So your dog has swimmer’s ear…got honey?

honey-924174_960_720Summertime is the best time!  Cookouts, trips to the beach, swimming with our 4-legged best friends, the warm weather just begs us to be outside and enjoy life to the fullest! Unfortunately partaking in the joy that is water in the summertime can sometime lead to a common ear infection in dog’s known as swimmer’s ear. For more information about swimmer’s ear and how to prevent it, this article by iheartdogs is very informative

I became interested in this subject after reading a study published earlier in the week that showed the bacteria(there were dozens of different kinds) causing swimmer’s ear were, at least somewhat, resistant to the antibiotics commonly used to combat the infection.

So if these antibiotics aren’t very effective, I thought, are there any other treatments out there that are effective?  Time to do some research! woot!

To my complete surprise, I came across a pilot study that aimed to measure the efficacy(how well it works) of medical grade honey in fighting swimmer’s ear!

Mesitran medical grade honey

I’m about as skeptical as they come when I hear of holistic or natural remedies that are touted as being miracle cures for anything.  There is, almost never, any evidence that these treatments do any good at all.  But here I was, looking at hard data that actually showed medical grade honey works to cure swimmer’s ear!

Medical grade honey isn’t the stuff that comes in the cute shape of a bear on the shelves of your local supermarket.  The product that these researchers were testing is called Mesitran.  The study treated 15 dogs with diagnosed OE(otitis externa) aka swimmer’s ear with 1 mL daily in each ear resulting in 70% of the dogs being cured in the second week and 90% in the third.

In addition to curing a majority of the dogs in the study, the MGH treatment also showed activity against all of the bacterial isolates that were sampled.  It’s worth noting that in the study regarding drug resistance, no antibiotic was able to achieve the same results.

I have to admit that I didn’t expect to find honey as the effective alternative to traditional antibiotics for swimmer’s ear, but this seems to be the case.  While this is only a pilot study with a rather small sample size, the results speak for themselves.  I think recommending medical grade honey for the treatment of ear infections is a safe bet!