Prevention And Detection Of Dog Ear Infections

Ear infections are a​ fairly common ailment for most dogs -- the​ problem is,​ you​ might not realize that there is​ a​ problem until its a​ painful problem for your dog.


Do you​ see your dog shaking it's head a​ little too often? Does your dog rub it's ears with it's paws,​ on​ the​ carpet,​ on​ the​ furniture,​ on​ your leg? Does your dog love it​ a​ little too much when you​ scratch it​ ears? These are all possible signs of​ an​ ear infection.

Did your dog used to​ love getting it's ears scratched but now shies away from you​ when you​ reach for it's ears? That's a​ sure sign of​ an​ ear infection.

Here are two other signs of​ this particular trouble: you​ see what looks like dirt in​ your dogs ears and wonder what its been up to. Your dog has an​ unusually bad smell -- even shortly after a​ bath.

That probably isn't dirt in​ the​ dogs ears (unless its been messing around in​ some very dirty places) -- its probably a​ build-up of​ ear wax and,​ if​ it​ is​ ear wax,​ that's probably also the​ cause for the​ mysterious odor.

An excess of​ smelly ear wax would,​ in​ most cases,​ be caused by inflamed (infected) ceruminous glands (wax glands) in​ it's ears. When these glands get infected they discharge extra amounts of​ ear wax. the​ excess ear wax causes the​ dogs ears to​ itch at​ first,​ that's why the​ rubbing and the​ blissful look when you​ scratch it's ears. After a​ while,​ if​ you​ don't spot the​ problem and get the​ dog to​ a​ vet,​ the​ wax buildup will become painful and the​ dog won't want you​ to​ touch its ears and the​ dog will become listless and probably not want to​ do anything except lay around -- waiting for the​ pain to​ go away.

The scenario described above is​ a​ typical outer ear infection and outer ear infections are by far the​ most common dog ear infections. the​ medical name is​ Otits Externa -- simply meaning “infection in​ the​ outer ear.” Just to​ complicate matters,​ you​ should know that dogs with ear infections often wind up with another problem -- ear mites.


Your dog needs you​ to​ protect it​ from the​ pain of​ an​ ear infection and here's how you​ can do it: don't wait for the​ signs of​ an​ ear infection,​ check your dog's ears at​ least once a​ week.

-Feel the​ skin on​ the​ inside (least haired side) of​ each ear. the​ skin should feel perfectly smooth -- if​ this skin feels rough or​ grainy you​ might already have an​ ear infection problem on​ your hands.

-Look into the​ ear -- you​ should see a​ normal (not red or​ swollen) looking ear canal. Worst case: you'll see some type of​ yellow or​ dark discharge or​ possibly pus draining from the​ ear.

-Smell the​ ear -- you​ should not smell anything unpleasant.

-If you​ see any signs of​ an​ ear infection,​ get your dog to​ a​ veterinarian.

-If you​ see a​ bit of​ wax or​ dirt in​ the​ ear but it​ doesn't seem to​ be bothering the​ dog,​ clean it's ears. Even if​ the​ ear looks clean and clear,​ and you​ haven't cleaned the​ dog's ears for a​ week or​ so,​ clean the​ ears.

Cleaning Your Dog's Ears

If you​ are not already cleaning your dogs ears on​ a​ regular basis,​ it​ may try to​ get away from you​ because it's not sure what you​ are doing and afraid that whatever it​ is​ will hurt. Calm the​ dog down by petting it​ and talking gently to​ it​ -- your tone of​ voice is​ always the​ key to​ your dog's reactions. Once you've started cleaning it's ears on​ a​ regular basis the​ do will get used to​ it​ and even appreciate the​ extra attention.

-Get an​ ear wash solution made specially for pets. Get it​ from a​ pet supply store or​ from your vet.

-Apply some ear wash solution to​ the​ inside of​ the​ dogs ears with a​ cotton ball or​ cotton-tipped swab. (Careful! Don't have the​ cotton ball or​ swab dripping wet -- you​ don't want to​ get anything down in​ the​ ear canal.)

About now,​ your dog will want to​ shake it's head to​ get the​ excess moisture out of​ it's ears -- it's OK -- let him or​ her shake it​ out.

-Take a​ fresh cotton tab with more of​ the​ ear-wash solution on​ it​ and clean the​ inside of​ the​ ear,​ around the​ folds and places where ear wax might build up.

Don't get into cleaning deep down into the​ ear canal -- that's for a​ veterinarian to​ do. if​ you​ see any build-up of​ ear wax deep down,​ let your vet take care of​ it.

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