The first thing you need to do is visit the veterinarian to discover whether the ear infection is caused by bacteria, mites or yeast. If it is a mild bacterial ear infection, an astringent cleaner may be all that is needed to change the PH balance of the ear canal, inhibiting bacterial growth.
Severe bacterial ear infections will need topical, and possible oral, antibiotics. A culture may be needed to determine which bacteria are causing the problem so the proper antibiotic can be given. Once the medication is prescribed, follow the directions exactly and continue for the full course of treatment. Never save up medication and never medicate a dog yourself, even if it is a repeat problem. Over use of antibiotics can cause bacteria to become immune and can cause a secondary yeast infection.
Ear mites are easily treated, but the application must be timed specifically to kill both the mites and the hatching larvae. Follow the label instructions.
If your dog has floppy ears with an abundance of coat, talk to your groomer about possibly shaving the inside of the ear flap to promote air circulation.
Removing Ear Hair
How to Clean Ears
Abundant ear hair should be removed regularly in certain breeds such as Poodles, shihtzus and lhasas as well as a few others. In these breeds, the hair grows thick and long. It can actually mat inside the ear canal. The hair traps wax and dirt down inside the ear canal and retains moisture. The air cannot circulate, creating a moist, dark dirty environment for bacteria to grow. You will need to gently remove those hairs to open up the ear canal for cleaning.
If the hair is pulled regularly, it won’t cause trauma. If it has been left grow for too long, the first time may or may not be painful, depending on the dog and should be done in a few short sessions.
Most dogs that need this done are floppy earred. Flip the ear back over the head, exposing the canal. If you need to control the head, use your weak hand to grab the cheek area under the ear (don’t grasp the ear leather.
Use an EAR GROOMING POWDER that allows you to graspÂ the hair without slipping.
- Start by trimming the hair short below the ear toward the cheek up to and outside the ear canal. This hair will hurt badly if accidently pulled.
- Sprinkle theÂ EAR GROOMING POWDER liberally into the ear and start slowly pulling the hair that is about an inch outside the ear canal toward the leather. This is the least sensitive and allows the dog to get used to the feeling.
- Work slowly into the canal, pulling small amounts out with your finger tips. If your fingers begin slipping, add more powder.
- Once you get as much out as you can with your fingers, grasp small strands that go deep into the ear with a straight hemostat or tweezers. Wind the hairs around the hemostat then gently pull out.
- The ear can then be cleaned with an ear cleaner to remove remaining powder.
Dogs serve as hosts to a number of parasites. You will probably be asked to bring a fecal sample to your dog’s yearly vet appointment, so that the staff can check for the presence of internal parasites. If you notice small, rice-like granules on your pet’s bedding or around her anus, she is suffering from an infestation of worms and needs to be seen by your vet to get proper treatment.Other parasites take up residence on the outside of your dog’s body. Mange and sarcoptic mites live on the hair follicles and skin of dogs, while ear mites live on the inside of the ear. These parasites are so small you might not see them, but they cause your dog extreme discomfort. Head shaking and pawing at ears are signs of ear mites. Frequent scratching and skin-biting can indicate either skin mites or a dog’s worst enemy-fleas.