How To...Keep Your Dog's Ears Healthy

DrPaul -

How To...Keep Your Dog's Ears Healthy

This blog is all about how to keep your dog's ears happy, healthy and clean.

Ear issues can be pretty miserable for dogs. They can cause pain and discomfort, affect their balance and can even affect your pooch’s hearing.

Therefore, it’s important that you check your dog’s ears regularly. I recommend at least once a week, to ensure you spot any suspicious looking changes before they become more serious. Start by getting your dog used to having their ears touched and examined regularly. . This helps ensure you have happy healthy ears, but it’s also a great desensitisation technique and will help should you ever need to administer ear treatments in the future.

So what should you look out for?

Colour : The inside, non hairy, part of the ear should be a healthy pale pink colour. If the ear pinna or canal looks red, inflamed or scaly you may have an issue and you speak to your vet.

Smell : Happy ears generally aren't whiffy. You should give your dog's ear a good sniff and if the ear is a bit smelly, and is accompanied by a discharge or looking moist and red this is usually a sign there is a problem.

Discharge : Normal ears will have a little bit of wax and this is usually pale in colour. A yellow, brown or red discharge usually means trouble, especially if it is in excessive amounts.

Compare those ears :  Make sure you check both ears when doing your checks. Ear infections can quite often only be in one ear.

Discomfort : Many dogs when they have an ear problem will shake their head or paw at their ears. If you see your dog doing this take a look pronto.

How Hairy?

Most dogs have a little bit of hair inside their ears and down the ear canal. These hairs serve an important function as they stop dirt and debris from entering the ear. Dogs who suffer from recurrent ear infections will usually need to have these plucked as excess hair can cause issues.

How often should you clean your dog's ears?

Regular ear cleaning can be a great way to clear debris from the ear canal and to prevent issues developing. Once a week is usually a safe bet but do be mindful that cleaning the ears too regularly can cause irritation in some dogs so it’s best to check with your vet before implementing an ear regime.

Paul Manktelow

Veterinary Surgeon

Dr Paul Manktelow is a vet who's worked for almost 20 years on the front line in some of the UK's busiest veterinary hospitals. Paul also appears regularly in the media as a TV and radio presenter, writer, public speaker and podcast producer.