Dogs and cats of all ages can develop ear problems. Dogs with long furry ears like Cocker Spaniels are more prone to ear problems because their big ears tend to accumulate moisture and debris. However, all dogs and cats can develop this condition and, therefore, ear cleaning should be part of your pet’s grooming routine.
Ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies, and hypothyroidism (a hormones disorder) can all contribute to the development of ear infections in pets. Bacteria and yeast most commonly cause canine ear infections. Cats don’t get ear infections as often as dogs. Ear mites cause about half of all feline ear infections. Cats can also develop ear problems due to allergies, tumors or ear obstructions.
How To Clean Your Pet’s Ears
Accumulation of cerumen and debris, as well as, the presence of moisture on your pet’s ears favor microbial growth and can lead to serious ear infections. For this reason it is essential to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry. You should clean your pet’s ears every one or two weeks. Follow these steps to clean your pet’s ears.
• Apply a small amount of baby oil or PurOtic® natural ear dryer from Innovet to a dry gauze or cotton ball.
• Clean only the external part of your pet’s ear. Never introduce cotton swabs on your pet’s ear.
• Use another clean gauze to dry your pet’s ear thoroughly.
If you have never cleaned your pet’s ears or if he/she has a great amount of cerumen and debris on his/her ears you may need to perform an ear wash. For this you will need to use a cerumenolytic, such as docusate sodium. I recommend PurOtic® Ear Cleaner Extra Strength from Innovet. Follow these steps to wash your pet’s ears.
• Fill the ear canal until it overflows with the cleaner.
• Fold the earflap over the canal and gently massage it.
• Stand back and let the dog or cat shake his or her head vigorously.
• Use clean gauzes to completely dry your pet’s ears. Do not introduce cotton swabs on your pet’s ear.
Signs Of Cat or Dog Ear Infection
• Scratching of the ear or area around the ear
• Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
• Bad smell in the ear
• Crusts or scabs on inside of the outer ear
• Hair loss around the ear
• Rubbing of the ear and surrounding area on the floor or furniture
• Head shaking or head tilt
• Loss of balance
• Hearing loss
If you observe any of these signs on your pet, he/she may have an ear infection. In that case you should contact your veterinarian so your pet receives appropriate medical treatment.
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