We all love our pets and who can resist a puppy with big floppy ears? Those ears, however, can be a breeding ground for ear infections and irritations. That is what I have had to deal with for my shepherd/lab mix dog.
Our dog woke us up at 3 am one morning with crying and scratching. When we got to her, she had scratched her ear so badly that she was bleeding, I felt so bad for my dog. I cleaned her ears with a coconut oil based natural cleaner which settled her down a little so we could go back to sleep until the morning. Once we woke up for the day, my husband asked me when I was going to make an appointment with the vet again. The idea of another expensive vet bill for her constant ear infections was just too hard for me to take.
Instead, I decided to try my essential oils on her ears first before taking her back to the vet for more expensive products. I made an ear spray with fractionation coconut oil mixed with lavender, frankincense, and a blend called Melrose. Melrose contains tea tree, niaouli, rosemary, and clove oils. Make sure to use high-quality medical grade oils as lesser oils can cause more damage than good.
The recipe for my spray is below.
- 4oz fractionated coconut oil
- 1-2 drops frankincense essential oil
- 2-3 drops lavender essential oil
- 4-5 drops Melrose blend essential oil
Mix all ingredients in a 4oz glass spray bottle.
I chose lavender for its anti-bacterial and antiseptic properties, frankincense for its anti-inflammatory and astringent aspects, and Melrose for its cleansing attributes.
I would clean her ears with a natural cleaner and then spray twice in each ear with my spray. She got irritation relief almost instantly. Over the next week, her ears continued to look clean and a normal pink color, instead of irritated red. I was shocked at how well the essential oil spray worked on her ears. Instead of her constantly shaking her head and whining at night, she is calm and as playful as ever.
Since the infection was under control, finding the cause was my next step. Being lab mix, she loves the water, and an owner needs to be aware that a dog’s ears should be cleaned after entering any body of water including just playing in the rain, which she loves. Because of the floppiness of her ears, it can be a breeding ground for yeast and bacteria to grow.
Another cause I found was her dog food. Like adults, animals can be sensitive to different ingredients in food. Since our household is on a tight budget, we chose middle line dog food that was not grain free. Since then I have switched her to a higher quality of grain free food. It will be a while before I can see if it fully helps, but as of now she is doing a lot better.
Even with pets, a natural lifestyle seems to be the best. Essential oils are great for treating your furry companions as well as you. They are great, but always make sure to watch your pet’s reaction to the oils carefully. It is also important to dilute them in a carrier oil, like coconut. If the problem does not get better, I strongly suggest a trip to the vet.