Dog Ear Infection Symptoms and Treatments

Well, if dogs have opposable thumbs and know-how of using cotton buds, they’d clean their ears themselves, and thoroughly. But as it is, they don’t. And they can’t. (As things go, WE humans can’t even do that properly sometimes.)

So hear him out. Know that the only way to be proactive about ear infection is to clean your pet’s ears completely and correctly (especially for those dogs with floppy ears), and since theirs are a lot larger and contain much more crevices than ours, the amount of wax build-up in their ears is definitely much more. And if this condition is not attended to as soon and as regularly as possible, it will bring about a mountain of discomfort to your dog – and to you as well. Some possible effects are chronic ear infections or infestations (bacteria, fungi, and yeast infections are the most common probability).

Symptoms that dog ear infections are underway are inflammation, redness, restlessness (scratching the ear and the temporal area and head shaking), a thick, oozy, yellowish ear discharge and stench. If these occur, head to the nearest certified vet; if left unchecked, they could lead to a damaged inner ear, signs of which are permanent auditory malfunction, and even episodes of vertigo and impaired balance.

Of course it will take time for the dog to get used to such ministrations – he might even whine and be uncomfortable throughout the whole process (hence, get those treats handy nearby – this might even be a dog training session). Keep your cool, and deal with it in a gentle, methodical manner.

  1. To properly clean your dog’s ears, have these tools prepared: cotton (shaped into balls or pads), an ear cleaner, cotton buds or Q-tips, and as was mentioned, dog toys and treats, for him to be preoccupied with while you dig in into his ears.
  2. Before using the ear cleaner, it should be pre-warmed for a maximum of ten minutes, and warm to lukewarm to the touch. It will help keep the dog at ease, and will alleviate any distress, since dogs are naturally adverse to the idea of anything cold seeping into their ears.
  3. Position yourselves in such a way that when the dog tries to squirm, it will not be uncomfortable for the both of you. One such example is side-by-side upon a sofa or couch.
  4. Moisten the cotton ball with the ear cleanser and gently begin with the outer area. Wipe the expanse thoroughly and make sure that every crevice has been dealt with. Do the same for the other ear.
  5. For those long-eared or floppy-eared breeds, push the flap of the ear up so the insides are visible. Maintain the upright, leveled position of his head to prevent seepage of the solution into the inner ear. For some with hairy issues inside the canal, make it a point to trim those excess hairs.
  6. Finally, soak the Q-tips ends with the dog ear solution. With these, gently probe into the cracks and the wrinkles of the visible outer-ear portion. A list of don’ts includes poking really deeply into the ear or getting really carried away with the cleaning, being very vigorous about it. Be gentle at all times, since this is an especially sensitized area of your pet’s anatomy.

And if there is the appearance of ear infection, do not touch or self-treat it. Go to the vet, and have it checked right away. There are prescriptions and medications (Zymox or antibiotic drops) that the vet will suggest for your pet's delicate condition.

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