Ear Infections

Ear problems most commonly come in the form of bacterial or fungal infections, mites, fleas or foreign objects (such as foxtails or dirt) lodged in the ear canal. Some other common problems include hematoma of the earflap and tumors of the inner ear.

Anitmicrobial and Anitparasitic Ear Oil
Combine equal amounts of the following oil infusions:
Mullein flower
Oregon grape
Marshmallow You can add 10-20 drops of vitamin E oil to this mixture to act as a preservative and aid in skin healing. For ear mites or infections of fungal or bacterial origin, 6-12 drops of oil can be applied to affected areas of the earflap or ear canal. A soft plastic dropper is best for application into the ear canal, while a piece of soft cotton, gauze or even clean fingertips will suffice as an external applicator.

Mullein flower, Oregon grape, garlic, marshmallow, ginkgo and yarrow are especially well suited for treating infections and parasite infestations of the ear. Mullein flower, garlic, and Oregon grape are all strong antimicrobials with strong affinities toward inhibition of mites and various pathogens that may cause ear problems. The slippery oily mucilage of marshmallow root provides soothing relief and a protective, antimicrobial barrier on inflamed tissues of the outer ear. Yarrow is especially useful for treating small hematomas of the earflap. Used externally, the oil helps strengthen exterior capillary walls, while internal doses of yarrow and ginkgo tea or tincture improve capillary circulation and internal tonicity. Witch hazel may also be effective for external treatment of earflap hematomas, as its strong astringency quickly constricts weak or inflamed blood vessels.

About the Authors: Mary L. Wulff-Tilford and Gregory L. Tilford are the coauthors of All You Ever Wanted to Know about Herbs for Pets, and the founders of the Animals' Apawthecary (a company that produces low-alcohol herb tinctures for dogs and cats).

From All You Ever Wanted to Know About Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff-Tilford and Gregory L. Tilford. Copyright 1999 by BowTie Press. Published by and reprinted with permission of BowTie Press.

The information provided here is for educational and entertainment purposes only and should not be relied on as medical advice for your pet, or in lieu of consultation with your own veterinarian. We urge you to always consult your veterinarian for specific advice and diagnoses concerning your pet.

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