Pet Ear Care
Veterinarians are often asked about pet ear care. Your pets ears have their own self-cleaning mechanism and are actually quite self-sufficient. Pet ear care becomes important when this self-cleaning mechanism fails you will need to intervene.
How do dogs’ ears stay clean?
Your pets’ generally stay clean naturally. The waxy, oily material that lines your pets’ ears combine with skin cells to form ear wax. This ear wax is what helps your pets’ ears naturally stay clean. Ear wax keeps their ear drum soft and moist. It also traps foreign material that gets in your pets’ ears, such as dust and dirt. The skin cells on your pets’ ears move the wax up and out which keeps your pets’ ears clean. This is why ear wax does not build up in healthy ears.
What causes ear infections?
There are many reasons dogs ears become infected. Common causes of ear infections are moisture, allergies or an irritant of some kind. Moisture is the most common cause of ear infections. Shampoo or water in the ear after a bath or swim is a very common cause. It does not matter if the water is dirty or clean, dogs’ ears are sensitive to moisture and humidity. Allergies are also a common cause for ear infections. If your pet seems to get ear infections repeatedly, you may want to talk to you veterinarian about possible allergies. We can test for pet allergies.
Pet ear care starts with spotting an ear infection
Dogs will sometimes shake their head or paw at their ear. They may groan or cry out when their ears are touched.
Dog do not always show signs that their ears are infected. You should check your dogs’ ears regularly, especially if they are in the water often. Infected ears may be red, have discharge in the ear canal or have a very strong odor. If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, bring your dog in for a checkup immediately.
How to treat an ear infection
Once an ear infection has started, your dogs’ ears continue to produce more and more waxy discharge. This can plug up the ear canal creating an incubator for the bugs trapped inside.
Your pet should be checked by your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will perform a test to determine what is causing the infection, usually yeast or bacteria. Your veterinarian will remove the wax plugging the ear, clean the ear and instruct you of follow-up care. Call our office if you would like to schedule an appointment for your pet.
Keeping your pets’ ears clean
It is important to determine what causes your pets’ ear infections. If moisture is the culprit, do you best to keep your pets’ ears as dry as possible. If allergies are the culprit, talk to your veterinarian about the proper treatment.