Summer is a great time to take your dog swimming but did you know that an innocent dip can lead to an ear infection for your dog?
Ear infections are painful for your furry friend so here's how to spot them!
We like to think of your dog's ear as its own 'mini-environment'. This environment can be easily disrupted and swimming is a common way for water to enter the canal and upset the balance. Heat, self-trauma (for example from itching due to allergies) and foreign bodies such as a grass seed can also mess things up too.
Unfortunately, bacteria and yeast love the change in environment and begin to increase in numbers, resulting in a very unhappy ear canal and a sad and uncomfortable pet.
SIGNS OF AN EAR INFECTION:
- Shaking of the head
- Rubbing ears along the floor or furniture
- Itching behind ears with paws
- Hot and red ears
- Discharge - may be smelly and can be black, white or yellow
- A head-tilt
WHAT TO DO
If you notice any of the above symptoms, arrange a check-up with your vet. They will examine the ear canals and check for signs of infection and/or inflammation. They will also need to make sure there is not a foreign body such as a grass seed contributing to the problem.
A sample of what's in the ear must be taken and stained with special chemicals to identify if there is any bacteria or yeast present. This also enables your vet to prescribe the correct medication for your pet and means the ear will improve as quickly as possible.
The longer you leave an ear infection, the more painful the ear becomes and the harder (and more expensive) it becomes to treat.
Remember, prevention is better than a cure so it pays to use a good quality ear cleaner!