All that you need to know about caring for your dog's ears.Caring for your dog’s ears is just as important as any other aspect of dog health care. Ear infections in dogs is a common problem, but by setting aside a few more minutes after each grooming session you should be able to minimise the chances of your dog contracting this condition.
Some breeds of dogs are much more susceptible to ear problems than others. Those with pendulous ears such as Bassets, Bloodhounds and Spaniels are particularly prone. As are dogs with excessively hairy inner ear flaps. But all dogs need their ears regularly checked, and as a precautionary measure, cleaned.
Causes of dog ear infections.Ear mites top the list, but the warmth and moistness of the inner ear also provides the ideal environment for the multiplication of bacteria and a type of yeast which leads to infections. Foreign bodies such as the ubiquitous grass seed, fungus, and a generalised build up of ear wax also create their own types of problems.
Signs of a ear infection.Your pet will usually show his discomfort by excessive ear scratching, by dragging his ears along the ground, and often through head shaking, and tilting of the head. Obvious signs of inflammation can sometimes be seen, and in some cases a black or yellowish discharge is observable usually accompanied by a distinctly offensive odour. Ear infections cause the sufferer a great deal of discomfort, and if your pet is showing any of these symptoms take him to see your vet straight away. Treatment of ear infections are almost always quick, easy, and successful.
Care of your dog’s ears.Prevention is the watchword of all dog health care, and caring for a dog’s ears has its own set of preventative measures. Get yourself and your dog used to ear examinations right from an early age. After every grooming session just lift up the ear flap and look for any signs of inflammation, and at the same time you should be able to detect whether there is any odour coming from the ears that might arouse your suspicion.
I’ve had several Cocker Spaniels, and have had plenty of problems with grass seeds finding their way in to the ear canal, which on every occasion required an anaesthetic to remove them. I’ve found that just keeping the inside of the ear flap well trimmed has eliminated this problem. Actually cleaning the ears is a simple and very effective way of reducing the chances of infection occurring. You do not need to do this after every grooming session; about every 4 to 5 weeks should do unless your dog is of the pendulous ear variety and then fortnightly is best.
Buy a good, veterinarian recommended, ear cleaner. The instructions may vary but usually take the form of taking a steady hold of your dog, squirting the recommended amount of cleaner in to the ear canal, then rubbing the ears for about 30 seconds to disperse the cleaner. You then simply clean around the outer ear with some cotton wool. This type of application will keep the ear canals open and free from the build up of wax and other undesirables. It’s an easy, quick and reliable way of caring for your dogs ears.