For most people who have owned a dog, ear care has undoubtedly been an area of their pet’s health that has needed attention at some point.
Why? Because during the summer months dogs have a habit of picking up grass seeds, grit and a variety of other small objects that easily become lodged in their ears. Even insects sometimes manage to get inside dogs’ ears and stay there!
Ear mites can also be a problem, as can the occasional ear infection.
If your dog is showing signs of discomfort - maybe he’s rubbing his ears, scratching or shaking his head - it’s important you investigate the matter. Are his ears red, swollen or hot to the touch? If the answer is yes then your should consult a vet immediately. The same applies if there is any discharge coming from your dog’s ear or if there’s an offensive odor.
If you’re able to see a foreign object in his ear you could try removing it with your fingers but ONLY if the object is not piercing any tissue. It’s important you do not use anything that could cause further damage to your pet’s ear such as tweezers or cocktail sticks as ears are very delicate and can be easily damaged.
If left untreated there’s a chance your dog could cause himself serious damage through scratching. For this reason it’s important you try to calm him and impede further scratching until a vet has examined him.
Grooming sessions are the perfect opportunity to check your dog’s ears for any foreign bodies, infections or mites. Even short-coated dogs should be regularly groomed if only because it offers the perfect opportunity to check the dog’s overall condition.
Whilst grooming, check your dog’s ears carefully. If mites are present they can usually be detected by the presence of a brown material in the ears that has an offensive smell.
Ear mites live on the thin, delicate skin inside the ears as this can easily be pierced thus enabling them to feed.
Mites are passed on from one animal to another and are therefore more likely to occur amongst dogs that have been kenneled. If a puppy has mites it’s probable that these were passed on from the mother.
If left untreated ear mites can lead to serious bacterial infections that can again lead to loss of hearing. It’s therefore important you ensure your dog receives professional treatment.
Although ear problems are relatively common, they can be serious so should never be overlooked. If in doubt, always seek professional advice.