While any dog can contract an ear infection, some dogs are especially prone to the ailment. Outer ear infections are usually caused by bacteria, while inner ear infections can be triggered by matted hair, foreign objects, or excessive drainage inside the ear canal. Although canine ear infections may not be completely avoidable, you and your veterinarian can help prevent them.
Establish a Weekly Cleansing Schedule Ask your veterinarian to recommend a cleaning solution or at-home remedy that will help prevent canine ear infections. After cleansing, excess solution should be carefully absorbed with a cotton ball. Ask your vet to detail the procedure from start to finish.
Keep an Extra Eye on Swimming Dogs Dogs that enjoy swimming spend a great deal of time in pools, ponds, and lakes—all perfect breeding grounds for bacteria. Ongoing ear infections are common in swimming breeds like retrievers due to excessive water entering their ears. Regular cleaning is essential if you have a pet who loves to paddle. Keep your dog's ears dry by drying them out a cotton ball after every swimming session.
Maintain a Regular Grooming Regimen Breeds with floppy ears like cocker spaniels or basset hounds experience more frequent ear infections, as do dogs with hairy inner ears, like miniature poodles and schnauzers. Dogs with hairy ear flaps should have the hairs plucked by a qualified groomer periodically to help prevent ear infections.
Know How to Spot Symptoms Dogs are quick to alert you to an ear infection. Watch out for these clues that can indicate a problem:
- Excessively scratching ears
- Shaking or tilting head, particularly in one direction
- Inflamed or red ears
- Yellow or black discharge from ears
Contact your veterinarian as soon as possible if your dog displays any of these symptoms.
If you're seeking a passionate, knowledgeable team of veterinarians to address and treat your pet's healthcare needs, call ABC Veterinary Hospitals at (858) 278-1825 today. We offer complete clinical care for dogs and cats in the San Diego area.