Canine Ear Infections

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December 4, 2011
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Dogs get ear infections now and then. The floppy guys tend to be more prone to them than the ones who have standup perky ears. It’s usually due to bacteria or yeast in the ears that can’t get out of the canals and then gets mixed with wax creating an infection. Some of the causes can be excessive moisture that gets trapped in the ears from swimming, bathing, or humidity.

You can tell your dog may have discomfort around her ears if she is doing any of the following:

1: scratching a lot at the ears
2: discharge that is wet, oily, and brown or yellow in color
3: discharge that has blood in it
4: redness
5: swelling
6: it smells bad like yeast or sour
7: crusted or scabby skin near the ear flaps
8: hair loss around the ears from scratching
9: shaking the head a lot and tiling it
10: possibly hearing loss from a blocked canal

If you think your dog might have an ear infection, a trip to the vet is in order. Your vet can take a sample of the discharge, look into the canal, and see if it is an infection or parasites, or just a waxy ear. Treatment for infections usually include a good cleaning and flushing of the ears followed up by medication and wiping of the ears for a number of days.

Your vet may recommend regular cleaning of the ears and keeping them dry to prevent a repeat infection. Some dogs have a lot of hair that grows around the opening of the canals and your vet may recommend removing that hair on a regular basis. Your vet or a groomer can gently remove the fur if you are unable to do it.

There are many products available for cleaning your dog’s ears and some are oily while others are dryer. Ask your vet which kind would be best for your dog. Remember that even though dogs tend to let us know when they are uncomfortable, there are those moments when they don’t. It’s up to us to remember to be good pet parents and check their ears, teeth, and paws.

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