How to Treat Allergy Induced Ear Infections

Allergies… itching… recurring ear infections. They plague way too many dogs 🙁

I suspect that many have suggested: “Try the Omega 3 Fatty Acids, like Fish oil, for your dog…”

But this doesn’t always help, and Krill may be even more effective to help STOP the scratching/recurring infections…

Dr Jones’ ULTIMATE Omega 3 Supplement for Dogs and Cats

CBD has also been shown to be beneficial for Allergic Otitis, (among many more things!), and I’ll be sharing ALL my current tips and tricks in the upcoming CBD webinar

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Allergy Induced Ear Infections in Dogs

Allergy-induced ear infections are painful conditions that tend to recur in many dogs.

Allergies to fleas, foods, and things in the environment like molds, pollens, and dander are the most common underlying causes for allergic otitis.

Allergies cause the skin barrier to break down and increase the wax production in the ear canal. This allows the low number of normal yeast and bacteria on the skin and in the ear to overproduce and allow more severe strains of bacteria to thrive. This leads to increased inflammation, pain, and discharge from the ear.

Dogs with seasonal allergies tend to get ear infections around the same season each year. Dogs with food allergies or non-seasonal environmental allergies may have ear infections recurring throughout the year.

Since dogs with allergic otitis will have repeated ear infections, this chronic inflammation can cause the ear canal tissue to scar, become calcified, and reduce the opening of the ear canals. This makes treatment even harder as the medication has a hard time reaching the deeper ear canal regions.

Symptoms of Allergy-Induced Ear Infections

The symptoms for allergic otitis are the same as otitis externa but tend to recur during the allergy season or be more frequent year-round.

  • Shaking the head
  • Scratching at the ears
  • Redness to the ear flap or entrance to the ear canal
  • Discharge from the ear canal
  • Pain when the ear is touched
  • Thickening of the ear canal
  • Rubbing the face/ear on the ground or furniture
  • Licking the paws excessively (a general sign of an allergy)
  • Itching or licking other parts of the body (a general sign of an allergy)

In severe cases, if the eardrum ruptures, the infection can spread to the middle and inner ear causing symptoms like head tilt, walking abnormally, circling, falling over, or pain when eating or opening the mouth fully.

How can I treat and prevent allergic otitis?

Treat The Recurring Dog Ear Infection

Apple Cider Vinegar is naturally antibacterial and antifungal, so will help with most cases of ear infections. I prefer a 80:20 solution of ACV and warm Green tea. Apply 5-10 drops twice daily for 7-10 days.

Sweet Almond Oil in combination with lavender oil is beneficial when the ears are very inflamed, and the ACV will be irritating and painful. 2 tablespoons of almond oil, 10 drops of lavender oil.

ANTI-YEAST MEDS. Medication for yeast in people, will often work in dogs. Canesten and Monistat both work well. Apply twice daily for 7-10 days.

Treat And Prevent the Underlying Allergy.

Rule out Fleas/Lice/External Parasites.

In practice Flea Allergy Dermatitis is common, and we saw a surprising number of dogs being diagnosed with Sarcoptic Mange, and Lice

Conventional Treatment with something like topical Revolution is a good way to rule out these parasites, especially Sarcoptes.

Natural Options

Flea shampoo, consider topical Neem, (2 ml) Black Tea (1 cup), 40 drops Cedarwood Oil, Castile Soap (2 tablespoons).

Neem Spray: Neem, (2 ml) Witch Hazel with Aloe (1 cup), Lavender Oil, 10-20 drops (apply twice/week)

Cedarwood Oil Spray: non-toxic, natural, has been effective against fleas.

NootkaShield nootkatone

Nootkatone is one of these protective compounds from nature, found in the bark of Alaskan Yellow Cedar trees and in grapefruit skin.

Food Allergy

Up to 15% of dogs can have a food allergy but…

There are no diets that are completely “hypoallergenic”, meaning that they will not cause allergies. The closest we have to this kind of a diet are the hydrolyzed diets that can be purchased through veterinarians. Dogs and cats can be allergic to pretty much any protein or carbohydrate ingredient that can be found in pet food.

The most commonly reported food allergies in dogs and cats are chicken, beef, dairy, and egg (and fish for cats). There is nothing particularly special about these ingredients other than they have been the most common ingredients in pet foods.

Rule out Food Allergy with a Food Trial

Simple protein (i.e. 1/3 Turkey, 1/3 Carb of Brown Rice, 1/3 Veggie (i.e. Kale), plus Sunflower Oil and feed that for 8 weeks- 2 cups/20lbs daily.


Atopic Dermatitis is the most common cause of allergic symptoms/recurring ear infections in dogs.

In the past it was explained as being primarily due to allergens that were inhaled; now the belief is that these allergens are absorbed in the skin, then cause your dog’s immune system to respond inappropriately.

BIOFLAVONOIDS. These are the wonderful group of structures found in the pigment of fruits and vegetables. Quercetin has been effective for people with allergies and may be effective in dogs. Standard dose is 100 mg per 10 lbs of body weight daily.

ANTIHISTAMINES. Benadryl (diphenhydramine) is the most commonly used antihistamine. It is given at a dose of 1 mg per pound of body weight, 2-3 times a day. It is best to consult your veterinarian before using these medications. It often takes 14 days of using these to see if they are helping.

Herbal Antihistamines: Nettle 1 teaspoon/10lbs daily, Quercetin also has antihistamine qualities.

LICORICE ROOT. Considered ‘natural’ steroid. The dose is ½ ml per 20lbs twice daily of the tincture. Caution if underlying organ dysfunction. Max use for 14 days in a row.

CURCUMIN. 95% curcuminoids can be very helpful to decrease the level of itching and skin inflammation. The dose is 100mg/10lbs of body weight daily.

HONEY for ALLERGIES: Local, Unpasteurized, ‘natural’ desentization, ½ tsp/10lbs daily for 8-12 weeks.

Homemade Topical Skin Cream that works great: 2ml of Licorice Root Tincture, 2 tablespoons of Coconut Oil, 1 teaspoon of Honey, 10 drops of Lavender Oil.


Beta-sitosterol is a sterol (type of fat) found in soy, and it can help decrease the level of pruritus (itchiness) in your dog. In people it is most commonly used for lowering cholesterol levels and improving symptoms of an enlarged prostate (benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH). Studies have shown that Beta-sitoserol ‘attentuates’ atopic dermatis in animals. The dog Beta-sitoserol dose is 1-2mg/lb twice daily. The one I have used is called Beta-Sitosterol Plant Sterols, 180 Softgels by Now.

FATTY ACIDS. These are a must for any allergy. Flax oil, fish oil or Krill Oil for dogs. Krill oil dose of 1000mg/50lbs daily. Fish Oil dose is 1000mg/10lbs daily.

Best Wishes,

Dr Andrew Jones, DVM

P.S. If you have a dog with recurring ear infections, consider starting simple, such as Canesten to treat the yeast infection, and then oral meds for the underlying allergy, such as Quercetin, Betsitosterol, and Krill.

Krill is considered by many to be the most important EFA supplement for allergic dogs.

Get your bottle here:

Dr Jones’ New KRILL Oil Supplement

P.P.S. Can CBD help your pets, and is it *really* safe?

Well this and MANY other questions that you have about CBD, THC, medical marijuana, will be answered in my upcoming webinar next week.

Such as…

  • *NEW* research and emerging benefits of CBD
  • Cannabidiol for cancer prevention and treatment
  • How to Naturally Stop your dog from Itching

Plus it’s FREE, and you are invited to Join me LIVE in my 60 minute ONLINE seminar!

Time: 5PM Pacific, 8PM Eastern, March 21st, 2023

CBD (Cannabidiol) for Dogs and Cats: What You Need To Know Before Giving This To Your Pets

1 thought on “How to Treat Allergy Induced Ear Infections”

  1. I am an RN and breed Multi-gen Labradoodles. I value Dr. Jonse’s approach to issues that arise using natural ingredients to decrease and treat problems such as yeast in the ears. I am not impressed with the side effects that appear in prescription and OTC medications. I appreciate his experience nd expertise.

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