Ear Health 101
Pets ears are prone to infection as you might already have noticed if you have a dog or cat with problem ears. If your pets keeps getting infections here is some information that might help you deal with chronic ear infections.
Pet ear infections are usually called Otits Externa; this means an infection in the outer ear. (Otis Interna means an infection of the inner ear). Outer ear infections account for 90% of the infections in dogs; making ear infection the most common infection for a dog and in many cases cats. Ear mites can often accompany ear infections.
Dogs with allergies may experience more ear infections than other dogs. It can be caused by wax build up inside the ear. It can also be caused by long hair blocking the passage of air and creating a buildup of not only wax but also dirt and debris. It is important to avoid causes of allergies for pets suffering from them. These can include food allergies and often times the harder to control environmental allergies.
Regular ear cleaning will also get the pet used to having his ears handled which will make it easier to administer treatment.
You can prevent these infections by cleaning your pets ears well and as part of your regular grooming regime. Cleaning your dog and cats ears is simple and you only need a soft cloth and some ear cleanser. Lift the ears and massage some cleanser into the ear this should loosen the dirt.
Regular ear cleaning is a powerful preventative measure; particularly if you have a dog who is at a high risk for ear infections. Ear infections are more common in dogs that swim often for example. Water inside the ears can be a problem for dogs who are essentially not designed for water. Always clean your dogs ears after coming in contact with water during swimming and bathing.
You can spot an ear infection on your dog by looking for the following tell tale signs:
-excessive head shaking
-redness in the ears
If your dog seems uncomfortable or is excessively scratching their ears it's probably causing a great deal of distress. If you pet is scratching too hard this can even break blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.
You can try cleaning your dogs ears with a high quality ear cleaner such as Maddie's Premium Ear Cleaner to remove dirt from the ear and promote the growth of good bacteria. Use the ear cleanser - pour it on and wipe gently inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This might help ease the infection or even clear it up if the problem was not too severe to start. If the infection is serious its time to call the vet. It can be cleared up easily. Most often the pet will need some antibiotics to help clear the problem.
If your pet has recurring ear infections the vet might suggest that you clip the hair around the ear or the vet might clip the hair around the ear. This often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that the vet might suggest surgery to allow for easier drainage of the ear canal.
Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others any breed of dog with large ears or particularly small ears will get ear infections easier than some other breeds. Now that you know what to look for you should be able to detect ear infections before they become a serious problem
Maddie's Premium Ear Cleaner is a perfect option to help you maintain the health of your dog or cats ears. Be sure to keep it on hand (we offer auto-ship!). We recommend cleaning ears at least once a week and after any water is introduced in the ear (baths, swimming, ect). Reach out to Maddie's Humans if you have any questions about ear health not covered by this article.