Dog grooming: Taking care of your ears

Dogs’ ears are prone to infection, as you may have noticed if you have a dog with an ear problem. If your dog continues to have infections, here is some information that may help you treat chronic ear infections

Ear infections in dogs are often called Otitis Externa; this means an infection in the outer ear. External ear infections account for 90% of all infections in dogs, making ear infection the most common infection for a dog to treat. Ear mites can often accompany ear infections.

Dogs with allergies may have more ear infections than some other dogs.

 It can be caused by a buildup of wax inside the ear. It can also be caused by long hair that blocks the passage of air and creates a build-up not only of wax but also of dirt and debris.

Regular cleaning of the ears will also accustom your pet to having his ears handled, making it easier to administer the treatment.

You can prevent these infections by cleaning your dog’s ears thoroughly and as part of your regular grooming regime. Cleaning your dog’s ears is simple and all you need is a soft cloth and some ear cleaner. Lift the ears and massage some cleaner into the ear, this should loosen up the dirt.

Regular cleaning of the ears is a very effective preventive measure, especially if you have a dog with a high risk of ear infections. Ear infections are more frequent in dogs that regularly swim, for instance.

. Water in the ears can be a problem for dogs that are essentially not designed for water.

You can detect an ear infection in your dog by looking for the following telltale signs:

-ear smells

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-excessive head shaking

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-Red ears

If your dog seems to be uncomfortable or scratches his ears excessively, it is likely that he is causing you a lot of distress. If your pet scratches too hard, it can even rupture blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.

You can try cleaning your dog’s ears with white vinegar to remove dirt from the ear and promote the growth of good bacteria. Use the vinegar in the same way as the ear cleaner – pour it in and gently wipe inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This may help relieve the infection or even clear it up if the problem is not too serious to begin with.   If the infection is serious, it is time to call your vet. It can be easily cleared up. In most cases, your dog will need some antibiotics to help clear up the problem.

If your dog has recurring ear infections, your vet may suggest trimming the hair around his ear or the vet may trim the hair around the ear. This often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that, your vet may suggest surgery to allow easier drainage from the ear canal.

Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others, any breed of dog with large or particularly small ears will have ear infections more easily than other breeds.  Now that you know what to look for, you should be able to detect ear infections before they become a serious problem.

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