If your dog spends a lot of time outside, especially during the summer, you need to monitor its ears. You might not realize this, but your dog can get ear infections too. If you're not monitoring its ears, it could develop a raging ear infection before you even realize it has a problem. Here are four simple steps you can take to help keep your dog free from ear infections this summer.
Inspect Them Daily
When it comes to your dog's ears, the best way to prevent infections is to inspect them daily. Those daily exams will allow you to catch minor problems before they turn into something worse. First, check for signs of injuries such as scratches or cuts. Next, check for discharge from the ear canal. Finally, smell for foul odors. Foul odors and discharge may be signs of an ear infection.
Clean Them Often
You might not realize this, but your dog's ears should be cleaned out at least once a week. This is particularly true if your dog spends a lot of time outside, or has ears that fold over. To clean your dog's ears, fill a sink with warm sudsy water. Dip a clean washcloth in the water and then carefully wipe the inside of your dog's ears. Take care to not poke your finger too far into your dog's ears. A good rule of thumb is to only place up to the first knuckle on your finger into your dog's ear. Once you've wiped your dog's ears with the cloth, dry them with a clean cloth.
Dry Them Always
If your dog likes to play in the water, it could be in danger of an ear infection, especially if you don't keep its ears dry. Moisture can cause bacteria to grow inside your dog's ears, which can lead to ear infections. To prevent infections, dry your dog's ears as soon as it's done playing in the water. It's also a good idea to dry your dog's ears after it's been romping in the yard. Excess sweat can also lead to canine ear infections.
See a Vet
Ear infections can be painful, especially if they go untreated. If you think your dog might have an ear infection, you should contact your veterinarian hospital as soon as possible. Some signs you should be aware of include the following:
- Uncontrollable shaking of the head
- Continual scratching at the ears
- Wincing when ears are touched