Ear Care for Dogs
A healthy dog ear is pale pink and has no odor. A little bit of wax or dirt in the outer portion of the ear canal, and around the ear leather wrinkly area is perfectly normal. You can carefully remove this with a piece of gauze, cotton ball, or a cotton swab (Q-tip). But never push a Q-tip inside the ear canal. You can cause pain or more serious damage. A good rule to follow is: Only clean what you can easily see. By keeping your dog's ears clean and healthy, you avoid having him suffer from a painful infection.
Many ear infections are found in droopy-eared hairy dogs because air does not circulate into the ear. Also, in long-haired dogs hair grows inside the ears and when it accumulates, even less air gets in. The ears become a perfect breeding ground for bacteria. But any dog can develop problems in the ears. The ear canal gets painful, hot, red, inflamed, and full of smelly gooey debris. If he has a severe infection, your dog might flinch, cry out, or snap at you when you touch his ear.
Sometimes the ear leather (the underside of the dog's ear) looks dry and flaky. A dog will frequently shake his head and scratch his ear because ear infections itch and hurt. Another indication of a problem with your dog's ears is the cheesy smell of a yeast infection. Your veterinarian can recommend the best treatment. A strong foul odor either with or without an accumulation of brown debris is the sign of something wrong in the ear. Bacterially infected ears are often extremely smelly.
A bath may make ear infections worse if water is trapped in the ear canal, so keep your dog's ears as dry as possible, by using large cotton balls, to prevent bath water from getting into the ear canals. Dry your dog's ears when they get wet externally.
Keep the ears clean with a weekly cleaning by using what your veterinarian recommends for an ear wash, or use a home-made recipe of equal parts water, distilled white vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. Pour the solution (at room temperature) onto the ear leather and gently into the ear canal. Massage your dog's ear by starting at the base of the ear and work the solution in thoroughly. Continue for about 15 seconds working the cleaning solution into the ear massaging from the outside while holding your dog's ear up. This will help loosen normal dirt and wax. Then use a cotton ball to dry as much of the ear as you can reach without pushing down into the ear canal. Your dog will naturally shake his head after a few seconds of ear cleaning. When he shakes his head it helps to release any internal debris.
When my dog had an ear infection I used an effective natural enzyme solution that cured the problem in record time without a visit to the veterinarian.
Whatever medicine your veterinarian prescribes, follow the instructions and complete the course of treatment to prevent a recurrence. Recurring ear infections are very common.
Prevention is the best medicine. From the day you get your dog, check the ears regularly for excessive dirt or unusual odor. Hair that grows inside the dog's ear canal is easy to pull out with a hemostat for ear care. You can ask your veterinarian or groomer to show you how it's done. If you start doing this when your dog is a puppy, he won't give you a hard time. Many dogs like having the ear hairs pulled out and become very relaxed!