If you own a dog, chances are he will get ear infections at some point in his life. Many ear drops are made specifically for human use, so you may be wondering: Is it safe to use human ear drops on dogs?
Can you use human ear drops on dogs?
No, you can’t use human ear drops on your dog’s ears. Ear drops made for humans don’t contain ingredients that are safe for dogs. It is always safest to stick with remedies designed for animals.
In addition, The pH of the ear canal is different between dogs and humans, so a solution that may be effective for you may cause irritation in your dog.
There are several types of ear drops that are safe for use in dogs, depending on the condition of the dog’s ear canal. It’s a good idea to speak with your veterinarian about which product would be best for your dog’s ears.
What is the best ear drop for a dog’s ear infection?
Here are the 10 best ear drops for treating a dog’s ear infection.
- Zymox Pet King Brand Otic Pet Ear Treatment with Hydrocortisone
- Veterinary Formula Clinical Care Ear Therapy – Medicated Ear Drops to Help Relieve Bacterial and Fungal Infections in Dogs and Cats
- ZYMOX Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5-Percent Hydrocortisone, for Dog & Cat
- Virbac EPIOTIC Advanced Ear Cleanser, Vet-Recommended For Dogs and Cats
- Pet King Brands Zymox Otic Enzymatic Solution for Dogs and Cats to Soothe Ear Infections Without Hydrocortisone for Itch Relief
- Burt’s Bees for Dogs Natural Ear Cleaner with Peppermint & Witch Hazel – Effective & Gentle Dog Ear Cleaning Solution for All Dogs
- Nutri-Vet Ear Cleanse for Dogs | Cleans & Deodorizes
- Banixx Pet Care for Fungal & Bacterial Infections
- NaturPet Ear Drops for Dogs & Cats | All Natural Herbal Drops
- TropiClean Ear Solutions for Pets – Removes Ear Wax and Debris – Helps Reduce Ear Infections
Does olive oil help ear infections in dogs?
The primary reason you shouldn’t use olive oil for your dog’s ear infection is that this condition can have numerous underlying causes. Before treating an ear infection, it’s essential to determine what caused it so you can choose the proper treatment method.
Olive oil is typically only beneficial for dogs who have dry or inflamed ears. It may help address mild scratching or redness, but it cannot cure an infection caused by bacteria or yeast. Therefore, if your dog has an ear infection unrelated to dryness or irritation, olive oil will not help the infection heal and could actually make things worse by introducing moisture into the middle ear.
Additionally, olive oil may cause problems if left inside your dog’s ear for too long.
How to tell if your dog has ear infection or ear mites
During the hotter months, veterinary surgeons have to deal with many dogs with itchy and painful ear infections. Dogs with long ear flaps are most likely to be affected, but even dogs with short, erect ears are not immune.
The first task of the veterinary surgeon is to prepare the ear so that a thorough examination can be carried out. In some cases, the condition is so painful that the dog resents the most gentle handling and some form of sedation or anesthesia must be administered.
A special lamp is used with a long speculum so that light can reach the deepest recesses of the ear canal. Very often the ear is clogged with wax or exudates caused by chronic infection and these must be removed. Care is taken not to further injure the sensitive lining of the external ear canal.
The skin lining the ear canal may be inflamed as an extension of a skin irritation affecting the whole of the dog’s skin. In spring and autumn during periods of molting, some dogs develop a general skin ailment associated with reddening and irritation. The lining of the ears appears red but the ears are dry and clean.
Sometimes a flea infestation provokes such generalized eczema. The ear condition settles down as soon as the generalized skin inflammation is brought under control.
Dogs with very thick hair growing inside the ear canals are very prone to develop severe ear infections during hot weather.
The external opening of the ear becomes clogged with matted hair, producing conditions inside the ear ideal for the proliferation of the mixed population of bacteria and fungi that are normally found there.
The ear first becomes itchy and the dog scratches vigorously with its hind feet. This further irritates the tissues of the ear and helps to spread the infection into the deeper tissues. Soon the ear becomes clogged with a mass of matted hair, wax, and exudates.
Attempts to treat the infection with antibiotic ointments and powders are doomed unless the ear canal is freed of hair and carefully cleaned. Poodles, Airedales, wire-haired terriers, and Old English sheepdogs are some of the breeds that are very prone to this form of summer ear ailment.
The possibility of a foreign body such as a grass seed lodging in the ear canal must be borne in mind. Usually, this provokes such a violent response that the owner seeks veterinary attention quickly.
Occasionally a small seed may find its way into the ear canal and be in such a position that little pain is elicited. In these cases, the tissues within the ear respond by coating the foreign body with a thick covering of dark strong-smelling waxy exudate.
Ear mites are tiny insects that can proliferate within the ear canal of a dog or cat and cause chronic irritation.
Young dogs are most frequently affected and the dog reacts by rigorously shaking or scratching its ear from time to time. Examination of the external ear canal reveals a thick, reddish waxy exudate that completely blocks the ear canal.
The ear mite does not burrow into the skin lining the ear but its presence seems to provoke an allergic reaction and make the tissues more prone to a bacterial ear infection.
The mites are easily killed with normal insecticides once the waxy exudate has been removed to enable the medication to come in contact with the parasite.
Dogs prone to ear infections should have the hair removed from the ear canal regularly. Care should be taken, if the dog swims frequently during the summer, to apply some ear drops to the ears after swimming.
In some dogs, the regular administration of ear drops that acidify the surface tissues of the ear canal has brought about a dramatic reduction in the incidence of ear infections.
Conclusion of human ear drops for dogs
The use of human ear drops for dogs is a hotly debated topic. While it may be a convenient option for some owners, there are several reasons why you should not use them on your dog.
Some human ear drops contain ingredients that are not safe for dogs. If the product is safe for dogs, it may not be effective for treating the underlying condition your dog has. Additionally, ear drops that are specifically designed to treat dogs can help ensure your dog gets the right dose of medication he needs.
If you think the best option is still to use human ear drops, talk to your veterinarian first to determine if it’s OK to use on your pet and what dose to give. In most cases, they will recommend using a product made specifically for dogs or getting an appointment so they can look in your dog’s ears and determine the best course of treatment.
In conclusion, any of the above products would make a good choice for you, depending on your needs. If you are looking for a product that will help to prevent infections, then we recommend the Zymox Ear Solution. For those who are looking for a product for a medium-sized dog, then we recommend the Epi-Otic because it is not only safe but also very effective in removing wax and debris from the canal.
If safety is your main concern, then we recommend Burt’s Bees Ear Cleaner because it uses natural ingredients. We also recommend using Hartz UltraGuard Plus Ear Mite Treatment if you are uncertain as to whether or not your pet has mites.
We hope that this article has helped you make a more informed choice with regard to purchasing an ear cleaner for your pet.