Dog ear infections....What are the signs?

Just like humans, dogs can get ear wax build up too. It is important to check your dog’s ears regularly to ensure your dog is fit, healthy and happy. A quick routine can help avoid any unwanted future health problems. We have put together a quick guide on what to look out for and what to do to stay on top of this common health problem.



So what are the key signs to look out for?

Most dogs love nothing more than to have their ears scratched or massaged. However if your
dog seems to suddenly not want their ears touched or if they frequently try and rub their own ears with their paw on a regular basis, this may be a sign of an ear infection. Dogs with an ear infection can also tend to start acting differently with acts such as rubbing their head against furnishing within your home. Itchy and uncomfortable ears can be an early sign of something a little more serious and should be investigated immediately upon finding.



Does my dog ear wax look normal or should I be worried?

An easy way to check whether your dog’s ear wax is healthy is to check its visual colour, it should look both pale & yellowish with a semi soft consistency. If your dog has a dark brown ear wax or if it looks grey instead of golden yellow then this can be a clear sign of an ear infection. An increase in wax build up can also prove to be a sign of an unhealthy ear and can be a cause for concern.

A healthy dog’s ear should have no foul smell, if you check your dog’s ears and notice an unusual odour this can often be a sign of chronic otitis.  This infection will not only cause continuous itchiness to your dog’s ears but can also prove at time painful similar to human ear ache. It is advisable to act immediately, as prolonged untreated ears can lead to a rupturing of the ear canal and long lasting health issues for your dog.



Is ear wax normal for dogs?

The simple is yes, ear wax is normal. Just like humans earwax acts as a layer of protection to stop unwanted debris entering their ear canal. Its self-cleaning ability will ensure a clean and healthy ear passage and will also help avoid any future ear infections.



Can a certain breed of dog be more prone to ear infections?

Yes they sure can!
 Certain breeds can be more prone to ears infections than others such as Cocker Spaniels, Poodles and Bulldogs. This is mainly due to both the unique shape of their ears and also due to hair naturally growing inside their ears.

Another reason can be their lifestyle, again just like humans dogs who love to swim in water can also be at a greater risk of catching an ear infection. Don’t worry swimming in water can still be fun, simply by reducing the amount they swim can help reduce the risk if infection.


Earwax….should I clean my dogs ears?

If your dog’s ear looks and smells healthy then stay away!
Your dog’s body will naturally clean their ears for them, many owners like to clean their dogs ears on a regular basis however this can actually lead to infection.  Walk away and let nature takes its toll!

However, if your dog’s ears smell foul and looks unpleasant then we do recommend seeking professional vet advice. We have put together a small guide of what signs to look out for both internally and externally.

- Ear discolouration (such as dark brown/black wax)
- Discharge (yellow creamy texture)
- Redness in and around the ear canal
- Excessive ear was build up
- Rubbing of the ear against furniture
- Excessive and stressful scratching with their paw

The most common reaction many dog owners have once spotting one of the above symptoms is to run to the bathroom and grab a cotton bud…..STOP! Cotton buds and ear canals should never to in the same sentence, these are very dangerous and cause more harm than good. The cotton bud can actually push ear wax further into the ear canal and increase the risk of a blockage or infection.
We always advise seeking your vet’s advice before attempting to clean or cure an ear infection,  a quick trip will only take 5 minutes for your vet to check and diagnose and could quickly get your back  on the road to a speedy recovery.

Do you own a variety of breeds in your household and notice one breed to be more prone to infections than the other? Comment below your own experience with any tips you may have to help other dog owners act against this unpleasant infection.

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