Thank you so much Vicki for being so brilliant with Danny, his ear looks amazing now that the stitches are out, it’s really tidy and no scar tissue either which is a great bonus.

Such a relief that the collar is now off and we can get back to normal exercise and agility at last.

Your advice, patience and support throughout this whole episode has been fantastic, as it always is, you’ve made sure that I understood what was going to happen, how to help and what to expect, I can’t thank you enough.

Thanks also to your great vet nurses, Kennel team and reception staff who are always so friendly and helpful and also Rachel and Siobahn who were brilliant with both Danny and I when we came in at short notice when it all needed draining again.

Emma

border collie at Scott Vets

The handsome Danny who had his ear problem all sorted out by the Scott Vets team

How 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
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusty skin
  • Hair loss
  • Foreign bodies i.e. grass seeds
  • Black debris with coffee ground like appearance

The basics of how to clean your dog’s ears

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.

ear canalStart 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

Scott Veterinary Clinic Ltd

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