Taking care of your dog’s ears is an important part of looking after his health and well-being. There are many ways you can make sure his ears are in good shape, including monitoring them for any signs of problems such as a smell or discharge, cleaning them regularly, grooming his ears and feeding him a proper diet.
Your dog’s ears need to be constantly monitored for any problems. A healthy ear will be pink in color, with no visible discharge and no odor. Some indicators that he has an ear problem include discharge, redness and a bad odor. If your dog shakes his head a lot, scratches at his ears, or rubs them on the floor or the furniture, these too are signs that his ears need checking. If he has sore or itchy ears and they aren’t treated, he may develop a hematoma. This is a blood blister that develops between the skin of the ear and the cartilage, and it is usually caused by him scratching his ears or shaking his head. A hematoma usually needs to be treated surgically.
If you see any waxy build up in your dog’s ears, you’ll need to clean them. Ask your vet to recommend an ear cleaning solution. Squeeze a few drops of this solution into his ears and massage it around the inside of his ear canals. Use cotton balls to wipe out the ear, but never use Q tips and never insert anything into his ear. It’s too easy to cause damage if he should suddenly move his head.
You can also take care of your dog’s ears by grooming them properly. Excess hair can lead to infection because it traps moisture and prevents air circulation in the ear canal. Some dog breeds in particular are prone to growing excess hair in their ears; Shih Tzus, Poodles and Yorkshire Terriers are just some examples of dogs with hairy ear canals. Clip away excess hair growing in and around the canal and if necessary, you can pluck the hair out with tweezers. This isn’t comfortable but dogs seem to cope with it well.
Another important part of caring for your dog’s ears is managing his diet. Dogs can develop food allergies, which can affect their ears. The result is inflammation with secondary infection, which is hard to clear up completely. Anti-allergy medication, fatty acid supplements and medicated ear drops all play a role in treating allergic ear disease. If your dog has a food allergy you’ll need to adjust his diet, otherwise you’ll never clear up his ear problems completely. Your vet can help you work out how best to feed him.
These are the basics of caring for your dog’s ears. They don’t take much time or effort, but they can help to reduce the chances of him getting a painful ear infection.
Dr. Susan Wright, DMV is a specialist on dog bark collars. Susan gives excellent care for domestic pets as a working veterinarian. With over 10 years experience, Susan is an authority on family pet care. Susan loves writing articles that help people offer the best care for their own pets.