For a dog, ear infection is a very real possibility – the result of ear mites, bacteria, food allergies, bad hygiene, or an environmental factor that can get into their ear and cause problems. For the most part, ear infections need to be treated immediately by a veterinarian due to the very real threat they pose to your dog’s health.
An ear infection should be treated immediately when recognized, so you should be constantly watching for signs that your dog’s ears are not healthy. Do this with a weekly or biweekly check of their ear canals looking for signs including waxy discharge, red inflammation, constant scratching or general discomfort in your dog’s behaviour.
Who Gets Ear Infections
Ear infections are most common in dogs with floppy ears that do not get enough air. Moisture and dirt particles can get trapped in the ear and an infection can quickly form if you are not careful. Both fungus and yeast are common factors in ear infections due to the closed environment of a floppy eared dog. Cocker Spaniels, bloodhounds, beagles, dachshunds, and other floppy eared dogs should be checked regularly for signs of potential infection.
To avoid ear infections, check your dog’s ears regularly for signs of an odor or abnormal discharge of wax. You can clean your dog’s ears as well if they produce excess wax. Don’t use anything with a sharp end. Use cotton balls with a dog-specific cleaning solution to ensure you don’t make it worse or get any liquid trapped in their ears.
Avoid any over the counter medicines or remedies before checking with your vet as well. Even in prevention of ear infections, it is best to check with your vet first and ask what specific measures might be good for your breed of dog.
If your dog gets an ear infection, see a vet immediately as the chance that it could spread to a middle or inner ear infection is too dangerous to wait on. Inner ear infections can spread to other parts of the body or create damaging high fevers.