Sunday, January 11, 2015

DIY Dog Ear Infection Cleaner

Our poor Oliver has had some nasty bouts with ear infections....we are talking ridiculously disgusting! That is the downside to those adorable cocker spaniel ears...too much moisture and not enough ventilation. After crazy vet visits with the same antibiotics and poignant smelling ear wash, I thought taking things into may own hands couldn't make it any worse. So I did a little research and came across an ear wash recipe from Zim Family Cockers, a site for cocker spaniel fanatics. I got all the ingredients and waited for the signs of the next nasty ear gunk....and what do you know...the red coloring and funky smells showed up...

Poor Oliver! Thankfully the coloring on this picture is much worse than it looked in reality...but it was still pretty bad. So I went to work...


2 ounces White Vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons Powdered Boric Acid
6 ounces Isopropyl Alcohol
1 teaspoon Betadine Antiseptic Solution
A few drops Lavender Essential Oil
Empty Bottle

First, I cleaned out an old bottle of our ear wash from the vet and poored the ingredients through a typical funnel. One of the warnings on the original recipe was to add the ingredients in this specific order to ensure everything dissolves properly. So...begin with your alcohol and then dump in your boric acid.

Give the bottle a little shake to make sure the acid dissolves. Next add your vinegar...shake a little more...add your Betadine...shake a little more...and then top off with your essential oil. I added the lavender to have a touch of soothing and calming smell...for me and Oliver!

Now...for the hard part. Oliver HATES getting his ears cleaned! The goal is to squirt the solution inside the ear canal. Let the solution sit in the ear canal, fold down the ear over the canal, and gently massage the ear to make sure the solution really sloshes around nicely. Another option is to soak a cottonball and place it near the ear canal, flop that floppy ear back over, and massage the ear to make sure the cottonball releases as much solution into the ear as possible. This is the method Oliver typically allows because he hates the solution just being squirted in his ear!

Even after the first cleaning we saw a huge difference. We did this daily for a week and are now doing weekly cleanings with his bath.

His ears are still a little sad and I'm thinking our next step is to get rid of some of the hair around his ear canal to help keep them dryer longer. While I would like to leave this task to a professional... Chris saw a video online of an at-home ear hair plucking with a special we'll see...

A note to keep in mind about this solution: the betadine is an orange tint and can easily stain clothes, furniture, be careful!


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  2. That's a real nice recipe for dog ear cleaner. Keeping dogs ears are real important for sure. Ear cleaner doesn't help ear infections in dogs though. Antibiotic ear drops for dogs will be needed for that. My dog has chronic ear infection and we use a natural treatment, Dr Dogs Ear Oil from It works good to keep the dogs ears feeling well.

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  4. Have you had your dog tested for allergies? Those angry ears remind me of my sheepie's ears. I hope you recipe worked and your dear Oliver is having some relief.

  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting this! I have an American bulldog that has chronic ear issues. We have tried many different things. The first thing we did with her was get her on grain free food and that helped some. We still had bad random bouts with her left ear. I finally remembered to buy everything to make this and after one application she is doing so much better! She even seemed to prefer this over some of the other washes we have used. It may not work for everyone but it sure has worked for us. Hopefully with regular cleaning we will eliminate her ear problem. Thanks again - Cassie Boyd

  6. This sounds like a wonderful product! I had my first ear infection a couple of months ago and it was no fun! :(

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