By Nancy Cope
Canine ear infections are very common especially in floppy-eared dogs.
What causes canine ear infections?
There are many reasons why a dog’s ears get infected. Many dogs are prone to infections but the most common culprits include:
– Allergies, this includes food allergies or atopy
– Ear mites can lead to infection
– Yeast can lead to bacterial infections
– The ear anatomy itself may make the dog’s ears more susceptible to infections
The symptoms of an canine ear infections include:
– Rubbing ears on floors
– Scratching ears
– Odor, may smell strong foul, which is indicative of a bacterial infection
– Redness within the ear itself
– Tilting head to one side and shaking head
– Noticeable discharge or excessive wax
When to Seek Veterinarian Care
If your dog is showing symptoms of an ear infection, you might want to look inside his ear and see what it looks like. If it is red and smelly, chances are your dog has an infection and needs to see a veterinarian as soon as possible. If left untreated, the infection can lead to other serious problems.
On the other hand, if your dog just began scratching but the inside of the ear does not look red or smelly, chances are it is either a beginning of an infection or mild allergies.
How to Treat
If you take your dog to the veterinarian and he is diagnosed with a canine ear infection, treatment will begin immediately. Of course, the treatment is determined by the how far along the infection is.
If the ear is full of wax, your veterinarian will clean it thoroughly, and then you will have to apply drops inside the ear a specific number of times each day.
One of the best ways to prevent canine ear infections is to clean the dog’s ears regularly. Dogs that are particularly susceptible to ear infections should have their ears cleaned once each week.
You should use a very mild solution that does not contain high levels of alcohol, but soothing ingredients such as aloe vera. You should use cotton balls with the solution once a week, unless your veterinarian advises otherwise. There are also products sold specifically for cleaning a dog’s ears.
While canine ear infections are very common, they can lead your dog to be very miserable, so it is vital that you check your dog’s ears on a regular basis. This will ensure they remain healthy and free of infection.
Cleaning your dog’s ears on a weekly basis will also keep infections at bay. Remember, if you have a floppy-eared dog, such as a Spaniel, your dog is more prone to canine ear infections, so you will need to check and clean the ears regularly.
Nancy Cope is the owner of four rescue dogs and Pampered Dog Gifts.