Does your dog shake his head, or scratch and claw frantically at his ears?
How important is regular ear hygiene for
your fury friend?
Dog ear infections |
Causes of dog ear infections |
Symptoms of ear infections
Dogs breeds most prone to frequent ear infections | Treating ear infections
Home care ear hygiene for your best friend
The regular use of an effective Herbal dog ear cleaner is as important to your pooch as any other pet health care procedure. Even more so, because ear infections in dogs can cause them extreme discomfort and quickly lead to serious health problems if left untreated.
Dog ear infections are challenging to diagnose. While the condition is common in dogs, you may not know your dog is suffering until symptoms show up to alert you to underlying problems.
The warm, moist conditions of the ear canals provide perfect breeding grounds for microorganisms to multiply quickly and cause inflammation, pain and extreme discomfort to your fury friend
Canine ear infections are caused by:
- Ear mites (Otodectic mange mites) which are high contagious
- Bacteria infections
- Yeast infections
Dogs' ear canals dip downward and horizontally making it easy for water or debris to become trapped inside. Bacteria is usually introduced through:
- Bathing your pet without putting cotton wool in his ears to minimise water entering his ear canals
- Using an incorrect method of cleaning his ears, e.g. poking them with Q-tips or similar.
- Allergies - your vet can help determine whether the cause of the allergy is from food or environmental factors.
- Ear mites - particularly in puppies
Dog ear infections can range from mild to severe and can cause a number of different symptoms, to include:
- Pawing at ears.
- Head shaking
- Scratching - often mistaken for a flea problem
- A yellow or brown discharge oozing the ears
- Redness in the ear canals or crusted, scaly skin
- A foul or musty odor emitting from ears
- Loss of hair around the ear
- Loss of balance or hearing
- Loss of appetite
Dogs with long ears tend to get ear problems more frequently, because of the inability of air to flow into their ear canals.
Breeds most vulnerable to frequent ear infections are:
- Basset hounds
- Cocker spaniels
- Golden retrievers
Your vet will diagnose Fido's ear problems by a visual inspection with an otoscope. He or she will also analyze a sample of the secretions from the ear under a microscope. These tests will tell the vet exactly what type of bacteria is present so they can prescribe the correct medication.
If your dog has a bacterial infection your vet will prescribe antibiotics to be given several times a day over a few days. He or she may also prescribe pain medication to control your pet's discomfort until the infection is under control.
If you are more holistically inclined and your dog has a yeast infection in his ears, you can try a highly diluted solution of white vinegar and warm sterile water - this will remove the debris from his ears and to restore the natural balance. Fill his canal and allow it to soak. Massage the base of his ears to ensure total immersion. Wipe out any excess liquid with a cotton swab. Repeat this a few times a week.
If the cause is allergy related they will prescribe antihistamine or steroid medications to alleviate the awful itchiness which always accompanies allergy related ear problems.
The following pointers can help you ensure your dog is free of ear infections and ear mites that can affect his happiness and general well being.
- Use Only Natural Pet's "Easy Defense" repellant tag and never take it off him. The tag is a safe, chemical-free way to keep harmful pests off your dog that utilizes your pet's own energy to create a natural barrier to fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, mites and other parasites.
- Use a herbal ear spray as part of your normal grooming procedure. Carole's Doggie world recommends Ear Mist
- Regularly check his ear for foreign objects, e.g. grass seeds
- Always put cotton wool in your dog's ears when you bath him to minimise water entering his ear canals
- When he goes swimming dry him off and check his ears inside and out are dry
- For water dogs and long eared breeds, try gently tying their ears back with a ribbon or peg to allow air to flow into their ear canals
This article and information forms part of the Carole's Doggie World Holistic Library and is presented for informational purposes only.The information is not intended to be a substitute for visits to your local vet. Instead, the content offers the reader information researched and written by Carole Curtis for www.carolesdoggieworld.com