By the time you notice your dog scratching his ears or shaking his head more than usual, an ear infection has probably already set in. You'll know when you pull back the ear flap and see the brown, gooey gunk that covers the ear canal. Worse, you'll get a whiff of that infection that will make you want to clean it up right way. The key to effective dog ear infection treatment is regular cleaning.
Visit your vet
The ear infection is caused by bacteria or yeast making a home in your pet's ears and doing what microbes do--multiplying. That's what is putting off the smell that made you recoil. Fortunately, it looks, and smells, a lot worse than it is. Unfortunately, most people are going to need to see the vet in order to get the prescription that treats the infection. The vet will prescribe a topical or oral medication that can clear up the infection itself.
Clean the ears
Dogs with floppy ears, like most sporting breeds and many working breeds, are particularly susceptible to ear infections, although dogs with upright ears can get them as well. Infections are even more common for dogs who swim a lot. Once you've begun treating the infection with medication, it's time to start cleaning the ears themselves.
Here are a few simple steps to follow:
- Inspect the ear for redness, inflammation, or bleeding.
- Clean the outside of ear to remove excess build up.
- Trim back hair that might have grown or matted around the area.
- Fill the ear canal with a cleaner like Petpost's Dog Ear Cleaner
- Massage the base of the ear canal moving the liquid around inside
- Allow your pet to stand and shake its head.
- Use cotton balls, never cotton swabs, to wipe away the gunk that has come to the top.
- Repeat the process for the other ear.
In some cases, dog ear infection treatment can be a bonding time for you and your pet. Dogs can be anxious at first, and they need soothing. Having them lay on their sides while you reassure them can be a little therapeutic for you, too. Of course, when they stand up and shake, it can get a little messy, but it's an essential part of the process. Shaking the head is bringing the debris from the ear canal to the surface for you to clean away.
There's alot to cleaning dog ears. You can read more of our most useful tips in the How to Clean Dogs' Ears Expert's Guide.
Make it a habit
Once a dogs get an ear infection, it's easy for them to get them again. When you first discover the problem, you'll likely need to clean the ears daily until you notice that the gunk is clearing away. You will need to clean the ears less frequently but regularly after that. In most cases, a weekly routine is sufficient to prevent future infections.
Choose the Right Product
When choosing a cleaning solution for your dog ear infection treatment, it's important that you find one that will clean the area and prevent future infections. It's likely your dog's ears will be red and inflamed from scratching when you first start the treatment as well. Caustic or abrasive cleaners will irritate and dry out the area.
The Petpost Dog Ear Cleaner is a plant-based dog ear infection treatment that contains extracts from coconut and palm. It allows you to clear away the build up while preventing future infections. It soothes the area and helps your pet return to normal.
If your pet has floppy ears, it's a good idea to make a habit of cleaning them regularly. Ear mites make a home in the ear canal, and their waste can cause the problem. Food allergies might cause a reaction that allows dirt and moisture to collect so bacteria and yeast can find a home. Dog ear infection treatment starts with keeping the area clean. Since infections can also be caused by ear mites, it's important to prevent them from coming back. That way the infection never happens to begin with. Besides, it gives you an excuse to have Fido curl up in your lap, and it helps keep him healthy and happy. Make a ritual out of weekly dog ear infection treatment, and you'll make certain your pet avoids the mess and discomfort that comes with an ear infection.