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Effective care of Dog Ears…

Posted: October 21, 2019 in Uncategorized

My article on the Effective care of Feet has proven to be the most read item on this blog over the last 4 years. My stats report says that 10,642 individuals have accessed it from Search Engines alone!!! I guess it’s time to move onto other parts of your dog that require daily maintenance!!!

Dogs are blessed with amazing hearing. You may believe that, based on behavior, their hearing isn’t all that great, but there’s a huge difference between “Hearing” and “Listening”!! (I join you in having experienced this first-hand)

The truth is, dogs’ hearing is acute, extreme, and well developed. Dogs hear into frequencies that human ears can’t even begin to fathom, detect, or understand. The sense of hearing is second only to their sense of smell, and far eclipses their eyesight.

The ears of dogs have developed into many types, shapes, and a few problems associated with those ears. Compare photos of various breeds and you will find the huge variety and shapes that have been genetically created. From the long, pendulous, and scent gathering ears of the Bloodhounds or Bassets, to the upright and impressive antennas of the German Shepherd, there is no end to the variety. Some of those shapes require more maintenance than others, especially in the cleaning department. While almost all dog ears are externally covered in hair matching the the coat, some breeds grow far more hair internally, into the actual ear-canal. Cocker Spaniels and Poodles are two good examples of this.

The shape of the ear canal, is nearly vertical until it takes a horizontal turn at the eardrum. This juncture is where many problems begin, as moisture, wax and dirt can collect, and the mess can become infected. It is possible for you to keep your dogs ears clean and healthy before the mess develops, by wiping the visible debris out daily or weekly, with a cotton swab and Hydrogen Peroxide. Don’t penetrate too far, and take care to be gentle!! Many dogs hate this procedure more than anything else we need to do to them. Watch for redness, swelling, or liquid discharge. It is also notable that infected ear canals STINK TO HIGH HEAVEN!!! The bacteria that forms is truly noxious. Truth be told, of all the putrid smells that can come from a dog, the stink of infected ears is the only one that turns my digestive system into a churning mess!! Yuck, yuck, and more yuck!!! When ears reach this point, a Veterinary visit is vital for your dogs health and well-being. Your Vet will use ear washes and anti-bacterials, soft cotton swabs and forceps to safely clean the ear out, fairly deeply into the canal. This can be a two-person job, and may require a practiced hand. Probably you are better off to leave this to your Vet, and his assistants. But the discomfort your dog may experience will be be far outwieghed by the health benefits of clean ears…Dogs that swim frequently can be especially vulnerable to ear problems. Gently drying the ears afterward with a cotton swab or small towel is advised.

Frequently, Dog Groomers will pluck hair from your dogs ears. This is not normally recommended as the pores in the ears will secrete a serum that can allow bacteria to gather, form, and cause problems. Wads of hair with waxy build up or dirt, should be plucked, but removing hair for cosmetic reasons is asking for problems. This is the reason that schnauzers, poodles, and other show quality breeds suffer ear problems more frequently than others.

Ears, ears, ears!!

What sort of ear cleaner should you use? There are various types of ear cleaners, but the most important thing is that you only use a good quality dog ear cleaner. Never put olive oil, vinegar, shampoo or any other substance in a dog’s ear. Also avoid poking around with cotton buds in the ear, you will only work any wax and debris further in and potentially damage the ear drum.  Again, your Vet will have his or her favorite type of ear cleaning solutions, and will probably be happy to supply you with the same.  It’s worth it to have it on hand before problems develop, making a Vet visit necessary.

The key with ear cleaning is to use a large amount of ear cleaner. As the ear canals are quite long, the wiping step is not to get all the ear discharge out. The idea is that when you massage, you will be breaking up the discharge lining the inside of the ear canal, so that it forms a solution with the ear cleaner. Your pet can then shake the liquid out. Remember if you see lots of redness, the ears are particularly smelly or they are painful, see your Vet. Your pet most likely has an ear infection and ear cleaning may be too painful and damaging to perform.

“We need to talk Mom and Dad. I’ll Talk, and you listen!”

Effective care of Paws…

Posted: May 30, 2017 in Uncategorized

Source: Effective care of Paws…