it can be a challenge to get medicines to reach the horizontal ear canal. Veterinarians will instruct clients in the correct method of medication administration. Treatment as soon as possible after identifying symptoms is vital.
Oil of oregano is a natural antibiotic. To use if for your dog`s ear infections, add one drop to ½ oz of warm pure aloe vera juice. Clean the visible parts of the ear with a cotton ball soaked in the mixture. Apple cider vinegar can help reduce the itch and discomfort of an ear infection.
Dab a cotton ball with hydrogen peroxide and add drops of coconut oil for your dog`s ears; it is an effective cleanser. Apple cider vinegar and equal parts water can be used to clean the ears against infection, but do not use this if the ear tissue is raw.
Dark brown or black—This type of earwax is commonly associated with yeast and/or bacterial ear infections. It`s a good idea to consult with a veterinarian if earwax is this color. Brown—Light brown earwax is normal and expected. If the wax is accompanied by odor or inflammation, it can be a sign of infection.
Ear infections can be painful for your pup, so getting them to the vet is essential to get them treated right away. The longer the ear infection goes untreated, the worse it can become. Dogs are more predisposed to ear infections than humans due to the shape of their ear canals.
Mild symptoms of ear infections that affect the outer or middle ear are mild usually resolve within one to two weeks. Inner ear infections can last longer. Ear infections lasting 6 weeks or longer are considered chronic ear infections.
Ear infections that do not clear up after trying many antibiotics may need tubes. Prevention should be tried before turning to surgery. Talk to your child`s doctor about when ear tubes are needed.
End-stage ear disease occurs when stenosis of the ear canal is present with inflammation and fibrosis that prevents drainage of otic discharge from the horizontal canal to and out of the vertical canal.
Basset Hounds, Chinese Shar Peis and Labradoodles top the list when it comes to the dog breeds most prone to ear infections.
DURATION: If treated properly, outer ear infections generally clear up after 7 to 10 days. When ear drops are used for treatment, they may have to be applied for a bit longer, 10 to 14 days. If left untreated, an outer ear infection can lead to dangerous complications by spreading to the brain or cranial nerves.
Dogs can experience three types of ear infections, known otitis externa, media, and internet. The most common is otitis externa, or an outer ear infection, which happens when there is inflammation in the outer ear canal. Otitis media and interna refer to infections of the middle and inner ear canal, respectively.
Never put olive oil, vinegar, shampoo, or any other substance in a dog`s ear. Also, avoid poking around with cotton buds in the ear, you will only work any wax and debris further in and potentially damage the eardrum.
Symptoms of Chicken Allergy in Dogs

Symptoms could include red or itchy skin (especially on the paws, abdomen, groin, face, and ears), rashes, fur loss, or hives. Skin and ear infections commonly occur.

An Excellent Probiotic For Their Gut

If that was not enough, the probiotics found in yogurts can help your dog to fight yeast infections, which can result in ear and skin problems. Furthermore, probiotics may help your dog`s body to absorb nutrients and boost immunity.

Various remedies that can be applied to improve your dog`s ear health and get rid of infections are: Coconut Oil: It acts as a great anti-bacterial and anti-fungal component that can be administered to the pooches in their infected ears.
No, tea tree oil is not safe for dogs. This fact may surprise you … because it`s often in products made for dogs. You`ll find products like shampoos, insect repellents, or hot spot, ringworm or ear infection treatments, and more.
Aside from breed, pets with allergies may have excessive wax buildup due to swelling in the ear canals, and dogs that swim or spend time in water are more likely to develop excessive earwax.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.

If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.

For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.

Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.

Q. My dog is having ear problems. I have had her at two vets and they can not seem to find the cause. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. For a pet with chronic ear issues I would recommend checking her thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism can be a cause of chronic ear infections.

Then I would recommend having a bacterial culture of the ear debris to ensure the appropriate antibiotic is chosen to completely rid the bacteria in there. If there is resistant bacteria, the ear will appear to get better at first but then once ear meds are stopped they will thrive again and cause a re-emergency of the ear infection. Also longer treatment may be needed, for example instead of 7-10 days, perhaps 14 days continuously.

If all else fails, I would recommend a skull radiographs to look for signs of a narrow ear canal and/or an inner ear infection which will require not only topical antibiotic ointments put into the ear, but also oral antibiotics.
Most ear infections are caused by moisture in the ears, narrow ear canals, hypothyroidism or skin allergies. Each one has to be gone through systematically.

Q. I have two problems with my 16 yrs old dog: he’s constipated and has a ear ache. What can I use to relieve these?
ANSWER : A. Constipation is a common problem in dogs that can be due to a number of things. However it is a good idea to make sure the constipation is not actually diarrhea, as some dogs can strain after a bowel movement, making it look like such. If constipation is present, adding a little pumpkin puree or plain yogurt to the diet can help make digestion easier and make stools easier to pass. However if symptoms do not resolve after a few days, it is best to speak with your vet.

For ear aches, it is best to have your vet examine the ear as many things including allergies, ear infections, mites and more can cause ear problems. If the ear is just dirty, then cleaning the ear gently with cotton balls or a clean washcloth and a dog ear cleaning solution can help. Do not use Q-tips as a dog’s ear has a 90-degree turn in it and placing Q-tips in the ear can cause damage to the canal or inner ear. However if the problem persists or cleaning does not help, it is best to seek care.

Q. Can you use Floxin Otic for ear infections on dogs?
ANSWER : A. Floxin Otic is an ear cleaning solution designed for the clearing of ear infections in people. While it may be similar to dog products used for ear infections, it is best to bring it to your vet’s attention first so he or she can compare it to dog-safe products. It may be that it is in the same concentration and can be safely used, or your vet can instead recommend a product that is in the right formulation.

If you are seeing an ear infection in your dog’s ears, your vet can provide you with a dog-safe medication to use. Ear infections are usually treated over a period of ten days and involve cleaning the ear 2x daily and then placing the otic ointment in the ear to stay in place until the next cleaning.

Q. My dog has a bad ear infection, his ear is leaking a smelly fluid. Can he take a penicillin to get rid of it?
ANSWER : A. If your dog has an ear infection it is best to have your veterinarian examine it. Ear infections, depending on their type are treated differently. The most common way to treat an ear infection is through daily cleaning of the affected ear and then placement of a medicated ointment that stays in the ear until the next cleaning. Oral antibiotics are sometimes used, but usually in cases where the infection has spread or ointment has not cleared it up.

Do not use penicillin to treat your dog unless instructed by your veterinarian to do so. Penicillin is a general antibiotic and may not be the right choice for treating this particular infection. The wrong dosage can also cause your dog to become very ill.

Q. My dog licks his feet and legs and they are turning brown. He is a white dog. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. Licking the feet and legs can be caused by a number of things in dogs including allergies, illness or even stress behaviors. Allergies are the most common in dogs, with yeast infections coming in second. Allergies can cause the area to become red and itching, making your dog want to lick and chew on them. Over time, the area may become stained from saliva, especially in lighter or white-coated dogs. Yeast infections are also common between the toes, and may cause a smelly “corn chip” smell to appear near your dog’s feet. Again, dogs will attempt to lick and chew to relieve the itch. Keeping the feet clean and dry can help relieve both allergies and infections and pet wipes or a baby wipe of all paws when your dog comes in from outdoors may also help. Keeping your dog from licking the space with either dog booties or an Elizabethan collar is also good as it will prevent secondary infection and staining of the paws and legs. If your dog is determined to keep licking and keeping the feet clean and dry do not help, then your vet can help by providing a medication to treat any infection or provide relief of allergies.

Q. Whenever I take my dog on walks he always barks at people and others dogs in my neighborhood. What should I do to resolve the problem
ANSWER : A. The very first thing to do is to make sure your dog is getting sufficient physical and mental exercise every day. A tired dog is a good, happy dog and one who is less likely to bark from boredom or frustration. Depending on his breed, age, and health, your dog may require several long walks as well as a good game of chasing the ball and playing with some interactive toys.

Figure out what he gets out of barking and remove it. Don’t give your dog the opportunity to continue the barking behavior.

Ignore your dog’s barking for as long as it takes him to stop. That means don’t give him attention at all while he’s barking. Your attention only rewards him for being noisy. Don’t talk to, don’t touch, or even look at him. When he finally quiets, even to take a breath, reward him with a treat. To be successful with this method, you must wait as long as it takes for him to stop barking. Yelling at him is the equivalent of barking with him.

Get your dog accustomed to whatever causes him to bark. Start with whatever makes him bark at a distance. It must be far enough away that he doesn’t bark when he sees it. Feed him lots of good treats. Move the stimulus a little closer (perhaps as little as a few inches or a few feet to start) and feed treats. If the stimulus moves out of sight, stop giving your dog treats. You want your dog to learn that the appearance of the stimulus leads to good things.

Teach your dog the ‘quiet’ command. Oddly, the first step is to teach your dog to bark on command. Give your dog the command to “speak,” wait for him to bark two or three times, and then stick a tasty treat in front of his nose. When he stops barking to sniff the treat, praise him and give him the treat. Repeat until he starts barking as soon as you say “speak.” Once your dog can reliably bark on command, teach him the “quiet” command. In a calm environment with no distractions, tell him to “speak.” When he starts barking, say “quiet” and stick a treat in front of his nose. Praise him for being quiet and give him the treat.

As in all training, always end training on a good note, even if it is just for obeying something very simple, like the ‘sit’ command. If you dog regresses in training, go back to the last thing he did successfully and reinforce that before moving on again. Keep sessions short, 15-20 minutes max, and do this several times a day.

Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
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4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.