If you are a dog parent, you need to be aware of several issues that your pet may suffer from. One of which is dog ear infections. The latter is a hugely common health problem among dogs.
Dogs’ ears are different from yours. Their ears are mostly vertical which makes it easy for dirt, debris, and moisture to find their way to your dog’s ears. This, in turn, leads to ear infections.
To protect your dog from this widely spread health issue, you need to be conscious of the main types, causes, symptoms, and prevention of dog ear infections. This is exactly what we are going to discuss in the following article. Kindly read what is coming to keep your dog healthy and happy.
The Main Types of Dog Ear Infections
In order to refer to a dog ear inflammation, we use the medical term otitis. The latter is divided into three types depending on the affected part of your dog’s ear:
Otitis Externa: Inflammation in the outer ear canal.
Otitis Medina: You will find that inflammation happens in the middle ear.
Otitis Interna: Here the inflammation occurs in the inner ear.
While all these conditions need immediate professional attention, otitis interna is the most serious one as it affects the inner ear of your dog which may result in permanent damage. This particular ear condition is also common because this specific part is the most exposed to external factors.
If you notice any unusual symptoms, even if they are mild, you need to take your furry friend to the vet. Otherwise, the problem can become serious leading to nerve damage, equilibrium issues, and hearing loss.
Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections
Once the bacteria and yeast grow they cause ear infections in your dog. You may notice that your dog is continuously shaking their heads. Well, this may be an attempt to get your attention. They may be telling you that they are in pain and feeling discomfort.
Other symptoms of dog ear infections include the following:
- Scratching or rubbing against hard objects
- Odor your dog’s ears
- Loss of Balance
- Liking or swelling on the skin
- Unusual eye movements
Remember to contact your vet once you notice these symptoms so that you can address the issue when in the first stages. If not, these may lead to additional serious problems.
Causes of Dog Ear Infections
There are several variables that cause your pooch’s ear to be infected. In some cases, an underlying problem may lead to a deficiency in the protective barrier of a dog’s ear to function as it should. As a result, the bacteria or yeast start growing leading to infection. Moreover, the hair found in the ear canal, earwax buildup, and moisture all result in ear infections.
Other underlying causes that lead to dog ear infections are:
- Foreign bodies
- Ear mites
- Imbalance in hormone
- Trauma to the ear
When Your Dog is At Risk?
In fact, all dogs are equal when it comes to dog ear infections. Dogs of all ages, breeds and medical histories can face this issue. Yet, if your dog has a given allergy or certain medical condition, then you need to be aware that your dog may be at higher risk for ear infections.
Furthermore, you can find other factors that make your dog at risk of ear infections. For example, the shape of your dog’s pinnae, or outer ear is one element. Breeds such as Cocker Spaniels can encounter this issue.
The Prevention of Dog Ear Infections
Here comes the importance of grooming. If you want to preserve your dog’s overall health, grooming is the first step you should take. It has a number of health benefits. One of which is keeping your dog’s ears healthy.
You need to have a grooming schedule and regularly clean your dog’s ear especially if your dog swims a lot. You also need to trim the excess ear hair found in your dog. But make sure that you can successfully do it by yourself at home. If you cannot, then do not try it out as you can hurt your dog. The best solution here is to take your dog to your local professional groomer. They have the needed tools and the knowledge to professionally achieve the task.
Remember to keep your pooch’s ears dry and well-ventilated, especially after bathing or swimming. Ask your veterinarian to show you an ear-cleaning solution that contains a special drying agent, if you need so. Please, make sure not to use Q-tips – cotton-tipped applicators while applying the solution. If you do so, you may, unintentionally, damage your dog’s ears. Do not forget to regularly take your dog to the vet for an annual check-up. This is an important part of prevention.
What to Avoid and What to Do While Cleaning Your Dog’s Ears?
When cleaning your dog’s ears, make sure to remember the following:
– What to Avoid
- Do not try alcohol or hydrogen peroxide. If used, they may kill healthy ear cells.
- In order not to risk rupturing the eardrum, avoid sticking cotton swabs down into your pooch’s ear.
– What to Do
- Closely read the guide written for you before applying liquid cleanse.
- Start massaging the base of the ears.
- Look for any medication prescribed and apply them.
Surely, you want your dog to hear the loving word coming out of your mouth. You want them to hear you calling their names and running to you. To experience this unconditional love, you need to look after your dog.
Ear infections are common in dogs. However, prevention is possible. Try to regularly groom your pet, closely notice any unusual signs or symptoms, and take them to the vet for checkups.
Dogs as innocent and pure creatures deserve the best. They simply deserve love and your attention. Be a good and responsible pet parent as your dog needs you.