January 17, 2018

Prevention of Canine Ear Infections

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by Jonathan C Halpert

Some dogs can go through their whole lives without so much as an itchy ear, while others have a never ending struggle with ear-mites, fungus, and allergies that have them forever scratching their heads. Many ear problems only affect the outer ear, and with a little effort you can greatly reduce the frequency and severity of your dogs infections.

Antibiotics like Otomax or Malotic are often used to treat severe cases, but some owners opt to take the more holistic route of using simple natural remedies to help prevent their dogs to keep from getting ear infections in the first place.

The easiest way to reduce the number of ear infections your dog has is to keep the ears clean and free of dirt and other gunk. Especially for long haired dogs, keep the hair around the ears trimmed and clean, Long hair can be a magnet for debris which can get carried into the ear canal leading to infection. Dogs with long, floppy ears are also at a higher risk of picking up dirt than are dogs with pricked ears.

A solution of vinegar and water or Hydrogen Peroxide and water is a good way to make a simple rinse for dogs with extra dirty ears. rinse the ears using either a 1:2 solution of white vinegar and water or a 1:1 solution of hydrogen Peroxide and water. Gently massage the dogs ears with a clean towel to break up and big chucks of debris, then rinse a few more times with clean water.

Commercial ear cleaners are a step up from simple vinegar. Most large pet stores will have several to choose from and many come with simple applicators as well which make treatment easier than trying to pour a vinegar/water solution into a wriggling dogs ear.

One of the easiest ways to reduce all types of infections is to improve the quality of your dogs food. The fillers often used in cheap big brand dog foods offer little to know nutritional value. In addition to sometimes triggering allergies, non-nutritional fillers do your dog no good and only serve to add bulk to the product – and ultimately to your dogs too. Treat your pup to a healthy lifestyle by starting with a high quality dog food, check with your local specialty pet center for quality brands.

In spite of looking and smelling terrible, most ear infections only affect the outer ear. Keeping the ears clean and groomed will help reduce both the discomfort of common problems as well as the risk of greater infection. More serious infections to exist and you should be aware of the symptoms. If you notice your dog tilting their head more than normal, walking in circles, or showing signs of general clumsiness, it may be a sign of a more serious condition and you should schedule a trip to your local vet.

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