Ear Care

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Filed in Dogs, Health

A very common malady among dogs is smelly ears. There can be many causes for ear odor. To figure out what type of ear problem you are dealing with, consider the following questions:

Is the ear is full of dark waxy debris without a noxious odor?

You are probably dealing with ear mites. The mites themselves are very tiny, and white. If you swab out some of the debris and place it on a black surface, such as a piece of paper, you will be able to see the mites run for darkness. The mites irritate the ear canal and that produces more wax to soothe the inner ear. This also gives the mites a place to hide.

The first step in treating ear mites is to remove as much of the wax as possible before treating with mite medication. To do this, a commercially available ear wash, such as Tomlyn Earoxide, can be used to rinse out the debris. Cotton swabs, or cotton balls can be used to wipe out the excess. Do not penetrate the ear canal with the swab.Once the majority of the waxy buildup is removed you can flush the ear canal with the mite medication. Follow the directions on the bottle for frequency of re-treatment.

Is the ear has an oozy, bad smelling discharge or if it is red and swollen?

You are dealing with an infected ear that requires a veterinary visit and antibiotics to cure the infection. You can help prevent future ear infections with some easy daily care.

Dogs with closed ears, that is, those with floppy ears, seem to have the highest occurrence of ear infections, due to the fact that less air is circulating around the canal. Dogs that swim often also have this problem of trapped moisture. By using drying agents, such as the Vets Best Ear Wash and Dry, or R7 Drying Powder after swimming, or as part of your regular grooming regime, you will keep the ear healthier. If these simple steps do not help ward off chronic ear infections, removing wheat from your dog's diet may help improve your odds.

Is the ear is just plain dirty without any discharge, or smell?

You are ahead of the game. General ear cleaning is a simple way to ensure that your dog's ears stay healthy. There are many products to help you keep them clean. Some of the easiest to use are the Tomlyn Earoxide, the R7 Ear Cleaner (which comes in liquid or pads), and the Vets Best Ear Wash and Dry Kit. These products make the maintenance of healthy ears a breeze.

Some breeds require the plucking of hairs from around the opening of the ear. Your veterinarian, groomer, or breeder can assist you in the best method for your breed.

It is always best to be certain that there is not a foreign object in the ear canal, such as a foxtail, before you begin any treatment on your dog. If you have any doubts as to the cause of your dog's discomfort, please contact your veterinarian for assistance.

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