his ears.

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. No don’t put anything down the ears until they have been checked to ensure that the ear drum is still intact as this can cause problems. Book an appointment with your vet as soon as they open for appropriate treatment.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

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

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.
No. Don`t use hydrogen peroxide on your pup. This common household product can actually cause irritation to healthy skin cells. Ears contain very sensitive tissue, and extended use of hydrogen peroxide could eventually lead to damage of the ear itself.
In many cases, a yeast infection causes what is described as a sweet or musty smell. There can also be redness and discharge from the ear that`s generally brown in color. Yeast infections should be seen by your veterinarian within several days.
Healthy earwax should be a pale, yellowish color. If your dog appears to have dark brown or black earwax or if the earwax looks dirty gray instead of golden, this isn`t normal. A noticeable increase in wax build-up can be a sign of a problem as well. A healthy dog`s ears should have no smell.
To clean the ears, tilt your dog`s head downward with one hand and squirt a gentle cleanser recommended by your veterinarian into the ear, filling the canal. Holding the ear closed, give it a nice massage, really squishing the cleanser around in there. That softens any gunk inside.
Earwax That Smells Bad

The change in odor typically indicates a rather serious infection. Anaerobic bacteria, in other words, bacteria that do not require oxygen to survive, tend to emit a foul odor that will make earwax stink. That bad smell can also mean there is an infection causing middle ear damage.

Dogs with ear yeast infections will have red, itchy ears that stink. They`ll also likely have copious amounts of dark brown earwax. Dog ear yeast infections are very itchy, and affected dogs may constantly scratch their ears and shake their heads.
Signs of ear mites in dogs include scratching around the ears, head and neck, skin irritation, head shaking, the presence of an ear discharge that is dark and waxy (resembling coffee grounds) and an unpleasant odour from the ears.
When some dogs eat ingredients such as chicken, wheat, corn or other individual items, ingestion will trigger an allergic reaction that can alter the natural flora and allow an unnatural growth of yeast. If your pet suffers from yeasty ears, attempt altering their diet to eliminate common triggers.
How to a Cure Yeast Infection in Your Dog`s Ears. Ear infections are uncomfortable and itchy for dogs, not only that, they can become painful if the infection is left untreated and becomes more severe. If you think that your dog may have a yeast infection in one or both ears it`s time to head to the vet.
Dark or black earwax isn`t a sign you have poor hygiene or that you`re not clean. It is, however, a sign you should clean your ear canals of earwax buildup and possibly see your doctor. Black earwax may be an indication you have a wax buildup. Your ears may not naturally clean themselves the way they should.
Dark brown or black colored earwax is typically older, so its color comes from the dirt and bacteria it has trapped. Adults tend to have darker, harder earwax. Dark brown earwax that is tinged with red may signal a bleeding injury. Light brown, orange or yellow earwax is healthy and normal.
To clean your dog`s ears at home, you`ll need to select a gentle, pet-formulated, ear cleanser. Hold your dog`s ear flap upright, and dribble a small amount of the cleansing solution into the ear canal. As the cleanser seeps down into the canal, use your fingers to massage the base of the ear for around 15-20 seconds.
Be sure to clean your dog`s ears on a regular basis during the infection as well as once his ears are nice and healthy again. Regular cleaning will help keep your infections at bay.
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.
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.
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.
Earwax is most often amber orange to light brown, wet, and sticky. For some people, it is drier and lighter in color, closer to off white or yellow. In general, the color has a bit to do with the age of the earwax. Newer earwax tends to be lighter in color, and it darkens as it ages and picks up more debris.
If your doctor recommends that you try to remove earwax at home: Soften and loosen the earwax with warm mineral oil. You also can try hydrogen peroxide mixed with an equal amount of room temperature water. Place 2 drops of the fluid, warmed to body temperature, in the ear two times a day for up to 5 days.
A healthy eardrum looks pinkish-gray. An infection of the middle ear, or an ear with otitis media, looks red, bulging, and there may be clear, yellow, or even greenish hued drainage.
Changes in skin color and texture: During the early stages of the infection, your dog`s skin will turn pink or red. As it gets worse, your pet`s skin could thicken and turn gray or black.
“Ear mites tend to cause dry, dark discharge, which may resemble coffee grounds,” explains Dr. Wilde. If you examine the discharge under a microscope or magnifying glass, you may see tiny white specks moving about in the debris.
So how can you tell the difference? Cats that aren`t suffering an ear mite infection have a lighter brown earwax color that does not smell. The darkly colored earwax caused by an ear mite infection will often have ear discharge resembling coffee grounds.

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 has ear mites and mange. Have been using Revolution Selamectin on her for 40 days now, but ears are badly sore at the top, next to head
ANSWER : A. If the mites and mange have not begun to clear up yet with the current treatment, it may be a good idea to speak with your vet about attempting a different treatment. Ivermectin is typically the main treatment for mange, while a topical ear solution is used for ear mites, however there are some alternate choices if those do not work or your dog cannot use ivermectin products (it should never be given to collie dogs).

Mange and mites can take a long time to recover until the skin begins to heal, and even if the underlying mite issue is resolved, the skin may have a secondary bacterial or fungal infection causing the sores to appear. Additional treatment or testing of the area can help. Ear mites are also very contagious and can be passed back and forth from pet to pet, so if you have other pets in the house, treating them for ear mites at the same time can help break the cycle and prevent them from spreading back and forth.

In some dogs, Demodetic mange *can* be genetic, making it more likely to be chronically there for a longer period of time. English Sheepdogs and Shar Pei dogs as well as other dogs with large folds in the skin may be more prone to this type.

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. My Chihuahua has a lot of dark gunk in his ear, it is either yeast or mites. Is it ok to use peroxide to wash the ears out or will that hurt his ears.
ANSWER : A. No don’t put anything down the ears until they have been checked to ensure that the ear drum is still intact as this can cause problems. Book an appointment with your vet as soon as they open for appropriate treatment.

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 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. What homeopathic remedies can I use for my little Jack Russell’s yeasty ears?Don’t want to use prescription meds if possible. Vinegar?
ANSWER : A. Tea tree oil has been used at times for fungal and yeast infections, and some may be placed on a cotton ball and used to clean the ear (do NOT pour it directly into the ear). Keeping the ear clean with a natural-based ear cleaner may also help to reduce the buildup and yeast. However if it is continually returning or very bothersome, the yeast may need to be cleared up with regular medication, and then you should be able to return to a normal cleaning schedule using natural or homeopathic cleaners on a daily or weekly basis.

Q. My dog keeps shaking his head at night and is very anxious acting? We’ve cleaned his ears and putting ear drops in hasn’t helped?
ANSWER : A. It sounds like ear canal infection. I am not sure if you used ear drops to clean ears (they do not contain antibiotics) or ear drops from your vets to treat ear infection. In case you used ear cleaner only you should take your dog to your vets to get antibiotics. If you are using antibiotics drops and there is no improvement your vet may recommend taking a swab from the ear to check what bacteria, fungus or parasite is responsible for the infection and then pick the most effective medication.