Dog owners should be careful if four-legged friends often scratch their ears and shake their heads. These could be possible symptoms of otitis, in English: ear infection. Read here how you can recognize and prevent ear infections in dogs.
Symptoms of Ear Infection in the Dog
Inflamed ears often cause itching or a foreign body sensation. The characteristic shaking of the head, the tilting of the head, the constant scratching of the ear, and the attempt to rub the ears on objects are important symptoms. The dog can be sensitive to pain: if you touch your companion’s eavesdroppers gently, he whines, flinches, or tries to evade. You can see deposits in the ear with the naked eye. Often an unpleasant smell is noticeable. Dreaded complications of an ear infection in dogs are:
- inflammation of the inner ear that puts you at risk of meningitis;
- balance problems;
- hearing impairment up to deafness.
Causes of Inflamed Dog Ears
Otitis can have various causes: fungal diseases, mites or fleas can unbalance the balance of the ear environment. Bacteria have an easy time of it. A foreign body, such as a large seed in the ear canal, may also be responsible for the inflammation. An allergic reaction or food intolerance, which can be seen in reactions of the sensitive skin in the inner ear, is also conceivable.
Breeds of Dogs That are More Likely to Get Ear Infections
From a purely anatomical point of view, some dog breeds, such as the Shar-Pei, suffer from inflamed ears more often than others. This includes dogs with floppy ears or thick tufts of hair in their ears. The narrow ear canals can also be responsible. Sometimes all three factors come together. For example, the following breeds are prone to ear infections:
- Cavalier King Charles Spaniel;
- Labrador and Golden Retriever;
- Waterdogs like the barbet or the Portuguese water dog;
- Cocker spaniel;
- Scottish Terrier;
- Basset Hound;
- West Highland White Terrier.
This Helps With Ear Infections:
If you suspect an ear infection in your four-legged friend, make an appointment with the vet. Waiting and waiting will only worsen the inflammation while the dog is in acute pain.
With the so-called “otoscope” the veterinarian has the best view into the ear canal. If the dog is in severe pain, anesthesia or even a light anesthetic is necessary for the examination. A swab from the inflamed area enables the veterinarian to find out which pathogens need to be controlled. The doctor will clean the dog’s ears and thus create a good basis for the subsequent therapy. He often injects an antibiotic drug into the ear. It makes the inflammation subside and reduces the swelling.
After two or three further check-ups at the vet every few days, the ear infection is over in the best case. Thanks to new therapies, it is now unusual for the dog owner to regularly clean the inflamed ears himself. So be sure to keep the check-up appointments.
Because even if the ear looks clean again on the outside, the inflammation in the inner ear canal can continue to progress.
Home Remedies for Ear Infections in Dogs
If your dog is prone to ear infections, you can use preventative home remedies. These include, for example, coconut or almond oil, which when massaged into the auricle can protect against harmful bacteria. If the otitis is already clear, make an appointment with the vet. Because the risk of complications is high with an ear infection. If you use home remedies in parallel with his therapy, discuss this with the veterinarian beforehand.
How to Prevent Ear Infections in Dogs!
- Ears of sight: Look into your four-legged friend’s ears at least once a week. If you recognize redness or an increase in ear wax, make an appointment with the vet.
- Dry your dog’s ears after swimming or after long trips in the rain.
- Controversial: With floppy ears with a lot of fur in the ear canal, some pluck the fur that is growing in the ear every two weeks as a preventive measure. Others believe that this irritation promotes ear infections. Pluck or not? Discuss this with your veterinarian.
- For susceptible dogs: Have your veterinarian show you how to clean your ears with a mild dog ear cleaner and do it regularly at home.
- Massage a few drops of almond or coconut oil into the auricle regularly.