How did my dog get an ear infection?
– Ear infections can be caused by any damage to the protective skin layer that allows for yeast and bacteria that normally live on the skin (in very small numbers) to rapidly multiply, or by excess moisture being trapped in the ear canals.
– Dogs with heavy, floppy ears can be predisposed to having trouble with ears due to lack of air flow into canals.
– Breeds commonly affected: Cocker Spaniel, Pug, Labrador, Golden Retriever, Basset hounds
– Dogs with allergies often struggle with ear infections.
What are the DO’s and DON’TS when preventing ear infections?
-Clean ears post-bathing or swimming
-Check ears frequently-look and smell
-For dogs with history of infection-weekly ear cleaning whether they need it or not
-Keeping hair shaved short on and around the ears
-Do not use hydrogen peroxide or homemade mixtures to clean ears
-Do not use water to clean ears (only ear cleaner, cotton, and ear ointment prescribed by your veterinarian goes in ears)
-Do not use Q-tips to dig debris out deep in the canal
What does infection look like?
- Red ears
- Scratching at ears
- Painful to touch
- Shaking head frequently
- Smelly ears
- Thick dirt-like debris
- White/yellow/green soupy debris
How do I know if my dog needs ear medication?
If you clean ears once a day for 3 days and are still getting a lot of debris out and/or the dog is painful/bothered by the ears, you need to see your veterinarian.
How do I clean my dog’s ears?
Step 1: Locate an area with floors that can be easily cleaned. (Bathroom, Outside, Garage)
Step 2: Gather the materials you need. (Ear cleaner, cotton, second person to help)
Step 3: Try to warm up ear cleaning solution by holding bottle against your body for a few minutes. (The cleaner is room temperature and your dog’s body temperature is 99-102 degrees. What a cold shock!)
Step 4: Have dog sitting upright and fill ear canal with ear wash until full. (You can’t put too much ear wash in. It will all come right out)
Step 5: Rub ear base for about 30 seconds. You should hear a good sloshing sound. (You are loosening and floating up debris from deep in canal)
Step 6: Wipe out with cotton. Is your cotton clean? If not, then repeat step 5.
Step 7: Dry as well as possible with cotton and let dog shake out excess cleaner
Step 8: If you have been prescribed ear ointment then wait 10-15 minutes and apply ointment. If not, then congratulations on properly cleaning your dog’s ears. Time for treats!
Article written by: Lindsey Q