Can Monistat Treat Your Dog's Ear Infection?
Itchy, Swollen Ears in Dogs and No Vet Available
Many people wonder if you can treat your dog's ear infection with Monistat, and the answer might just surprise you. One day, our dog Jessi started vigorously flapping her ears and scratching one ear in particular. We gently folded back the ear in question and saw a round, red blotch on the underside of her ear. She had just finished up treatment for ringworm, so I assumed it was a ringworm lesion that had been left untreated. We applied a bit of the ringworm topical to the red spot and went to bed.
Jessi Showed Signs of an Ear Infection
The next morning, we applied the ringworm topical again. That evening, Jessi was scratching her ear and shaking her head. The inside of the ear had become inflamed and brownish in color; it was also swollen down into the ear cavity, though the red spot was no longer visible. We wiped her ear using dog-safe ear-cleaning pads, and a bunch of brown, waxy gunk came out.
Jessi Was Uncomfortable
By this time, it was Friday night, and the vet was closed. I felt terrible for Jessi; her ear was obviously bothering her. She was shaking her head, scratching her ear with her paw, and rubbing her head on the carpet in an attempt to get some relief from the itching. She was going to have a long, frustrating weekend, and if the infection got worse, which I assumed it would without treatment, she would suffer.
Jessi was just begging me with her eyes to help her. That's when I decided to make the difficult but proactive decision to take matters into my own hand. I successfully used a product made for women with vaginal yeast infections on Jessi's ear infection at home. The results were promising.
The below information is not a substitute for professional veterinary advice. In some countries and states in the U.S., it is illegal to treat your dog at home or forgo proper diagnosis, treatment, and prescription from a veterinarian. Failing to do so could cause acute or chronic and irreversible health issues in your dog.
What to Do When You Can't Reach a Vet
Looking on the internet for information that would help my poor dog, I saw that ear infections in dogs could be caused by bacteria or yeast, but most often yeast. That's when I discovered Zymox Otic, which gets rave reviews from dog owners battling ear infections caused by both bacteria and yeast. Unfortunately, Zymox Otic is not available in my area, and getting it from Amazon.com would take several days.
That's when I discovered a forum post by a dog owner who had spent thousands of dollars on trips to the vet and prescription medications, yet his dog's ears were not staying infection-free for more than a week or two at a time. He resorted to treating his dog's ear infections at home with Monistat (miconazole)—an over-the-counter medicine for women with vaginal yeast infections. He combined Monistat with another OTC ingredient (hydrocortisone), which alleviates inflammation and itching.
I was a bit hesitant to try a women's vaginal cream in my dog's ear for the very good reason that only veterinarians should be diagnosing and treating ear infections and that corticosteroid ingestion in dogs can prove fatal. Similarly, adverse events can result from owners taking their pet's health into their own hands and treating them with OTC medications.
Yeast Infections in Dogs
How I Resolved My Dog's Ear Infection
I decided to give Monistat a try. I dashed to my local Walmart, and for less than $6, purchased generic Monistat 3 cream (Monistat 7 is also available). For less than $1, I also purchased a tube of generic hydrocortisone cream (consider pet-safe alternatives). Here's what I did:
- I mixed equal parts Monistat cream and hydrocortisone cream in a small dish along with a few drops of water.
- I heated the blend in the microwave at about 20% power for 15–20 seconds.
- I drew up the mixture into a clean 6 mL syringe.
- I gently squirted the medicine into my dog's ear and massaged the ear.
- I repeated this once a day for about five days. I knew that if this infection didn't clear up it was likely caused by bacteria and not yeast.
Putting anything in your dog's ear when the eardrum is ruptured can result in deafness and/or excruciating pain. Individuals restraining the dog are also at risk of being bitten. A veterinarian can confirm whether or not the eardrum is ruptured with a quick examination.
How I Used the Monistat-Hydrocortisone Blend
Poor little Jessi didn't like getting this put in her ear one bit. Luckily, she is also very submissive. I sat with her and stroked her head while my daughter, quick as a wink, gently introduced the cream blend into Jessi's ear and massaged it. When we were finished, Jessi shook her head and sent a few drops flying through the air. I wasn't sure this would work.
Be Safe When Treating Your Dog's Ear Infection
Jessi's Ear Infection Finally Went Away
The next day, we noticed Jessi was still scratching but not nearly as much. Her ear actually did look a bit better, but by this time, it was pink and very warm—much warmer than the uninfected ear. We followed this routine, again and again, and she didn't like it one bit. Finally, on day three, the redness and heat were gone, and she was barely scratching and shaking her head at all.
We continued to use it for a total of five days. The ear cleared up and stopped making the brown, waxy gunk, and Jessi stopped scratching and flapping her ears; she soon became symptom-free. Once we were finished with the Monistat, we used an ear-cleaning solution made for dogs to clean her ears each day for about four or five days until we felt comfortable that there was no residual medicine in her ear. By this time, the Zymox Otic solution had arrived from Amazon. I put it away and saved it for the next ear infection.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
© 2012 SmartAndFun