Monday, March 30, 2009

Dog Ear Infections: Holistic Treatment Options

As the weather gets warmer, dogs tend to get ear infections! Scratching, itching, hot spots and chewing on paws all become more prevalent. The warm weather tends to exasperate allergies and ear infections. Below is a discussion of how ear infections can be addressed using both holistic veterinary care. These holistic treatment suggestions should be used IN CONJUNCTION with conventional veterinary care options which would include a veterinarian's exam, diagnoses and medication, if necessary.

Dogs with chronic ear infections typically have skin infections, too. It is quite common for allergic dogs to have ear infections, hot spots, hair loss, scratching/itching, urinary tract infections and digestive issues---all seemingly unrelated but quite often all due to the same issue---allergies (both food and environmental) and poor digestion.  An economical and easy way to help your pet is to use the K9 Yeast Defense + Power Probiotic.   When pets are allergic to what they are eating and/or are fed foods that are poorly digested (many “brand name” commercial pet foods are hard to digest because they contain preservatives, fillers and allergens such as corn), the pet experiences an inflammatory response. In addition, the pet’s digestive system can often become compromised, reducing their overall immune response. This sets up an environment for yeast, bacteria and parasites to overgrow. The first step in healing a dog with chronic ear infections is to put the dog on a healthy, hypoallergenic diet. This is not always an easy task as many times, pets are allergic to different foods. Common food allergens are corn, soy, milk products, casein (found in cheese), peanut butter, wheat, gluten, beef and chicken. Some cats are allergic to fish and chicken. Overall, try to seek out local pet stores that may carry more natural, holistic brands that do not contain wheat or corn. We have had terrific success using pre-made frozen raw diets but this may or may not be the right food for your pet.

Each pet has different digestive issues and what works for one may not be ideal for another. Changing your dog’s diet, some supplements can really help your dog fight off yeast infections from the inside out. If your dog has taken antibiotics or prednisone, it is critical that you restore the balance of flora to prevent the infection from coming back. Many times, people and pets experience chronic infections because the antibiotics kill off the good bacteria (as well as the bad) and unfortunately if you haven’t made the changes to support a healthy digestive tract, the bad bacteria will grow back faster than the good bacteria. That is why it is so essential to supplement with probiotics (and antifungals if you or your pet have a tendency to get yeast) following a course of antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory medications.

At, our first line of protection to restore the balance of flora and to help prevent future dog ear infections is to use K9 Yeast Defense and Power Probiotic . This is a commonly used protocol that has helped many dog owners get their dog’s ear infections under control. If your dog has a chronic condition with both ear and skin issues, you may find that you need to use additional allergy supplements such as AllerEaze and Proaller. Using both conventional and holistic veterinary care, we have seen dogs with chronic infections completely improve without continued reoccurrence.