Healthy Ears!

All dogs are prone to ear infections; some dogs more than others, but all dogs’ ears are at risk. Since dogs’ ear canals are L-shaped, bacteria/yeast/ear mites are able to thrive in the dark, moist environment that the shelf of their ear canal provides.

A simple way I help prevent ear infections is to clean our dogs’ ears after EVERY bath and/or after EVERY time they go swimming. Water from bathing and/or swimming can get into the dogs’ ear canals, which easily sets them up for a painful ear infection.

Step 1:

I gather my ear cleaner and cotton balls/gauze squares. My favorite ear cleaner, by far, is Dr. Harvey’s Herbal Ear Wash. Although, if I am in a pinch and find myself without ear cleaner, I use a solution of 2/3 water to 1/3 white vinegar. I don’t use a vinegar and water ear solution too regularly, however, as it could irritate the dogs’ ears. Also, if their ears are already irritated, or if I suspect an ear infection, I stay away from the vinegar solution as it will sting/hurt/irritate their ears more.

Step 2:

I hold the dog’s ear straight up so that its outer ear canal is easily visible, and fill the entire ear canal with ear cleaner.

Step 3:

I gently massage the base of the dog’s ear. When I hear a “squishy” sound, I know that I am doing it correctly. This step is important to loosen up any debris in their ears.

Step 4:

I stand back! I let our dogs shake their ears in order to dislodge ear debris with the ear cleaner.

Step 5:

I use cotton balls or gauze squares to remove excess debris and/or ear cleaner. DO NOT USE Q-TIPS, as this may pack down the ear debris.

Step 6:

I repeat steps 1-5 for the other ear.

If your dog’s ears seem painful during any of the above steps, you need to take your dog to a veterinarian, as it is impossible to see what is going on in their inner ear canal without an otoscope. Even if the outermost ear canal looks normal, there may be something brewing in the inner ear canal. Once at your veterinarian’s office, the vet can also take a sample of the debris and look under a microscope to look for ear mites, fungus and/or bacteria. Once your veterinarian knows what she/he is dealing with, she/he will be able to prescribe your dog the correct medication.

Dogs can get ear infections from numerous sources (such as allergies), so it is very important to inspect their ears often and to clean their ears routinely.

Don’t put off taking your doggie to the vet if you suspect an ear infection. Ear infections are painful, and, if left untreated, could lead to costly surgeries, and even deafness. Preventing ear infections, instead of treating them, is extremely important for ear health, and, by far, less expensive.

Disclaimer:

After contacting Dr. Harvey’s to share the physical and mental health benefits that I witnessed after switching my dogs’ diets to Paradigm, Dr. Harvey’s has since given me free products from their lines of food, supplements, treats, and grooming essentials for my honest feedback.

All opinions expressed about Dr. Harvey’s in this and any other article I post may not represent the thoughts or opinions of Dr. Harvey’s. Dr. Harvey’s products are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

In no way is this post or any other post intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Yes, I am a veterinarian, but I am not your pets’ veterinarian. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian with any questions you may have regarding the medical condition of your pet. Never disregard professional advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this blog.