Cleaning their ears
Pet supply stores sell special solutions for cleansing a dog’s ears. Dogs can easily get ear mites. These small insects live in the ears and feed of the waxy secretions in there. Over time, the bodies of these short-lived creatures build up and form a black, dirty substance. Dog ear infections are usually called Otits Externa; this means an infection in the outer ear. Outer ear infections account for 90% of the infections in dogs; making ear infection the most common infection for a dog to be treated for. Ear mites can often accompany ear infections.
Using a cotton swab dipped in a bit of solution, gently clean the inner ear. It may be difficult to hold the dog still for this procedure, but it doesn’t take long. You can try cleaning your dogs 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 cleanser - pour it on and wipe gently inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This might help ease the infection or even clear it up if the problem was not too severe to start.
The result will be clean ears and the avoidance of potential infection and earaches for your dog. Regular ear cleaning will also get your pet used to having their ears handled which will make it easier to administer treatment. If you have tried all of these, the infection is most likely more serious and its time to call the vet. It can be cleared up easily. Most often the dog will need some antibiotics to help clear the problem.
You can spot an ear infection on your dog by looking for the following tell tale signs:
- smelly ears
- excessive head shaking
- redness in the ears
If your dog seems uncomfortable or is excessively scratching their ears it’s probably causing a great deal of distress. If your pet is scratching too hard this can even break blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.