Home remedies do not cure ear infections, explains WebMD. Appropriate treatment includes professional ear cleaning followed by topical or oral medication prescribed by a veterinarian. A veterinarian also has the ability to do tests that confirm the cause of the infection, which the owner cannot do at home.
Ear infections in dogs are often due to moisture collecting in the ear canal, states Cesar's Way. Dogs with floppy ears, such as golden retrievers and poodles, and dogs with long hair in their ear canals are especially vulnerable, notes the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Keeping the dog's ears clean, drying its ears after bathing or swimming and removing any excess hair in the outer ear helps stave off ear infections in this type of dog.
Dogs with allergies are also susceptible to ear infections due to chronic inflammation, which allows for the overgrowth of bacteria or fungi normally present within the ear, according to Cesar's Way. In these dogs, identifying and eliminating the cause of the allergy is essential. Cleaning the dog's ears regularly with a cotton ball soaked in a gentle cleaning solution and then allowing the ears to dry thoroughly is important as well.
Dogs with an ear infection often scratch their ears, shake their heads excessively or tilt their heads to one side, says the ASPCA. The dog's ears may smell bad and have a brown, yellow or blood-tinged discharge. Hearing loss and loss of balance also occur in some dogs.