How to Treat Your Dog's Ear Infection With Monistat
Dog With Itchy, Swollen Ear; No Vet Available
Can you treat your dog's ear infection with Monistat? I did, and it worked very well.
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 a treatment for ringworm, so I assumed it was a ringworm lesion that had ben left untreated. We applied a bit of anti-fungal cream to the red spot and went to bed.
The next morning we applied the anti-fungal cream again, and had to turn our attention from Jessi to a particularly hectic day. That evening Jessi was again scratching her ear and shaking her head. The inside of the ear had become inflamed and brownish, and swollen down into the ear cavity, though the red spot was no longer visible. We wiped her ear, using ear cleaning pads made for dogs, and a bunch of brown, waxy gunk came out.
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 pain as well as itching.
Using Monistat in a Dog's Ear: The Basics
If you'd like to skip my long, drawn-out story and get the quick version of what to do, here you go:
- Mix equal parts Monistat (generic: miconazole) cream and hydrocortisone cream in a small dish along with a few drops of water.
- Heat the concoction in the microwave at about 20% power for 15-20 seconds.
- Draw up the mixture into a medicine syringe.
- Squirt the medicine down into the dog's ear; massage the ear to spread medicine throughout the ear.
- Repeat once per day for about five days or until the infection has cleared up. If you don't notice any improvement soon, the infection may be caused by bacteria rather than yeast.
With the Vet Closed for the Weekend, What Could I Do?
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, most often yeast. A product called Zymox Otic 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.
On a message board for dog owners, I discovered a 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 with Monistat (whose generic name is 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, but the forum post and comments were very convincing. Everyone who tried it reported good results, and no one had a bad story. Also, we had just treated Jessi's ringworm with an OTC product made for humans and it had worked very well. I decided Monistat was worth a try, and wouldn't cause any harm even if it didn't end up working. My local Walmart is always open; I dashed to the store and for less then $6 purchased generic Monistat 3 cream (you can also use Monistat 7). Also, for less than $1, I purchased a tube of generic hydrocortisone cream.
How to Put Monistat in Your Dog's Ear
I followed the advice of the fellow on the forum. I squirted a pea-sized dollop of Monistat cream into a small glass dish, along with a roughly equal amount of hydrocortisone cream. I placed the bowl in the microwave at very low power, 20%, and gently warmed the medicines for about 15-20 seconds.
When I removed the dish from the microwave, the creams were melted a bit. I added a few drops of water to thin the mixture a little more, then stirred it with a toothpick until it was blended. I then used a medicine syringe to draw the mixture up and squirt it into her ear.
Poor little Jessi is on the nervous side and basically scared of her own shadow, so she didn't like getting her ear medicated one bit. Luckily, she is also very submissive. I sat with her and stroked her head while my daughter, quick as a wink, gently squirted the medicine down into her ear. We then massaged Jessi's ear to distribute the medicine. When we were finished Jessi shook her head and sent a few drops of medicine flying out of her ear and through the air. I wasn't sure this would work.
The next day, we noticed Jessi was still scratching but not nearly as much. Could the Monistat already be doing its job? 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 the microwaving-mixing-squirting procedure again, and again she didn't like it one bit. She shook her head in an attempt to get the medicine out, but enough must have stayed in to do some good, because on day three the redness and heat were gone, and she was barely scratching and shaking her head at all.
We continued applying the concoction each day for a total of five days. The ear cleared up and stopped making the brown waxy gunk, Jessi stopped scratching and flapping her ears, and she 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.com. I put it away and saved it for the next ear infection.
This Little Dog Does Not Like Getting Her Ear Medicine
Note: I Am Not a Vet
Surely it is obvious, but just in case it's not, please note that I am not a vet. I am simply passing along my experience as a pet owner who found a way to treat my dog's ear infection. It is always best to consult your vet before giving your dog any type of medicine.
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.