It is very important to check your dog’s ears on a daily basis and to make sure they are clean and dry. This will also get them used to their ears being handled. Clean and dry ears feel good for your dog but also prevent infections. The design of a dog’s inner ear means that it is easy for parasites, bacteria and yeast to grow in them and any dirt or wax needs to work its way up the ear canal, against gravity, to come out. This trapped dirt can cause infections.
If you notice your dog shaking their head or pawing at their ears then you should check them more often as this can be a sign of pain and discomfort.
Start by examining the outer ear, or earflap as otherwise known. This is the area most prone to injury and infection as it is exposed to objects and dirt. Check the earflap for ticks, cuts or any other foreign bodies.
Next, look into the ear canal. Hold the tip of the ear with your forefinger and thumb and gently fold it back so that you can view the inner ear. Healthy ears should be light pink inside and have no smell or any discharge. Certain breeds, such as terriers and poodles, have hair growing in the ear canal. This needs to be plucked out to prevent wax and dirt building up. Ask your groomer how to do this properly.
Check for any foreign bodies such as grass seeds or any signs of infection, such as soreness or redness, bad smell or discharge. Ear mites are very common in young dogs as they are easily spread.
These are tiny mites that live in the ear canal and feed off skin debris. They look like dark debris like coffee ground. If you suspect these, you will need to book an appointment to see the vet to confirm this and for treatment.
Ears should be cleaned on a weekly or monthly basis as needed. Breeds with floppy or fluffy ears will need more attention than those with pricked ears as ear infections are more common in these breeds due to the lack of air circulating through the ear and they provide a perfect breeding environment for bacteria and yeast, with their dark, warm and moist conditions. However any breed can get an ear infection.
Cleaning your dog’s ears with the University of Bristol
It is very important to keep your dog’s ears dry and clean to prevent ear problems. Make sure after bathing and swimming their ears are dried thoroughly. Ear infections, ear mites and foreign bodies can all cause serious problems in dogs such as hearing loss and constant shaking of the head can cause blood vessels in the ear to burst and a pocket to fill with blood.
This is called an aural haematoma and often needs surgery to correct. A good ear health routine on a regular basis allows you to pick up problems quickly, so they can be treated as soon as possible. If there are any signs of ear problems do not apply ear cleaner as this can cause more damage. Contact us and book an appointment to see the vet to examine the ear and treat accordingly.
Contact the clinics if you notice any of the following:
- Ear discharge
- Bad smells
- Crusty skin
- Hair loss
- Foreign bodies i.e. grass seeds
- Black debris with coffee ground like appearance
We would like to say a huge thank you to all the team at Scott’s who worked relentlessly day and night to save the life of Lola.
We will be eternally grateful to you for returning our fur baby to us. She has settled back in at home this evening and we toasted her recovery with Champagne!
We genuinely thought we would lose her, but thanks to your expertise and hard work she is back with her very loving mummies and her older brother Alfie.
Thank you, Thank you, Thank you…. From the bottom of our hearts! We will never be able to thank you enough for all that you did.
Much Love. Andie
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Outside of the consulting room, most of the attention and medical care your pet receives is at the hands of one of our veterinary nurses
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