If you are a pet owner, have you ever been disturbed by your pet’s ear smells when they are snuggling with you?
Or maybe you see them scratching their ears so hard that it’s bleeding? This might be a sign that your dog’s ear is so dirty that it’s become itchy.
Of course, this doesn’t smell or look nice for us their human companion. Wax build-up can cause a dog to develop an ear infection. That’s why cleaning their ears is so important.
In this guide, we’ll share about that brown stuff in your dog’s ear, the signs of a dog’s ear infection, how you treat them at home, and how long it lasts. Stay tuned!
Some Causes of Dog Ear Infections
Just like us humans, our dog’s ear needs to be cleaned every once in a while. A dog’s ear needs to be cleaned once every 2-4 weeks.
If your dog’s ear is never cleaned, there’s a chance the wax of their ear will mount up and become excessive. Excessive wax and discharge create a really nice home for bacteria and yeast to grow, thus leading to infection.
You need to clean your dog’s ears to prevent them from happening.
What’s in your dog’s ear? If there’s some brown and crusty residue that looks like dried shoe polish in your dog’s ear, it might mean that your dog has ear mites.
A waxy, yellow, and reddish-brown ear discharge can also tell that your dog has an ear infection. You might want to consult your vet to know the exact cause of that brown stuff in your dog’s ear.
How Can I Tell if My Dog Has an Ear Infection?
Being clean, odour-free, sporting a pale pink color, and a minimal accumulation of wax are indications of healthy ears. If your dog meets those three criteria, your dog has a healthy ear.
Here are some signs to look out for that indicate an infection:
- Bad smells coming from your dog’s ear
- Your dog has been scratching and pawing its ear and head nonstop
- They won’t let you touch their ears, and it’s painful if you touch them
- They are more likely to tilt/shake their head to one side
- Black or yellowish discharge
- Redness or swelling of the ear flap or the inside of the ear
- There’s many dark brownie stuff in their ear
- Your dog looks depressed and irritated
- Imbalance, loss of hearing, and disorientation
- Bleeding from their ear
How to Treat a Dog’s Ear Infection Without a Vet
Is it possible to resolve your dog’s ear infection yourself?
The safest way is to head to your vet for an expert opinion and diagnosis. It may be difficult to determine the cause of the infection on your own, and they don’t go away on their own as well.
The vet will swab your dog’s ear discharge and look at it under a microscope to check the cause before prescribing the right medicine.
If you suspect that your dog has ear mites, you can consider using a liquid cleaner to improve its condition.
How to Clean a Dog’s Ears to Prevent Infection
Prevention is always better than cure, and you can clean your dog’s ears to do so.
However, keep in mind to not clean them too frequently. It is fine to clean them every 2-4 weeks.
When you’re giving ear drops, stay calm – your pet can sense if you are nervous, making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Don’t forget to always praise and reward your pet with a treat.
Here are five easy steps to clean its ears:
- With one hand, pull the ear flap gently and angle it toward the top of the head to straighten the ear canal of the dogs. The ear flap is the part you see on the outside of the animal’s head. It either stands up straight or hangs down to the side, depending on the breed.
- With your other hand, fill the ear canal with a pet ear cleaner. The ear canal begins with the hole located at the base of the ear flap and then continues on into the head toward the eardrum and inner ear. This ear canal is “L” shaped in dogs. Ask your vet which ear cleaner is the most suitable for your dog’s condition. Don’t touch the nozzle of the bottle because it can contaminate the whole bottle.
- Release the ear flap and massage the base of the ear with your thumb and fingers for 1-2 minutes. This is to help to move the wax and the debris out of the ear canal.
- Allow your dog to shake their head.
- Remove the leftover with dry cotton balls or soft gauze.
The best way to avoid ear infections is to find out and treat the underlying cause to prevent reoccurrence.
Most of the time, it is due to reasons like allergies, food proteins, seasonal allergens, and dust mites. By identifying and treating the root cause, it is an effective long-term solution to lead to a happier and healthier life for your pup.
How Long Does a Dog’s Ear Infection Last?
If your dog’s ears are already infected, your vet may prescribe medicated drops and a pet cleaner to get rid of the debris and allow the drops to work.
A dog usually needs 7-14 days of twice-daily drops to control an ear infection. if it’s caused by bacteria, your vet might prescribe antibiotics for your dogs.
Tips for an Easier Time
If you’re having a hard time cleaning your dog’s ear, you might want to give them food rewards if they are behaving nicely. Don’t give them a treat if they are aggressive and don’t cooperate.
Once they understand, it will be easier for you to clean their ear. There are plenty of other tips to ensure that the process goes smoother as well.
If it is still too hard for you to clean their ears, you can bring them to your vet so they can flush your dog’s ear and leave them to the professionals.