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Ear Care for Dogs

Infections can occur in the outer ear, middle ear, and inner year. It is mostly common for the outer ear to be infected in a dog. Inner ear infections in dogs are less common. Breeds with floppy ears are more likely to get an ear infection than other breeds. Breeds such as poodles, Labrador retrievers, and cocker spaniels are more likely to be infected. When a dog has an ear infection, the symptoms can worsen quickly and do require a lot of attention so it is best to go to the veterinarian as soon as you assume something is wrong.

Causes of Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs can be caused a few different factors. Allergies in dogs are a major cause of infections. Other causes include genetics, environment, trauma as well as foreign debris that find its way into the ear. When a dog goes for a swim, the water gets trapped in their ears making it hard to drain out. This makes the ear the perfect place for yeast and bacteria to accumulate. Furthermore, a buildup of ear wax or ear mites that carry fungi and bacteria can cause ear infections. Ear infections are the result of improper dog hygiene.

Ear Care Procedure

In order to increase air flow make your dog's ear drier. A pet owner should pluck their dog's ear hair. Removing the hair in your dog's ear can make the ear drier which in turn does not allow infections to grow within it. Here are a few steps that should be taken in order to promote healthy ears in dogs. If you believe your dog has an ear infection be sure to notify your veterinarian so that they can examine it more closely.

  1. Dampen a cotton ball with ear cleaner and rub and massage it into your dog's ears in order to remove any debris.
  2. Allow your dog to shake off any excess ear cleaner in order to ensure its ear dries.

Be sure not to insert any q-tips into your dog's ear, your veterinarian may do so however it is not recommended for pet owners to do. Nothing should be inserted into the ear because it can cause pain to your dog. Also do not clean your dog's ears too deep or frequently as it may cause irritation.

Symptoms of Ear Infections

Ear infections are very painful for dogs so symptoms can be noticed. Symptoms of ear infections in canines include:

  • Constantly shaking head
  • Yellow to brown discharge in the ear
  • Having the dog become uncoordinated
  • Vomiting
  • Scratching of the head
  • Redness or swelling in the ear
  • Bad odor
  • And a whimper, cry, irritability, or acts of aggressiveness at touch of ear

Ear Care

When looking to treat dog ear infection, take the dog to the veterinarian immediately so the symptoms do not worsen. The veterinarian will use an otoscope to see what could have caused the infection in the first place. To avoid ear infections in dogs, dry their ears after they play in the water, rub or massage their ears to keep out foreign material, and use a cloth or cotton balls to clean out your canine friends ear.

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Disclaimer: 1st Pet Naturals is an education resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure disease, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet is taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.