It is estimated that 1 in 5 dogs suffer from ear problems.
Dogs rely heavily on their ears to cope with their environment. They have a greater hearing range than people do and can detect sound as low as 16 Hz frequency to as high as 100,000 Hz (people hear 20 to 20,000 Hz ). Their ears have a great degree of flexibility that allows them to funnel sounds and easily locate the direction of the sound. They can hear sounds much sooner and at much greater distances than people do. Dogs with cone ears naturally hear better than those with floppy ears.
Unfortunately, it is estimated that 1 in 5 dogs suffer from ear problems with it being one of the most common causes of veterinary visits. Without early management, the ear inflammation can lead to a narrowing of the ear canal, increase in canal temperature, moisture and exudate, and ultimately irreversible damage. For this reason, effective treatment and long-term management are required for a successful resolution.
Common signs of ear disease:
Risk factors for ear disease:
These risk factors lead to an overgrowth of bacteria and yeast that lead to infection.
Common causes of ear disease:
Treatment of ear disease involves:
When recommending ear cleaning, there are 3 strict requirements:
Cleaning the ears is an important step in preventing wax build up and ear problems. But, is only recommended on a regular basis for pets with ongoing ear problems.
Start at an early age
Gently stroke and hold the ear one at a time
Do these several days in a row
Follow with a treat reward and lots of praise
You must be comfortable with you touching and rubbing its ear, lifting the ear flap and massaging the ear gently before proceeding to the next step. Use treats to associate the ear handling with a positive experience.
Show your pet the ear cleaner bottle from a distance
Wrap soft gauze around your finger
Place a little cleaner on the finger and massage the entrance of the ear canal
Do this for several days
Follow it with a reward and praise
As the pet gets comfortable, extend the finger down the ear canal
Perform this step outside or in an area that is easy to clean the floors
Place a small amount of cleaner directly into the ear canal and onto the cotton
Gently massage in an upward and outward direction - this should make a squelching noise
Praise and reward your dog
Repeat step for several days - alternating the ears until the dog is comfortable for both to be done in the same session
Both ears should be cleaned 2-3 times a week until they are both free of debris
Once clean, repeat cleaning monthly
Never use cotton bud sticks