Monday, 16 April 2012

NATURAL, HERBAL EAR INFECTION TREATMENTS, REMEDIES FOR DOGS AND CATS

- Ear Infections in Dogs, Cats -
Causes, Symptoms, Natural Herbal Remedies, Treatments 
- A Guide -

In this article…

1.0 Causes and Types of Ear Infections

       1.1 Acute Infection

       1.2 Chronic Infection

       1.3 Ear Mite Infestation

       1.4 Other Causes

2.0 Symptoms of an Ear Infection

3.0 Antibiotics - Not a Solution

4.0 Prescription Dog, Cat Food – a Solution or a Health Threat?

5.0 A Holistic Health Supporting Approach – the Real Solution

6.0 Natural Topical Treatments and Remedies

       6.1 A Guide to Administering Treatments in a Safe Manner

       6.2 Ear Drops to Treat Ear Infections, Reducing Inflammation, Irritation
       6.3 Ear Drops to Reduce Inflammation and Irritation, Keep Ears Clean
       6.4 Ear Drops to eradicate Ear Mites
       6.5 Ear Drops for Pro-Active Regular Maintenance/Prevention of Infections

7.0 Supporting Your Dog’s, Cat’s Health from the Inside Out

 

Did you know that ear infections are now (and have been since 2012) the foremost non-life-threatening reason for a visit to the veterinarian’s office? This article will assist you in understanding why your dog or cat gets an ear infection; why the condition may have become a chronic issue for your dog or cat, and what to do to naturally treat and remedy the ear infection and the root cause or the condition – not just temporarily treat the symptom. 

 

 


1.0 Causes and Types of Ear Infections
  
There are many reasons why a dog or cat develops an ear infection. The list below will provide you with an overview of types of ear infections and causes.

Before we look at the list of cause and type it is important to note that if your dog or cat is on a diet that truly and fully supports a strong immune system and good overall health your dog’s or cat’s chance of acquiring any type of ear infection dramatically decreases.

Without any doubt the root cause of most illness is inappropriate ingredients in food and overall diet which can be compounded by exposure to environmental toxins. Conversely the solution to avoiding illness is a good diet. 

  


1.1 Infection Type One - Acute Ear Infections 

This type of infection may be caused by:

  1. Bacteria which thrives in a humid environment – the inside of the ear and, or
  2. A scratch or cut inside or near the ear canal which then becomes populated with bacteria;
  3. Predispostion to acquire ear infections - 
    • It is important to note that dogs with floppy ears may be particularly prone to ear infections as air circulation inside the ear is limited, fur on the inside surface of the ear can become overgrown and dirt and particulate can become trapped;
    • Hence the importance of checking your dog’s and cat’s ears on a weekly basis to ensure his/her ears are clean.

If you have a puppy or kitten make sure you get them accustomed to having their ears touched, failure to do so can result in behavioural issues (i.e. bite reactivity) around the touching of his/her ears later in life. You can read this article to understand how you can inadvertently create stress and tension during grooming – from ear cleaning, to brushing fur and teeth to bathing and nail clipping. 

1.2 Infection Type Two - Chronic Ear Infections

This type of infection may be caused by:

  1. Allergiesfood allergies or environmental allergies;
  2. Overuse of antibiotics;
  3. Chronic Bacterial infection;
  4. Hormonal unbalance;
  5. Stress;
  6. Suppressed immune system (enables fungal and bacterial infections);

1.3 Infection Type Three - An Infestation of Ear Mites

  

Ear mites are tiny spider-like insects that like to infest the ears of dogs, cats, rabbits and other small animals. Although mites prefer the ear canals they can also live elsewhere on the animal’s body. Mites thrive in the moist warmth of the ear canal. They burrow into the ear, casing irritation and inflammation. The animal’s body responds to the attack by producing excess ear-wax. The ear mites feed on epidermal debris and ear wax.

1.4 Infection Type Four - Other Causes, Foreign Material

Other foreign material – organic and non-organic can become lodged in a dog’s or cat’s ear canal…
  1. Particulate blowing about in the wind can impact and lodge into the ear canal. This can occur when for example a dog sticks his/her head out the window of a quickly moving vehicle.
    When running through or rolling-in certain grasses that have hard seed-bearing seed heads;
  2. Some seed heads have sharp points and microscopic barbs that can become lodged in a dog’s or cat’s ears as they run through, play or roll-about in the grass;
  3. These barbs can easily work their way into flesh - the barbs then prevent the seed head from working its way back out;
  4. Hard seed bearing grasses are often referred to as ‘Fox Tails’.
The following are typical examples of ‘fox tail’ grasses: 

Cheat grass’ (Bromus tectorum);
Foxtail also called wild barley, squirreltail barley,
skunktail (Hordeum murinum), 





































































Red Brome (Bromus madritensis);
Rip-gut grass’ (Bromus diandrus).

2.0 Symptoms of an Ear Infection

Typical symptoms of an ear infection include:
  • Build-up of ear wax;
  • When you clean the wax it redevelops quickly, i.e. within the next day or two;
  • Ear sensitivity/pain;
  • Your dog or cat may turn its head away if you try to touch his/her ears or may cry in pain at your touch;
  • Dizziness and/or vomiting;
  • Holding of the head to one side;
  • Inflammation of the ear flap and ear canal skin (swelling, redness);
  • Scratching at the ear (repeatedly, excessively, persistently);
  • Shaking of the head (repeatedly);
  • Strong odour. 
It is important to note that persistent scratching and/or head-shaking can lead to a secondary condition called an Aural Hemotoma. 

An Aural Hemotoma
  • Constant irritation from scratching and head shacking can break blood vessels resulting in an accumulation of blood between the layers of skin;
  • This condition creates a large blister-like pocket that must be drained – usually done by a veterinarian;
  • A surgical procedure can be done in which the skin is cut and the blister completely drained;
  • Less intrusive procedures such as draining the blister with a needle or small tube can also be done – however the blister will usually refill with blood in a matter of hours or days.


3.0 Antibiotics – Not a Solution


A reactive, non-strategic, dangerous approach...

Most allopathic veterinarians prescribe antibiotics for ear infections.  Antibiotics can be very useful when used in the right situation however antibiotics have become the most over-prescribed conventional medication used today. Conventional western medicine is designed to deal with health emergencies. When drugs that are designed to deal with an emergency situation are indiscriminately applied to non-emergency situations grave results can ensue.

If the root cause of the infection is type one as described in section 1.0 above:
  • A cut - either from a foreign object lodged in the ear/skin, or from a misplaced nail scratch subsequently infected with bacteria;
  • Ears impacted with overgrown fur and dirt on the inner flap subsequently infected with bacteria;
  • A single course of antibiotics may be a reasonable course of action;
  • Addressing the infection topically and ingested with herbs and nutraceuticals may also be an option – the problem is that the majority of allopathic veterinarians do not know how to do anything but prescribe conventional drugs – so antibiotics become the mainstay even in situations where an alternative approach could have been equally or more appropriate.
If the root cause of the infection is type two (i.e. Candida) as described in section 1.0 above;
Prescription of repeated courses of antibiotics is in my opinion a completely irresponsible method of approach;
  • Antibiotics will not address or correct the root cause of a type two infection;
  • The infection remains unaddressed and will continue to occur;
  • The veterinarian prescribes more antibiotics at every re-occurrence;
  • The end result is:
    • A dog or cat that continues to suffer from the root cause and the symptom;
    • And the dog’s or cat’s health is further put at risk as he/she will develop immunity to the first antibiotic prescribed;
  • The veterinarian will then prescribe another type of antibiotic – which the dog or cat will also develop an immunity to.
Over prescription leads to additional adverse health impacts.

How does this happen? There are multiple contributing factors…

Factor #1 – Beginning the Process of Immunity
Bacteria are highly adaptable microorganisms and overtime and exposure to repeated doses of antibiotics bacteria mutate in order to adapt and survive. As the dog or cat is exposed to more antibiotics the bacteria that they are hosting undergo this adaption process, each time this occurs immunity to a specific antibiotic is created. The more the bacteria adapt the better they get at adapting. Once bacteria have adapted to a series of antibiotics, antibiotics are no longer effective. The antibiotics are no longer effective. If your dog or cat ends up in a truly life threatening situation where antibiotics are required to save that animal’s life your animal’s life is in great jepordy.

Factor #2 – Hastening Immunity
If your dog or cat is on a diet that includes meat from non-organic sources your dog and cat is already ingesting antibiotics from the meat he/she is eating. Animals raised on factory farms (concentrated animal feeding operations – CAFO) are fed food that includes antibiotics. When the animal is slaughtered antibiotics remain in the flesh of the meat which is then consumed by your dog or cat. Between the antibiotics passed on through the meat and over prescription of antibiotics by veterinarians your dog’s and cat’s rate of acquiring immunity to antibiotics increases exponentially.

Factor #3 - Destruction Of Good along with Bad
Antibiotics destroy both good and bad bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract (GI Tract). The destruction of good bacteria causes a suppression of the immune system leaving your dog’s or cat’s natural defence against bacteria, fungal infection, parasites, and viruses in a weakened state. The GI tract is also the body’s major center for serotonin production. The death of good flora has a negative impact on serotonin levels. This can result in creation or heightening of anxiety and stress. Administration of antibiotics can actually make the ear infection worse and as well trigger and create other health issues.

Factor #4 - Root Cause Remains Unaddressed, Unsolved
In addition to placing your dog’s or cat’s future health at risk, the root cause of the infection has not been identified or addressed making the chance of re-infection inevitable.

For all of the above reasons it is very important that antibiotics only be used when absolutely necessary.

And one more thing to beware of…

4.0 Prescription Dog, Cat Food - A
     Solution or a Health Hazard?


If the root cause of the ear infection is food allergies and your allopathic veterinarian prescribes prescription dog or cat food beware. Your dog’s, cat’s health may be placed in further jeopardy as many allopathic prescription foods are actually not health supporting. In fact many allopathic veterinarian prescribed ‘anti-allergen’, ‘limited ingredient’ diets contain toxins that are known allergy triggers – an example of this can be found here. These diets also tend to be inflammatory as the bulk of the ingredients are carbohydrates – often genetically modified corn and soy and/or other grains, inexpensive fillers and fibre such as cellulose (wood pulp), etc. These foods can also be dangerously low in protein and what protein they do have can be of very questionable quality – the same can be said for the fats used in the food.

5.0 Strategic Health Supporting
      Approach - The Real Solution

The solution to ear infections should be a strategic one in which the goal is to find the best all around health supporting option:
  • Topically treat the immediate symptoms – i.e. the inflammation of the ear;
  • Provide ingested herbal and neutraceutical treatment to assist the body in cleansing itself of the infection;
  • Remedy the root cause of the ear infection - for example, if the ear infection is a result of a yeast bloom from an allergy to a food ingredient or additive in the dog’s or cat’s diet it’s time for a full review of the daily diet and a redesign of that daily diet to eliminate the triggers and provide a health supporting diet;
  • Ongoing maintenance - put a regime in-place to check and clean the ears on a regular (i.e. weekly, bi weekly) basis.

 

6.0 Natural Topical Treatments and
      Remedies

6.1 A Guide to Administering Topical Treatments in a
     Safe Manner


The following provides a guideline for administering the treatments provided in section 6.2 further below… 
  • Make sure that the liquid solution being dropped into or applied to your dog’s / cat’s ear is at room temperature;
    •  If the liquid is too cold you can cause additional discomfort, if the liquid is to hot you can cause discomfort and damage;
      • If you need to warm the solution up to room temperature simply take the solution, place it in a vial, dropper, small glass or bowl (dropper with the open end up) and sit the vial, dropper, glass or bowl in a larger vessel (glass or bowl) that contains a little warm water -  this will warm the solution up quickly.
    • If you want to dry your dog's / cat's ear once the application of the treatment has been completed use a cotton ball to gently pat the ear dry;
  • Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake its head. 
    • You can use a cotton ball to gently wipe any excess oil off the inside of the ear flap;
    • If you need to use a cotton swab to clean more precisely - never put the cotton swab past the portions of the ear that you can readily see...do not put the swab into the ear canal - you can very easily damage the ear drum either temporarily or permanently!
  • Do not use any of these treatments if your animal's ear drums are perforated or punctured; 
Number of Applications Per Day
When treating ear infections make sure that you apply the drops  2 to 3 x per day.

Drop Dosage
The number of drops suggested for each flush is a typical dosage - however if your dog or cat is very small, i.e. 4 lbs, use less drops, if your dog is 150 - 200 lbs you will need to use more drops. 
 
Purchasing Tinctures
Some of the following Ear Flush Recipes call for tinctures. Tinctures are readily available at most health food stores and on-line.

6.2 Treating Ear Infections, Reducing Inflammation,
      and Irritation

In this section –
6.2.1 Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Ear Drops
6.2.2 Calendula Ear Drops
6.2.3 Garlic Oil Ear Drops
6.2.4 Garlic and Mullein Ear Drops
6.2.5 Colloidal Silver Ear Drops
6.2.6 Oregon Grape Ear Drops

6.2.1 Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) Ear Drops


Excellent for treating yeast infections (candida) of the ear. If there is no broken skin or lesions you can use the ACV undiluted. If the skin is broken make sure you dilute the ACV with distilled water as indicated below.

Don’t use pasteurized apple cider vinegar such as Heinz’s pasteurized apple cider vinegar – a product typically found on grocery store shelves. Pasteurized vinegar does NOT have the medicinal properties present in organic unpasteurized, unfiltered ACV. To understand how to discern between the two types of ACV you can read here. Organic Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and anti-viral properties (primarily from the acetic acid and malic acid in ACV).


In addition to falling short of providing medicinal properties pasteurized regular ACV is high in pesticide residue. Much of the pasteurized non-organic ACV produced in North America is made from apples imported from China where the amount of toxic pesticides and herbicides used on apples is even greater than in North America. Pesticide and herbicide application in China is also poorly if not completely unregulated in many regions.

Ear Drop Recipe
  1. Combine equal parts of ACV and distilled water, mix the solution;
  2. With a syringe or dropper, gently drop about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog’s /cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.
  3. Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

If you would like to know more about the many beneficial uses of ACV for your dog or cat read here. ACV can be added to your dog’s and cat’s daily diet – provided that you adhere to the correct product and dosage. My dogs get organic ACV with their meal once a day on a daily basis. 



6.2.2 Calendula Ear Drops


Calendula has excellent anti-fungal properties. It is also very effective in promoting the healing of wounds.

Ear Drop Recipe

Combine the following in a glass:
  1. 1 cup warm distilled or filtered water;
  2. 1 teaspoon calendula tincture;
  3. 1/2 teaspoon sea salt;
With a syringe or dropper, gently drop about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog’s /cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.

Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

This ear flush may also be expanded to include several drops of Meadow Anemone (Pulsatilla nigricans) tincture.

6.2.3 Garlic Oil Drops


Garlic is a natural broad-spectrum antibiotic. The active antibiotic agent in garlic is allicin (a sulfur compound). Allicin is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed or bruised. Garlic also has many other health promoting properties including antioxidant, anti-allergen, anti-fungal, and anti-carcinogenic properties.

Garlic oil can be used to:
  • Keep ears clean;
  • Treat bacterial of fungal infections of the ear;
  • Eliminate ear mite infestations;
  • Treat inner ear fluid and inner ear swelling;
Ear Drop Recipe

To prepare Garlic Oil you will need:
  • A small, clean wide-mouth glass jar;
  • Cheesecloth or other breathable clean cloth;
  • Elastic band or string;
  • Amber, brown or blue storage bottle;
  • Garlic cloves;
  • Virgin olive oil (cold-pressed olive oil) or Almond Oil;
  • For maximum efficacy I recommend using organic garlic 
Preparation:
  • Remove the outer skin (also called 'paper') from the garlic cloves;
  • Cut the garlic cloves into thin slices;
  • Put the sliced garlic in the jar, leave a little space at the top of the jar empty;
  • Pour the olive oil into the jar, making sure to add enough oil to completely cover the garlic - make sure that you leave some empty space at the top of the jar;
    • Cover the top of the jar with a few layers of cheesecloth:
    • Stretch the cheesecloth so it lays flat on top of the lid - if the cloth touches the oil it will absorb the oil and make a mess;
    • Secure the cloth with string or an elastic band;
  • Let the garlic/oil filled jar sit top cure, in a warm location for 10 to 14 days;
  • Once the curing period is over, separate the garlic from the oil by straining the oil into an amber, brown or blue storage bottle;
  • Store the Garlic Oil in the refrigerator.
Administering
  • For infection and mites: twice daily, until the infection/infestation is resolved;
  • For maintenance and cleaning: once a week to once a month as required to keep ears clean...
Make sure the oil is warmed up to room temperature. With a syringe or dropper, gently drop several drops of the oil into your dog’s/cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.

Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head. You can use a cotton ball to gently swab any excess oil off the inside of the ear flap.

To learn more about the many health benefits of garlic you can read here. Garlic can be added to your dog’s daily diet to boost his/her immune system – provided that you adhere to the correct preparation and dosage. My dogs eat fresh garlic on a daily basis. Garlic should not be ingested by cats.

6.2.4 Garlic and Mullein Ear Drops

 

Mullein has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Garlic is a natural broad spectrum anti-biotic.

Ear Drop Recipe
Combine the following in a glass:
  1. Equal parts of mullein oil and garlic oil;
  2. Combine the two oils;
  3. Add 10 to 20 drops of olive oil, almond oil or vitamin E for every one ounce of garlic/mullein oil mixture.
With a syringe or dropper, gently drop about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog’s/cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.

Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

This ear flush may also be expanded to include a small amount of Meadow Anemone (Pulsatilla nigricans) tincture.
 
 
6.2.5 Colloidal Silver Water or Gel Ear Drops

 
Silver is a natural and powerful broad spectrum antibiotic agent and speeds healing. Silver has excellent antiseptic, anti-fungal and disinfectant properties.

Ear Drop Recipe
Apply the Colloidal Silver Gel or Colloidal Silver Water Treatment
  1. With a syringe or dropper, gently drop about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog’s /cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.
  2. Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.
If you would like to know more about the many beneficial uses of Colloidal Silver for your dog or cat read here. Colloidal Silver can also be used as an ingested treatment to help fight infection provided that you adhere to the correct protocol and dosage.

6.2.6 Oregon Grape


Oregon grape has multiple properties that help to combat an ear infection and/or an infestation of mites. These beneficial attributes include – antibacterial, anti-fungal, antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.  

Ear Drop Recipe
Combine the following in a glass:
  1. 4 oz of warm distilled or filtered water;
  2. 1 teaspoon Oregon grape tincture.
With a syringe or dropper, gently drop about 10 drops of the liquid into your dog’s /cat's ear - make sure that the syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.

Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

6.3 Ear Drops to - Reduce Inflammation, Irritation and
      Keep Ears Clean

In this section - 
6.3.1 Green Tea Drops
6.3.2 Yellow Dock Drops
6.3.3 Other Drops


6.3.1 Green Tea Drops


Add two tea bags (or two teaspoons of green tea) to 8 ounces of boiling water. Allow the tea to steep and cool. Apply ½ of a dropper (about 10 drops) twice daily to irritated ear. Make sure that the dropper or syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.  Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.


6.3.2 Yellow Dock Drops


Add one tablespoon of dry yellow dock to ½ cup boiling water. Allow the tea to steep and cool. Once the tea is cool, strain it so that the fluid is clear and free of particulate. Apply ½ of a dropper (about 10 drops) twice daily to irritated ear. Make sure that the dropper or syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.  Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

6.3.3 Other Drops

Calendula Ear Drops - 
  • see 6.2.2 above for recipe.
Garlic Oil Ear Drops - 
  • see 6.2.3 above for recipe.
Garlic and Mullein Ear Drops - 
  • see 6.2.4 above for recipe.
Colloidal Silver Ear Drops - 
  • see 6.2.5 above for recipe.
Oregon Grape Ear Drops - 
  • see 6.2.6 above for recipe.
6.4 Ear Drops to Eradicate Ear Mites

In this section - 
6.4.1 Garlic Oil Ear Drops
6.4.2 Yellow Dock Ear Drops

6.4.1 Garlic Oil Ear Drops

Garlic is a powerful, natural broad-spectrum antibiotic. The active antibiotic agent in garlic is allicin (a sulfur compound). Allicin is produced when garlic is chopped, chewed or bruised. Garlic is also an antioxidant, anti-allergen, and anti-carcinogen - garlic contains germanium, an anti-cancer agent. See recipe and instructions provided in section 6.2.3 above

6.4.2 Yellow Dock Ear Drops

Yellow dock is an astringent, anti-inflammatory, and purifier. This combination of medicinal properties make yellow dock an excellent choice to eradicate ear mites while soothing inflammation and itchiness. If your dog/cat is prone to ear mites you can use this recipe to shampoo your pet’s head, ears and tail once a week.

Recipe
Combine in a glass;
  •  3 drops of yellow dock tincture;
  • 1 tbs of distilled water.
Apply ½ of a dropper (about 10 drops) once daily to irritated ear. Make sure that the dropper or syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.  Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head. Repeat the treatment once every three days for up to three weeks.

6.5 Ear Drops for Pro-Active Regular Maintenance and
      Prevention of Infections

In this section -
6.5.1 Lemon Drops for Dogs That Swim Frequently/Daily
6.5.2 Other Options

6.5.1 Lemon Flush for Dogs That Swim Frequently/Daily

You can use this flush once a week during swimming season or more often if your dog swims on a daily basis

Recipe
In a glass combine...
The fresh squeezed juice of ½ a lemon;
1 cup of warm distilled water;

Strain the resulting liquid to remove lemon pulp and seeds. Apply ½ of a dropper (about 10 drops) once daily to irritated ear. Make sure that the dropper or syringe is located at the entrance to the ear canal - the syringe should never be placed inside of the ear canal.  Gently rub/massage the ear in a circular motion, then remove your hand and let your dog/cat shake his/her head.

Lemon offers many other health benefits and uses - you can read more here.

6.5.2 Other Drops for Weekly Cleaning

For regular cleaning of the ears you can use any of the ear drop recipes provided in section 6.2, 6.3 and 6.4 above. 


7.0 Supporting Your Dog’s, Cat’s Health
      from the Inside Out

In this section - 
7.1 Health Supporting Diet
7.2 Herbs and Nutraceauticals
 
7.1 Health Supporting Daily Diet

Make sure your dog and cat is on a daily diet that supports a healthy immune system. A good diet is the best defence against infection, parasites and helps to speed healing.

You can find many helpful insights about what constitutes an inadequate and health threatening diet vs. a health supporting diet in this article.

This article offers options for a healthy, well balanced grain-free homemade –
  • Cooked Food Diet
  • Combined Cooked and Fresh Food Diet
  • Raw Food Diet

7.2 Add Herbs and Nutraceuticals to the Daily Diet

The homemade food recipes provided just above include multiple herbs and nutraceuticals that help to boost the immune system and fight off infection. If you don’t want to make your own dog or cat food you can still add beneficial items to the daily diet. Here are a few examples…

7.2.1 Organic Coconut Oil

Coconut Oil has multiple health benefits including anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-viral properties. If you would like to learn more about the benefits of giving your dog or cat coconut oil and the recommended dosages you can read this article

You can also lightly apply coconut oil to irritated, inflamed skin to sooth and help heal.

7.2.2 Echinacea (Purple Cone Flower)

 


Dogs and cats that have frequent ear infections can benefit from taking Echinacea which has anti-biotic, anti-viral and immune system stimulating properties. Echinacea can be added to the daily diet in any of the following forms – gel capsule, tea, tincture.

7.2.3 Mullein Weed

Dogs that have frequent ear infections can benefit from taking Mullein Weed which has anti-microbial and anti-viral properties. Mullein can be added to the daily diet in any of the following forms – gel capsule, tea, tincture.

7.2.4 General Guideline for Daily Herbal Dosage
The following chart provides a general guideline – based on a dog’s or cat’s body weight for daily dosage of individual herbs and spices…

 

Dog’s, Cat’s Weight
Dry Powder
Tea or Infusion
Capsule,
Tablet, Pill
Tincture
pounds (lbs)
tsp
tbs
amount
times/day
amount
times/day
drops
times/day
1-10 lbs
1/16 –
1/8 tsp


1/8 cup
1x to 3x
1/2
1x to 3x
1 -
3
1x to 3x
10-20 lbs
1/8 tsp -
1/4 tsp


1/4 cup
1x to 3x
1/2 -
1
1x to 3x
3 -
5
1x to 3x
20-50 lbs
1/4 tsp -
1 tsp


1/4 cup -
1/2 cup
1x to 3x
1 –
2
1x to 3x
5 -
10
1x to 3x
50-100 lbs
1 tsp -
2 tsp


1/2 cup –
1 cup
1x to 3x
1 –
2
1x to 3x
20
1x to 3x
+100 lbs
2 tsp -

1 tbs
1 cup
1x to 3x
adult
human
dose
1x to 3x
adult
human
dose
1x to 3x
tsp = teaspoon     tbs = tablespoon    times/day = times per day    x = times per day

 

Please note certain herbs and spices do not create a hazard by themselves however they can interfere with conventional Western medicines. If you are using one of the topical flushes provided above to clean your dog’s/cat’s ear you do not need to be concerned about conflict. If your dog is on conventional medications or has medical issues make sure you check cautions and drug interactions for each herb that you intend to introduce to your dog’s or cat’s diet. Also not that there are many herbs and spices that are good for dogs and cats; there are herbs and spices that are not good for cats but are good for dogs, and; there are herbs and spices that are not good for either dogs or cats. You can see an example listing here.