Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Caring for Your Dog's Ears

By Dogercise

ear cleaning

A dog’s ears should be clean and have no odor.  Here are some symptoms to look out for.

  • Red, irritated skin
  • Wax build up
  • Discharge
  • Bad odor
  • A lot of pawing at the ears and head shaking

If any of these symptoms occur you should give your vet a call right away.

Problems usually occurs when the ear contains too much moisture, bacteria and yeast spores that are normally seen in the ear canal in moist conditions. It can also occur when dirt, seeds and wax are lodged in your dog’s ear. You dog might frequently scratch its ear which might lead to swollen ears (warm condition ears) that encourage the growth of bacteria and yeast spores.

Ear mites

These are fairly uncommon in dogs. However, when they do occur, they are easily treated with medication.

Ear infections

These are more common and unfortunately a bit more difficult to treat. Ear drops are required every day for up to 2 weeks, and usually weekly drops for a longer period after that. “Drop-eared”dogs (dogs whose ears hang down) are usually more prone to these infections, as their ears do not obtain as much air circulation as those of “Prick-eared” dogs.

Reducing the chances of an ear infection

Keeping the ear clean is a key step to preventing infections.  To do this, take a cotton ball and dip it in hydrogen peroxide. Squeeze the excess out and wipe the dog’s ear. The ear canal is quite deep, so the dog will not be injured if you are careful. Clean all around the little crevices as best you can. Use a different cotton ball for the other ear. Be sure to dry the ears out thoroughly when you are finished.  This goes especially for flop eared dogs.  If you can not get into those crevasses you can use a cotton swab, just be careful to be gentle so you do not jab too deep.  Do not be concerned if your dog is messing with his ears a lot after you clean them, but do be concerned if it lasts several hours and/or into the next day.  In which case call your vet.

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