Because of your dog’s active lifestyle, it cannot be helped that his ear will be susceptible to all sorts of dirt and bacteria. Even taking baths or swimming will make his ears prone to organisms that can lead to ear infection. Ear mites love to stay inside a puppy’s ears and if unattended, will make his ears inflamed. When our dogs play in the dirt, sand or mud, it is most probable that tiny insects get inside the ear canal.
A common problem of ear problems with dogs is the presence of ear mites. Ear mites are organisms that love living inside a dog’s ear canal. Their entire life cycle is spent inside the ear canal as they feed on skin debris. It will take 3 weeks for their eggs to hatch into fleas that can reproduce. Ear mites are found mostly in cats, and dogs usually get mites from contact with cats or other animals that have them. If you see small particles in the ear, similar to black coffee grounds, then those are ear mites.
Redness of the ear is a common sign of ear infection. Check for a foul smell or abscess forming at the sides or the insides of the ear. There are instances where leakage of yellow substance oozes outside the ear, which also causes a foul smell. When your dog is scratching his ear constantly or is tilting his head to one side, this is an indication that he is irritated with his ears. In extreme cases, your dog will manifest irritability and will be inactive. Another cause of itching is allergies. When you see redness or even crusting outside the ear, go to your vet immediately.
Here are some tips to care for your dog’s ears and solutions to ear diseases.
1. Clean, clean, and clean.
To keep you dog from having ear infections, always make sure that his ears are clean. With a cotton swab or a cotton ball dipped in hydrogen peroxide, clean the outer part of the ear and slowly rub towards the inside. If you are to use an ear cleaner, have a few drops of liquid on the tip of the ear.
2. Keep them dry.
Wet ears are usually a main cause for ear disease. Remember to put a cotton swab inside the ears before the dog engages in swimming or before he takes a bath. If you are unable to do so, make sure that his ears are dried properly and put a few drops of water drying solution in his ear. Water drying solutions can be bought from any pet store.
3. Groom him.
Long hair that grows inside the ear canal is another dwelling place of ticks and fleas. Bring your dog to the groomer or ask your vet if you could cut them yourself. However, it is best that this be done by a professional to avoid problems.
4. Don’t forget his meds.
In the event that your pet catches an allergy, applying an ear cleaner is wise. Your veterinarian of course will prescribe antihistamines. Presence of bacteria is manifested by a yellow or brownish type of discharge that will cause a foul odor, and you must make sure that the dog takes his antibiotics. If needed, keep him on multivitamins to strengthen his immune system. Quality food, like those provided by PetCo, are packed with nutrients that should be enough to sustain his daily vitamin requirement. Feeding him organic and raw food is also recommended and keeps his hunter-like instincts alive.
5. Check your cats.
Cats are more prone to ear mites than dogs. If you own a cat be on the watch for ear mites with cats because they might infect your dogs, especially the ones with non-erect ears. The best way is to make sure that all of the pets have clean ears.
The best way to cure is prevention. When you take your dog to the vet or for grooming in places like Pet Smart, ask them on how to improve your dog’s ear health. They can give you home remedies if you see mites on your pets. They can also help you stop the mites from reproducing, and preventing the spread of ticks in the home.
Ear cleaning is very important. Clean their ears twice or thrice a week. Ear cleaners and drying solutions are the main tools that you will need to save you and your dog from the painful and laborious experience of treating ear infections. While it is important to keep our dogs active, it is also your responsibility to keep him well-groomed and healthy.