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Without treatment, dog ear infection can escalate into Horner’s syndrome, a non-painful condition that affects the eye. Hearing loss, nerve damage, and chronic pain are also possibilities.

What are the signs of dog ear infection? Can you treat the condition at home? And is CBD oil a good antibiotic?

Below is everything you need to know.

What is vital to remember is that regular cleaning significantly lowers the risk of infection. However, the use of irritants or grooming products that cause itch, may increase the risk. We recommend CBD oil because:

  • Cannabidiol has an excellent safety profile when used topically.
  • There is evidence that CBD can destroy antibiotic-resistant strains of staph bacteria and has antifungal properties.
  • CBD is an anxiolytic cannabinoid. Consequently, administration can support immune function by regulating stress levels.

There are two ways to use CBD oil for dog ear infections. You may massage or apply CBD oil directly to the infected ear (the product features a dropper).  Or you may administer CBD oil through food or sublingually.

Audio Version.

Table of Contents

Dog Ear Infection: Can CBD Help Speed Up the Healing Process?

Understanding Dog Ear Infections.

Causes and Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection.

CBD as a Natural Solution for Dog Ear Infections.

What are the Potential Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Dog Ear Infections?

How do you Administer CBD oil to Dogs?

What are the Side Effects of Administering CBD Oil to a Dog?

CBD and Dog Ear Infection: FAQs.


Understanding Dog Ear Infections.

Ear infection may afflict your dog in at least three ways. Infection that occurs in the inner ear, also referred to as otitis interna, is a fungus or bacteria-borne ailment that can cause vomiting and nausea. Otitis media is a consequence of an infection in the middle ear.

The most common ear infection in dogs is otitis externa, an infection that affects the outer ear. If left untreated, outer ear infections can spread to the inner ear or deeper layers.

Dogs with floppy ears, such as golden retrievers, are at higher risk of developing all three types of infection.

In general, as a pet owner, what you need to do is examine your dog’s ears at least once or twice per week. You are looking for inflammation, signs of pain, lesions, and anything out of the ordinary.

If you are unsure if a swelling or something else is serious, it is best to consult a veterinarian.

Causes and Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection.

There are many causes of dog ear infections, such as:

The symptoms of dog ear infections are;

  • Headshaking or tilting.
  • Inflammation.
  • Redness.
  • Odor.
  • Discharge, crusts, and scabs inside the ear.

What Happens if Dog Ear Infection Goes Untreated?

Without veterinary treatment, that is the use of antibiotics, draining, or necessary other treatments, dog ear infection may escalate into hearing loss, loss of balance, unusual eye movement, and the dog may walk in circles. 

At this stage, the dog is in a medical emergency and should be taken to the vet immediately.

Dog ear infections are unlikely to spread to humans. However, if the cause is a parasite, there is the risk of parasites spreading to other animals in the home and humans.

Tip: remove all mites, biting insects and parasites from the dog’s ear and, if necessary, administer repellent.

What are the Risk Factors for Dog Ear Infections?

Dogs that have compromised immunity, have certain types of cancer, or are regularly exposed to foreign bodies in the ear are at higher risk.

Conventional treatments, limitations, and side effects.

To find the right treatment for your dog, a veterinarian may conduct a physical examination or recommend an x-ray, CT scan, MRI, or blood test.

Remember, ear infections can be a sign of an underlying condition. Making it necessary to take the dog to a vet to rule out other ailments.

Depending on the causal factor, treatment may include surgery, draining, or topical or oral medication.

Draining and surgery may cause pain, scarring, inflammation. CBD oil can treat these side effects as explained below.

CBD as a Natural Solution for Dog Ear Infections.

As mentioned, researchers have identified CBD’s potential as an antibiotic, suggesting that CBD can destroy antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria. However, CBD oil is not a substitute for antibiotics and should not be used in lieu of formal treatment.

Instead, use cannabidiol to complement treatment.

One of the many bacteria that cause dog ear infections is salmonella seftenberg.  what CBD can do, according to a study published in the National Library of Medicine;

 “In this study, we demonstrated the antibacterial activity of CBD against two relevant pathogenic bacteria, S. Typhimurium and S. Newington. Despite the scarce knowledge of the molecular mechanisms of CBD’s mode of action, we propose that the antibacterial activity might be due to membrane integrity disruption, and this was verified through the utilization of plate assays, fluorescence microscopy, and kinetic studies.”

In other words, CBD has the potential to become an effective antibiotic agent, but there is still much that is yet to be studied.

What are the Potential Benefits of Using CBD Oil for Dog Ear Infections?

Apart from destroying bacteria, other benefits of CBD oil for dog ear infections include:

  • Immune system regulation. There is no evidence to suggest that CBD oil strengthens the immune system. However, as an immune suppressant, CBD can help regulate inflammation, pain, and other symptoms or side effects of treatment.
  • Pain and itch relief. Itch can exacerbate ear infections because of scratching. To keep that from happening, you may use a combination of CBD oil and cones. A study published in the National Library of Medicine found that CBD oil can reduce itch caused by eczema by more than sixty percent. And according to anecdotal evidence, direct application will also reduce irritation and redness.
  •  Stress, depression, and anxiety relief.

For greater effect, anecdotal evidence suggests that you should also incorporate natural ingredients, such as apple cider vinegar and coconut oil, into the treatment.

Warning: undiluted apple cider vinegar can damage skin and cause pain.

CBD is an Anti-Inflammatory Agent.

Multiple studies have established that CBD oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Researchers theorize that users enjoy that benefit because of CBD’s interaction with endocannabinoid receptors distributed throughout the skin and body.

Recent studies claim that CBD oil possesses antifungal properties.

One of the symptoms of fungal infection is swelling. According to one study, “We demonstrate here that CBD exhibits specific anti-biofilm activity against C. albicans without significantly affecting either planktonic fungal growth or viability. We propose that CBD exerts its anti-biofilm activity towards C. albicans biofilm through a multi-target mode of action, which differs from commonly used antimycotics.”

In other words, CBD has potential as an antifungal medication and may treat inflammation in multiple ways.

How do you Administer CBD oil to Dogs?

When administered orally, researchers suggest that one to six milligrams for every ten pounds of body weight per day is enough. However, researchers have yet to establish a therapeutic dose for CBD oil, meaning results may not be uniform.

We thus recommend starting with low doses and working your way up to a comfortable dose.

When administered topically, CBD oil and hemp extract have an excellent safety profile and will thus not cause allergic reactions or exacerbate existing conditions. However, check product purity as some added ingredients may contain irritants or allergens.

 The recommended product contains safe -natural ingredients.

What are the Side Effects of Administering CBD Oil to a Dog?

When administered topically, CBD oil is unlikely to cause any harm. However, orally administered CBD oil may cause dry mouth, gastrointestinal issues, or fatigue if administered at high doses.

At extremely high doses, CBD oil may be damaging to the liver.

It is also worth mentioning that THC, a psychoactive cannabinoid, is toxic to dogs and should thus be avoided.

Combining CBD Oil with Veterinarian Treatment.

Dog ear infections are not necessarily life-threatening. However, formal treatment is necessary to keep it from escalating. If you intend to administer CBD oil, talk to a veterinarian about the risk of possible medication interaction.

Tip: state laws may prevent veterinarians from administering or recommending hemp and cannabis extracts to pets.

CBD and Dog Ear Infection: FAQs.

How fast does CBD kick in for dogs?

It depends on the method of administration. Inhalation/aromatherapy is the quickest method of administration. The effects kick in within fifteen to thirty minutes.

Sublingual administration offers high bioavailability, and effects kick in within thirty minutes.

Administering through food and water takes about thirty minutes to an hour because CBD must go through multiple organs.

Can you give dogs CBD oil on an empty stomach?

You may, but experts recommend administration during mealtime.

How do I know if a dog ear infection is bacterial or viral?

The difference can be hard to tell. We thus recommend taking the dog to a veterinarian.


Dog ear infections, if left untreated, will affect your dog’s quality of life and, depending on the cause, may spread to other animals under your care. A strict grooming routine centered on at least one bath a month can significantly lower the risk.

CBD oil has antibiotic, antifungal, antimicrobial, and analgesic qualities. You should thus incorporate cannabidiol into your dog’s grooming and care routine.

If the dog develops signs and symptoms of ear infection, get it diagnosed by a professional and use CBD oil to complement treatment and hasten healing.


  • Maghfour J, Rietcheck HR, Rundle CW, Runion TM, Jafri ZA, Dercon S, Lio P, Fernandez J, Fujita M, Dellavalle RP, Yardley H. An Observational Study of the Application of a Topical Cannabinoid Gel on Sensitive Dry Skin. J Drugs Dermatol. 2020 Dec 1;19(12):1204-1208. doi: 10.36849/JDD.2020.5464. PMID: 33346512.
  • Feldman M, Sionov RV, Mechoulam R, Steinberg D. Anti-Biofilm Activity of Cannabidiol against Candida albicans. Microorganisms. 2021 Feb 20;9(2):441. doi: 10.3390/microorganisms9020441. PMID: 33672633; PMCID: PMC7924206.



David is a hemp and cannabis researcher with five years of experience in the industry.

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