Should I try to clean my dog's ears regularly with rubbing alcohol?

by Cindy
(Collinsville, IL, USA)

My dog was diagnosed with a yeast infection and his ears were flushed out at the vet's today. The vet ruled out parasitic infection and gave Jeremy a medicine to treat the yeast and prednisone as an anti-inflammatory medication. He feels that Jeremy has food allergies and has also placed him on a special diet. He no longer can eat anything besides his food, that is rabbit and potato based. My husband is skeptical of this entire procedure and feels that if we regularly clean Jeremy's ears with rubbing alcohol, it might go away quicker, even after reading about canine ear yeast infections at various sites online.

I want to follow the regimen prescribed by our vet to alleviate the distress that Jeremy is experiencing with his ears, and also see this as an opportunity for my dog to lose the weight that he needs to lose for his health. He is a very obese Puggle and needs to lose at least 25 pounds!

Any ideas or thoughts on this situation would be greatly appreciated!

Veterinarian Suggestion Dog Ear Cleaning

Hello Cindy,

NO! Do not clean out your dog’s ears with rubbing alcohol! This would be very irritating to the delicate tissues inside and could certainly make his problems worse rather than better (to say nothing of the pain involved!). Also, if your dog’s ear drum is ruptured, the alcohol could lead to deafness.

There are many good ear cleaners on the market for dogs. Ask your veterinarian which might be most appropriate based on your dog’s condition. Cleaning (not with rubbing alcohol!) is often recommended as part of the treatment protocol for infection, and maintenance cleaning once or twice a week can sometimes help prevent future infections.

If your dog responds positively to his change in diet, the benefits could be numerous. Even though these types of foods are more expensive than “regular” foods, feeding them is certainly cheaper, safer, and easier than dealing with recurrent infections. Helping your dog to lose weight could also prevent many health problems in the future.

Good luck,

Jennifer Coates, DVM

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