Ear Infections In Dogs: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment And Prevention.
Ear infections are common issues in breeds with floppy ears, such as the Portuguese Water Dog, which unfortunately can lead to causing your dog pain and distress. The cause of this is because whilst dogs with floppy ears are cute, they create excellent breeding grounds for bacteria, as the ear is lined with hair that can trap moisture and debris inside of the ear. Dogs with ears that stand up, such as the German Shepard, allow for them to be aired out and cleaned, thus reducing the likelihood of infection. The ears of floppy eared dogs often don’t get the opportunity to be cleaned properly or dried out, meaning they are more susceptible to infection, especially in water loving dogs such as the Portuguese Water Dog.
Ear infections are easily recognised and should not be left untreated, and they are best identified through the following symptoms:
· Scratching of or around the ear
· Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge from the ear
· Odour coming from the ear
· Redness or swelling around the ear
· Scabs forming inside the ear
· Hair loss around the ear
· Frequent head shaking or tilting
· Hearing loss
Ear infections typically appear in only one ear at a time, so if you’re uncertain as to whether your dog has an ear infection or not, you can compare their ears and check for any signs of the above-mentioned symptoms. If you are still unsure it’s best to seek medical advice sooner rather than later, to prevent your dog from feeling any undue suffering.
Your vet will be best equipped and capable of identifying and treating an ear infection, as dogs presenting with these symptoms often suffer from multiple infections at once, such as a bacterium and a fungus growing simultaneously inside the ear. This is why it’s important to consult your vet as they can best prescribe an appropriate medication and see your dog back on their path to health.
Prevention however is always the best method in caring for your pet, and it is advised you do your best to keep your dog’s ears dry and clean, and not create an environment that would promote a harmful infection. Cleaning your dog’s ears can be done simply by applying a cleaning solution inside the ear, which can be easily found at your local pet store or online, and massaging the ear from the outside. Afterwards you should clean out the ear using an absorbent gauze or towel, as paper towel or tissue can leave debris inside the ear which can itself create infection.
Unfortunately ear infections are a common and recurring problem with dogs, however through constant care and attention you can keep your dog from any unnecessary pain.
One of our dogs enjoying their forever home after a fresh haircut.