Recently one of my dogs contracted a yeast infection in his right ear from taking a bath in a pool with lots of algae. Yeast infections are an ugly business and when treated traditionally—by a non-holistic vet—you can expect to pay lots of money and deal with this and the consequences of the traditional treatment for quite some time. You can expect to pay hundreds or in some cases thousands of dollars.
Luckily there are some natural alternatives that work very well and cost almost nothing. What I did to heal the yeast infection in my dog's ear took about 2 weeks and cleared it up completely. I achieved this by curing the underlying root cause and not just treating the symptoms. After I felt the infection was resolved, (based on the ear looking healthy again) I had the vet check him out again to confirm that the yeast infection was in fact gone.
To actually kill off the yeast infection, you need to get some raw, organic, apple cider vinegar and make a solution of 25 / 75 vinegar and water, that's 1x vinegar to 3x water. This needs to be put into the pet's ears, which is easier said than done. The best way I found to do this is with a syringe (no needles). I put my solution in a dropper bottle and dropped 5 drops into a small glass (tequila shot glasses work well) from which I loaded it into the syringe. Then I sat next to my boy and petted him, slowly getting the syringe deep enough into his ear, to be able to deposit it all in there at once. It's important to massage your dogs ear (from the outside) right afterwards, so the solution runs all the way down into the ear canal. As your dog will start shaking his head and ears to get the liquid out of there the moment you let him go, make sure to massage the ear for at least 20-30 seconds. You want to make sure that enough of the solution reaches its target and stays in the ear before he starts shaking his head.
There are many other benefits to using apple cider vinegar. It is known to reduce common infections, prevent muscle fatigue after exercise, increase resistance to Illness, and protect against food poisoning. Cider vinegar is very rich in the vitamins, and goodness found in fresh apples, most notably potassium which helps to balance acid levels in the stomach. Most importantly of all for dog ear infection though is Yeasts inability to grow in apple cider vinegar, or anywhere near it for that matter. Dog ear infection treatment can be very effective with apple cider vinegar though as a warning it can sting the dog's ears especially in a severe dog ear infection when unfortunately you may need antibiotics to start the healing process. When the dog ear infection is healing you can use apple cider vinegar to keep your dogs ears clean and more importantly—yeast free!
If Your Dog Could Talk is a "straight-forward" guide to understanding your dog.
If you ever wonder what your dog is thinking, this book is for you. Dive inside your dog's mind and read in plain English how your dog sees the world and you—its pack.
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Ralf Weber is a certified dog trainer (IACP CDT) and behaviorist. A professional member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP) and an AKC evaluator for Puppy S.T.A.R., Canine Good Citizen, and Community Canine certifications.