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Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Ear Infection Prevention

If you are taking your dog to the river regularly its important that you clean their ears to help prevent ear infections.

clean ears

Ear infections are a common medical condition treated by veterinarians, these infections can be either bacterial or fungal. Some dogs being more prone to infections than others.

We got Dante last August and being the end of the season we quickly ran out of time to play in the river, this is also our first summer with Ziva having gotten her this past spring.

Having discovered that both our pups love to play in the water - Dante especially! I realized the need to begin ear infection prevention.

Both our dogs have nice clean ears and eat healthy diets, this is important when looking to prevent ear infections. Being that their ears naturally stay pretty clean we haven't ever used cleaners in their ears.

You do not need to clean your dogs ears unless they are dirty or if you take them to the water often.
However some dogs are prone to collecting wax, if that's the case for your pet then you will need to clean their ears more often.

**I am not a veterinarian. If you think your pet may have an ear infection it is important to speak to your vet before beginning any ear cleaning treatment even over-the-counter ones as they can cause pain and potentially lead to ruptured eardrums.**

For cleaning canine ears naturally their are a few options.
  • Witch hazel - evaporates quickly and is a natural cleanser, removing oil and grease from the ear without risk of leaving moisture behind.
  • Organic Apple Cider vinegar and purified water, mixed equal parts - Antibacterial and also safe to use in dogs ears.
  • Hydrogen Peroxide - A great non painful way to also clean wounds, I once had a lady tell me that hydrogen peroxide stings. I can assure you that it does not, it does however tend to tickle due to its tiny bubbles.
To clean your dogs ears - use large cotton balls.
Saturate the cotton ball with the cleaning solution of your choice and swab the inside of the ear. Depending on your dogs ears this could take anywhere from one to many - if you are getting gunk out then keep going! Use as many as necessary until the cotton balls stop collecting junk.

If you regularly play in water you should clean their ears more often!

Another method is to squirt a small amount of solution directly into the ear canal and massage the base of the ear with your hand. Most dogs love having their ears scratched and massaged (I know mine do!). This helps to loosen debris which you can then wipe away with a cotton ball. 

Watch out though! As most dogs reaction to having liquid in their ears is to violently shake their head sending liquid and potentially gunk all over you and the surrounding area.  *Hence I prefer to do this outside.*

We love the water!

More Sources on Ear Care:

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