Do you want a quick way to check for a dog ear infection? What are the warning signs of an ear infection? Can you identify ear infection symptoms?
Is your dog is trying to scratch at his ear, continually shake his head without reason, and sometimes rubs the side of his head along the ground? All possible signs they may be dog ear infection symptoms.
The dog’s ear shape helps to exacerbate the situation. Whatever their appearance, though, your dog’s ears are important body parts that need regular care. The best way to help prevent ear problems for your pooch is a simple weekly ear check. And many of our furry family members need regular ear cleaning too.
The ear canal with its curved shape and moist environment makes it easy for parasites, bacteria, and yeast to invade your dog’s ears. Chronic ear infections can affect dogs prone to allergy symptoms. Breeds like Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Golden Retriever, Basset Hound, and Poodles are predisposed to ear infections and suffer more often. Infections are irritating and painful and can create other and potentially serious health conditions.
Here’s a brief guide to routine care for your dog’s ears.
Dog Ear Infections – Prevention Easier Than A Cure
Cleaning Dog Ears At Home
To help your dog, gather all the supplies you’ll need first. A handful of cotton balls or clean gauze, a partner to help hold your pup, and a safe liquid ear cleaner for dogs.
When cleaning a dog’s ears, it’s important you don’t use products that might make the situation worse. I’m talking about the substances having an oil base and products that we humans use like ‘Q’ tips (plastic sticks with cotton wool on the end). Also, don’t pour or tip water into their ears.
Check with your vet about the safest products to use for your pooch, since some over-the-counter ones can contain alcohol or fragrances that can irritate your dog’s ears.
With open eared dogs it’s easy to look inside their ears, but it’s more fiddly with dogs having ear flaps. So fold the ear flap out of the way, or bend it backwards. Take care not to tug too hard on his ear, if he has an ear infection he will feel some pain.
The inside of your furry friend’s ear should look pale or light pink with no odor, though some mild-to-moderate wax buildup is normal.
When I clean my dog’s ears I prefer him to sit on my lap. He’s only small, so that won’t be practical for bigger dog owners. Encourage your dog to sit as close as possible, take a piece of cotton wool and put a small amount of ear cleaner on it. Wipe gently over the surface of the inner ear. Never stick your finger (or any other object) into the actual ear canal (including Q-Tips!) – you can do some serious damage.
Pop a small amount of ear cleaner into your dog’s ear canal. To help distribute the cleaner and to break up accumulated wax, use your thumb and gently rub at the base of your dog’s ear. You will probably hear a little squelching noise to begin with, but it will soon disappear. Let your dog shake his head and then wipe out the excess liquid and ear ‘gunk’ with a dry cotton ball. It’s that easy!
Some of our tail-wagging pals may need some extra ear care on top of routine cleanings. Dogs with droopy ears, allergies, chronic ear infections, and skin problems may need special cleaning solutions. If you have a dog that finds staying out of water impossible, then they will need extra special care and cleaning. They also need more frequent ear checks. Applying a slight amount of drying cleaner into your pup’s ears before and after baths can help prevent infections.
Remove extra ear hair by a professional groomer when needed, this will get wet during baths and is difficult to dry, it’s often a source of infection. It doesn’t take long to do this and perhaps do it every week or two. I guarantee it will make them feel better and if they could, they would thank you for it. You will contribute to their long-term health and wellbeing.
Dog Ear Infection Symptoms Include:
- Smelly ears Constant ear scratching or head shaking.
- Avoiding having ear or head touched Rubbing ears on the carpet.
- If the ear is painful and if you notice any swelling.
- Discharge from the ear–black, brown, or yellow, might be sticky or gooey.
If you see any of these signs, my advice would be not to continue cleaning the ears.
Call your vet for an appointment instead. He will need to investigate inside your pup’s ears and as this can be uncomfortable your pet may need sedating.
He will need to swab the ear canal and look under a microscope to establish exactly the problem. Before, they can offer any treatment. An investigation will be a two-part process. First to diagnose the issue and then to determine the root cause.
Your vet will use a combination of antifungals and antibiotics depending on the results of the lab tests. Some more severe infections might involve giving your dog oral medicines.
The underlying conditions will need medications, or the problem will reoccur.
You can treat dog ear infections at home. But unless you know the root cause of the infection, you will probably never get the desired result. And trial and error with this will only make your dog’s misery prolonged.
The average pet owner is not a qualified health professional, so it’s difficult for us to know just what the problem is. All we have is a good idea, that’s all.
I know we would like to treat our dogs with a natural ear infection remedy, but sometimes it really will take antibiotics to clear a serious infection.
Once it’s cleared up though, then there are many natural ways to help keep your dog’s ears clear of any further infections.
As a kid, I grew up with lots of dogs in my family. My earliest recollection was a Labrador mix called Bruce, and I must have only been about three years old.
When I was around seven, we began to move around frequently, so having a dog was very difficult until we adopted a baby long-haired Dachshund. I was thirteen by then. We called him Pepe; I have no idea why; all I can say was it wasn’t my idea. But he did seem to grow into the name.
I’ve personally been the parent of a Great Dane called Lady, a French Bulldog we called Spike. I have also had the privilege of being the parent of one of the gorgeous cats on the planet; a British Blue Shorthair called Ellie. Right now, we have an amazing little Havanese in our family; we call Biscuit; he’s four years old.
I pride myself on being the very best dog-parent I can be. I refuse to bring a dog into my life without investing as much time as possible to understand that dog’s particular needs. Every dog I have parented has been an experience, and they are all different with incredible personalities.
To understand dogs as much as possible, I have taken several courses regarding dog care and training. The most recent course is The Truth About Cats And Dogs, offered by The University Of Edinburgh.
My dogs and cat have been the funniest and most unique animals I have ever been privileged to spend my life with. They can teach human beings so much if we take the time to watch and listen to them. My ambition is to share what I have learned with other passionate dog lovers.
I am obsessed with writing and researching everything I can about dog health, care, psychology, and finding the best dog products available to help ensure a dog’s life is as happy and contented as possible.