Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Wednesday Doggie Days: Ear Care

I have a Weimaraner!!! Which I am sure you already know, if not, consider yourself informed. For those of you who do not know me,  know you might understand just how crazy I am. Great dogs! I also have a Scottish Terrier, explains everything.

One of the things you have to watch out for in a floppy eared dog, is ear problems. You can also have some ear problems in dogs without the floppy ears, like Scotties, mine growing up did. Usually this is due to a yeast overgrowth. Or after bathing them, not drying out their ears. But for floppy ears, this is another story. Due to their ear being down over the opening of the ear, moisture can be trapped in the ear itself. Of course, a warm, dark place with  moisture is the perfect breading ground of bacteria as well as yeast.

How to prevent problems.
One of the best things is always prevention. Prevention is the key is pretty much everything. Prevention is the best policy. I have said it enough.

Steps to take to help prevent problems for you floppy eared doggies. Nutrition is one of the biggest key factors, just like for humans. If you have a healthy immune system, you are going to be able to ward off illness and be able to better fight it off infections and viruses. This is very important for dogs in all areas of their lives as well. Good nutrition will go a long to help your dog, or any animal, have a long happy life. Good nutrition will also help the body keep yeast in check. A yeast over growth is horrible for dogs and no fun. By keeping their diets clean and healthy for them, eating what they should, and giving them good bacteria is a perfect remedy for long healthy lives.

Keeping their ears dry. I know this can be a challenge for many. If your dog loves the water, this could be a daily task of drying. If you live in a humid climate, you will need to dry them daily as well.  When moisture is present, and the warmth from the dogs ear, everything will grow very quickly. Today your dog's ear(s) will be fine, tomorrow an infection and then they do not want you to touch their ears and can become very sick. The best way to dry their ears is to stick cotton balls into the ears. Do not stick it down as far as you can, you can hurt their ear drum. I normally try and stick it in to where the ear begins to narrow for going into the ear canal. Allow the cotton ball to sit for a few seconds, if the dog allows you, and then pull it out. If there is any discoloration on the cotton ball, then there is something going on, more on this in a minute. Repeat this process as often as you need too, it could be daily, it could be weekly, I would suggest at least weekly.

If there is discoloration, an odor, discharge coming from the ear, there is probably an infection or a yest over growth happening. The first thing I would do is, call your veterinary and ask them what you should do. I am not a vet or a vet tech, nothing. Do NOT listen to me, talk with your vet.

Begin feeding a raw diet and giving good bacteria to help the animals body heal.
Next, a more aggressive cleaning of the ear is going to need to happen. I mix a solution together that I received from a holistic health vet.

Ear cleaning solution:
Mix equal parts of:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix these both together well and store in a container.

Once this is mixed, I place a cotton ball that has been broken in half into the solution. Squeeze the cotton balls so they are not saturated, but still have some of the mixture in them. If you have it, put a drop or two of oregano oil on the ball as well. Oregano oil is the gran-daddy of them all for killing bacteria, viruses and yeast. Do not put the oil directly into the ear, make sure it is diluted, like putting it with this mixture. Place the ball into the ear and squeeze into the ear. Take the cotton ball out and rub the ears all the way down the neck keeping the ear held down so the the mixture stays inside. You have to be quick because the dog is not going to be happy having liquid in his ears. Allow it to be in there for as long as you can, usually a several seconds and them let him shake. You might want to do this either in a bath tube or outside so it does not go all over your house. After the dog has stopped shacking his head like a made dog, put another cotton ball in to wick up the rest of the moisture. Do this every day until the cotton ball comes out clean and no more smell. If there is some nastyness on the folds of the ear, you can take this out with a cotton ball or Q-tip. However, do not go down the ear canal. If it does not begin to heal in a few days, again call your vet.

For a dog that does not have floppy ears, it is a good idea to make sure they do not get an infection in them. Stick a dry cotton ball into the ear as before and check for any discoloration or smell. If there is some, follow above, calling your vet first and then the rest.
When you are bathing a dog with ears that stick up, you can place a cotton ball into each ear to help ensure water does not go into the ear. Also, wash from the collar back, not forward.


I hope this helps you to keep your dog's ear clean, dry and healthy.
Saving the world one stick of butter at a time.
God's many blessings,

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