Timely and proper cleaning of your dog’s ears has many long term benefits. It helps in maintaining good overall health.
If your dog is healthy, it impacts the general behavior and demeanor of your pet and he is likely to be more calm, amiable and friendly.
Properly Caring for Your Dog’s Ears
While the basic structure and functions of the ears of dogs and cats are similar to humans, dogs in particular differ in the shapes of their outer ear.
While some dogs have pointed upright ears, others (like Spaniels) have long, pendulous ears which can predispose them to ear problems.
This interesting fact highlights the importance of keeping ears healthy, and clean (to prevent scratching and irritation). Your pet’s ears also contain certain amounts of wax, as well as a variety of flora (e.g. yeast and certain bacteria) to keep ears clean and free of infection.
Dog ear grooming, therefore, goes a long way in your relationship with your dog. It is one aspect that cannot be ignored.
An unhealthy dog ear is responsible for more medical conditions than one can imagine. Chronic ear problems and dog ear infections can occur due to various allergies or ear mites. An excess of thyroid hormones can make the condition worse than it already is.
Using a wrong product to clean the dog’s ears can also lead to complications of the case.
Although less common in cats, ear mites present the same complications.
Diagnosing Dog Ear Infections, Problems
Before the start of any treatment for dog ear infection, the dog’s ears should be cleaned in order to get a proper diagnosis.
Vinegar diluted in water has been used for this purpose for a long time as part of home remedies for dog ear mites. This solution is good for cleaning purposes and also has curative properties.
Before prescribing any conventional medicine, the veterinarian is likely to want to do a microscopic examination of the wax extracted with the help of an ear swab. This examination can establish the real problem with the ear.
Further confirmation can be sought by using an otoscope to check the auditory passageway and the tympanic membrane.
Flushing the Ears and Antibiotic Treatment of Dog Ear Infection
In certain conditions a complete flushing out of the debris is required. This is done with the use of antibiotic cleaners.
Antibiotic dog ear cleaners are required in cases where your veterinarian wants to either examine the ears thoroughly or flush out all the goo and bacteria that is causing a dog ear infection.
Apart from flushing out wax and other substances, antibiotic cleaners are used for alkalizing and inhibiting bacterial growth. Bacterial otitis (inflammation of the ear) is a common occurrence in dogs.
With medication the bacteria undergo genetic mutations and adapt quickly. This requires periodic checks so that the adaptations can be monitored and the most effective medication can be prescribed.
There are antibiotic ear cleaners that are a mix of vinegar, water and drops of antibiotic solution. Dedicated antibiotic ear cleaners like Ethylene diamine tetra acetic acid tris (EDTA tris) are being used extensively for controlling bacterial infections and inflammations even though they are not permitted for veterinarian use.
It will not be out of place to mention here that chronic dog ear infections usually end up in rupturing the tympanic membrane. Care should be taken to avoid antibiotic cleaners in such conditions since they can prove to be harmful.
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