All dogs love their ears and heads rubbed, but if your dog is constantly wanting his ears rubbed, or is excessively pawing at his ears, it may be a sign of an ear issue. Cleaning your dog's ears is an important grooming task that should be done to help prevent infections, ear mites and other types of ear issues. See below for signs of an ear infection and how to treat it.
Signs Of An Infection
Looking into your dog's ear is the easiest way to check for an infection. Pull back your dog's ears and take a look inside. A healthy ear should be light pink, not red or tender to the touch. If you notice discharge that is yellow, brown, or black, or a smell coming from his ear, it could be an infection.
Causes Of Infection
Ear infections can be cause from a number of different things. Your dog could have allergies, or it could simply be from not cleaning your dog's ears and the buildup of wax turned into an infection. It could also be yeast in the ear, which is usually from water getting into the ear after a bath or swimming and not drying out thoroughly.
If you notice any signs of an infection, or your dog is flapping his ears often, take your dog to the veterinarian for a thorough inspection and for medication - if required. Your veterinarian will take a swab of the discharge and test it to see if it is yeast or bacteria and can treat it from there.
Cleaning Your Dog's Ears
Again, cleaning your dog's ears is important. Clean them at least once per week, or more often if your dog has floppy ears (such as Basset Hounds). To clean them, use a cotton ball soaked in white vinegar. Wipe down the inside of the ear with the vinegar soaked cotton balls. Don't reach too deep inside the ear, as it can cause irritation. Don't use q-tips to clean the ear, as you can damage the drum if you reach too deep inside. Be sure to talk to your veterinarian about other home remedies to clean your dog's ears.
If you notice an infection such as discharge, redness or a foul odor coming from your dog's ears, be sure to make an appointment with the veterinarian at a veterinary hospital for a thorough examination and to have the infection treated quickly to prevent it from worsening.