Labrador Ear Infections – Causes And Treatments Of Ear Problems In Labradors
The most common cause of canine ear infections are from the bacteria called Candida albicans. These organisms thrive in warm moist environments such as under your nose or inside your ears. They multiply easily when there is no oxygen present. If they get into the bloodstream, they can lead to inflammation of blood vessels and even damage organs like kidneys and heart.
If these bacteria get into the brain, it can cause seizures, coma and death. When dogs have a bacterial infection in their ears, they may experience one or all of the following signs:
Ear discharge (ear pain)
Swelling around the head area (tinnitus)
Head tilt (nose droop) or neck stiffness/strain (hyperreflexia)
These symptoms are not always seen with every case of canine ear infections. Some cases may go unnoticed. However, if they persist long enough, they can result in permanent hearing loss.
Most Common Types of Dog Ear Infection
If you notice any signs of the above mentioned symptoms, consult your veterinarian right away. Your dog may be suffering from a more severe case of ear infection and needs to be seen before it gets worse.
The most common types of dog ear infection are:
This type of ear infection is also known as Serous Otitis Media. The ear drum has a hole in it causing the middle ear to fill up with fluid.
The most common cause is from trauma such as a sharp object hitting the ear or loud noises.
The main external symptom is shaking the head a lot, especially when there is a presence of an ear odor.
Vertical Dislocation of the Eardrum
This is also known as Eardrum Rupture. It is when the eardrum separates from its normal position and ends up vertical rather than horizontal.
A brownish discharge with a foul odor can be seen or smelled.
Commonly seen in dogs that love to swim but don’t like to dry off. Water gets inside the ear and stays there for a long period of time. Bacteria thrive in wet environments so it is no surprise that this causes an infection.
The dog shakes its head a lot and there is a watery and dark discharge that you can see or smell.
This type of infection is a combination of the above two.
Preventative Care To Prevent Dog Ear Infections
There are things you can do to prevent ear infections from happening. The most common way is by cleaning your dog’s ears on a regular basis. You can ask your veterinarian to show you how during your next visit.
If you are unsure of how to do it, there are kits sold at most pet stores that will help. You can also ask your veterinarian if they sell them at the office. Be aware not all ear cleaners are meant for dogs; some are only for cats.
If there is a build-up of wax, this can lead to an ear infection (painful!); so it is best to prevent this build-up as opposed to trying to clean out the wax later.
When cleaning your dog’s ears, it is best to do this when your dog is young since they are more inclined to allow you to do this without fuss. As they get older, they may become resistant and even snap at you which could lead to a bite (which could lead to a visit to the vet).
Dogs with long ears (such as Basset Hounds and Beagles) are more prone to ear problems since the length of the ear allows for more surface area for mites and other bugs to crawl inside.
Remember to clean the folds in the ear since dirt and other debris can get caught in them. If you see a lot of black dirt, there might be a small amount of bleeding. This is normal and will go away after you finish cleaning the ear.
If there is a lot of black dirt, it might be a good idea to see your veterinarian to prevent an infection from happening.
Follow the instructions that come with the cleaner that you bought. If you are unsure of how to properly clean the inside of the ear, ask your veterinarian for assistance.
Some dogs may shake their head a lot when you start cleaning their ears. If yours does this, you can try using a muzzle until they get use to the cleaning process.
If the shaking of the head is persistent even with a muzzle or they are not allowing you to clean their ears at all, you should take them to the veterinarian because they are probably in a lot of pain.
If your dog has long hair around their ears, it might be a good idea to trim it since it could be hiding any signs of infection. Long hair can also prevent you from seeing if there is already an ear infection present.
If you are unsure of what to do, you can have your veterinarian show you how to do it or you can have them shave the hair around the ear so you can get a clear look.
How To Stop Dog Ear Infections Before They Happen
Prevention is always better than a cure and this is something that holds true in dog health as well. Here are some things that you can do to help prevent an ear infection from occurring in the future.
Make sure to keep your dog’s ears clean. This does not only mean using an ear cleaner that you can buy from the store; it also means making sure that the wax and dirt from inside their ears comes out on a regular basis.
When cleaning the ears, make sure that you get deep inside the ear so that you will be able to remove all the dirt and wax that has built up. If you notice a brownish color in the ears, there might already be an infection occurring, so you should have your dog checked out by a veterinarian.
Even if the color inside their ears is not brown, you should still have a veterinarian examine your dog to make sure that there are no other ear problems present.
Along with cleaning the inside of the ears on a regular basis, you should also be cleaning the outside of the ears every once in awhile. Use a damp cloth and wipe around the outside of the ear to get rid of any dirt or debris that might be present.
If you are unsure of how to do this or if you think that you should have your veterinarian or you groomer show you what to do, then you should make an appointment to have this done.
If your dog goes outside a lot and has a lot of dirt and debris in their ears, you can also buy special solutions that you can put in their ears to kill bacteria.
You can also ask your veterinarian about the possibility of putting drops in your dog’s ears on a regular basis. These can help to keep the ear clean and free from any bacteria that might be lurking inside it.
Keep in mind that some ear infections are caused by the same bacteria that is in the dog’s mouth. If your dog has a habit of licking and chewing on their legs or feet (a common occurrence for many dogs), you will need to take steps to break them of this habit.
You can do this by keeping your dog’s legs and feet away from them or putting anti-chew sprays or wraps on these areas.
If your dog has long hair, keeping it trimmed will also make it more difficult for them to reach their legs and feet. If you take these steps, you will be able to prevent or at least limit the amount of time that they will engage in this behavior.
This chewing can put them at risk for getting an ear infection since as they chew, pieces of dirt and grit from the floor get into their ears. By removing the dirt from their ears on a regular basis, you can help them to avoid getting an ear infection in the first place.
Know The Signs and Symptoms
It is always important for you to know what the signs and symptoms are of an ear infection so that you will be able to spot them early. Even if your dog does not usually suffer from ear infections, you will still want to be able to recognize the signs just in case they develop one.
As was mentioned earlier in this article, the most common sign of an ear infection in dogs is the shaking of the head or scratching at their ears. If they are producing a thick yellow or dark brown discharge from their ears, this is also a sure fire sign that something is wrong and that they should see a veterinarian.
Watch Out For Redness And Swelling Of The Skin
Inner ear infections can cause a lot of pain and discomfort for your dog. As the infection sets in and the pain grows worse, you might notice that your dog seems to be in a great deal of pain even when they are not scratching or touching their ears.
You might notice that they seem to be in a great deal of pain even when they are not scratching or touching their ears. You might see them wince or flinch when you move towards their ears or if you touch them in that area.
Other signs of inner ear pain are when your dog seems to be walking oddly or is moving their head and tilting it to the side a lot. If your dog seems to favor one leg or is tilting their head to the side more than normal, they could also have an inner ear infection.
Watch For Behavioral Changes
Sometimes, inner ear infections can cause a sudden change in behavior. For example, if your dog is generally friendly and docile, and all of a sudden they are more aggressive than normal or start cowering more than usual, they could have some sort of inner ear problem.
The reason for this is because the infection can cause a buildup of pressure which in turn causes a great deal of pain. As the pain gets worse, your dog might not behave in the way that they normally do.
Always Watch Your Dog’s Behavior
As with people, behavior changes can be a sign that something is wrong even if the outward signs are not readily apparent. If you see your dog acting differently than how they usually are, it might be a good idea to have them checked out by a veterinarian just in case.
While it is true that not all behavior change means that something is medically wrong, it would be better to be safe than sorry and quite frankly it’s just not worth taking the chance that all is well.
Ear Infection In Dogs Pictures To Watch For
Here are some more pictures of ear problems in dogs that you can watch for.
This is an example of a yeast infection in a dog’s ear. This happens when the yeast on a dog’s skin gets into the ear and begins to multiply causing the ear to become very itchy and smelly.
You can also see how the inside of this particular dog’s ear is also inflamed due to the yeast infection. It might also be worth mentioning that yeast infections tend to be more common in long-haired dog breeds.
If you notice your dog’s ears becoming red or inflamed on a regular basis, it might be a good idea to have them checked out by a veterinarian just in case there is something going on inside like this yeast infection.
This is another type of ear infection in dogs. This time it’s a bacterial infection rather than a yeast infection. These types of infections tend to be more common in dogs that swim a lot or have long floppy ears that trap water and bacteria in them.
The signs to watch for with this type of infection are similar to the others, redness, inflammation and an odor coming from the ears. There might also be a bit of thick yellow or green discharge coming from the ear too.
If your dog experiences any of these symptoms, have them checked out right away because if the infection is left untreated for a long period of time, it can cause permanent hearing loss.
This is an example of what happens when ear mites go unchecked. You can see how the dark spots in the dog’s ears are actually small tunnels and hills that have been chewed away by the mites as they eat and crawl around inside the ear.
The signs that your dog has ear mites are very itchy ears, shaking their heads a lot and small white grains in the ear wax. If you suspect that your dog has ear mites, you can actually confirm it by using a magnifying glass to get a better look inside the ear.
Ear mites are tiny little white bugs that look like ants crawling around inside the ear. If you think that your dog has them, you can have your veterinarian show you what they look like or you can try treating them yourself with the appropriate medication.
It is not uncommon for a dog to develop a secondary infection in their ears due to scratching and flipping their ears inside out. This is an example of what happens when they do. It is easy to see how red, angry and sore the ear has become.
If your dog has experienced any of these symptoms, it is a good idea to have them checked out by a veterinarian as soon as possible before the infection worsens.
This is what happens when ear mites are left untreated. The ears become so sore and inflamed, that the dog tends to start chewing on them which then causes an opening for other infections to get in such as bacteria or fungi.
This is what healthy dog ears look like. They should be a nice dark brown color and not red or inflamed in any way. If you see that your dog’s ears have become red, swollen and/or infected, it is very important that you take them to the veterinarian right away because this can be a sign of something more serious.
Labrador Retriever has a lot of beautiful qualities, but their floppy ears are one of my favorites! They just seem to suit their gentle and loving personality so well.
Take a look at this sweet girl; doesn’t she look like the perfect family member?
Before we talk about how to take care of a dog’s ears, lets start off with a brief anatomy lesson. Dogs have two different types of ears. They have the outer ear, which most people are familiar with and then they also have an inner ear which is not so easily seen unless you’re looking for it. The purpose of the outer ear is pretty obvious and it is what we typically associate a dog’s hearing abilities with. However, the inner ear is just as important if not more so. It is in the inner ear where all of a dog’s balance is sensed. If you ever watch a dog wander around after getting up from a nap, you’ll notice that they tend to do a lot of bobbing and weaving as they move about.
So if the inner ear is so important to a dog’s balance, does that mean that all dogs get dizzy if they turn their heads too fast?
Good question! The answer is no, not all dogs get dizzy, but it is very common for a dog to get a little dizzy if they’ve turned their head a full 180 degrees too quickly. This is why you’ll notice that most dogs only turn their heads as much as they need to and no more.
As I said earlier, the proper care of a dog’s ears is very important. Proper care includes both the outer ear and the inner ear. The outer ear, as most people know, is the part that you can see. It should be cleaned once a month.
Some dogs might need their ears cleaned more than once a month and some might only need it done once every two months. How often a dog’s ears need to be cleaned depends on a lot of different factors such as the type of environment they live in, whether or not they like to swim, etc… It also depends on whether or not you’re doing the cleaning or if somebody else is. If you take your dog to a professional groomer, then their ears will need to be cleaned much less (if at all) because that’s part of what they’re getting for their money.
The method for cleaning your dog’s ears is very simple. Use a cotton swab and some ear cleaning solution to gently swab out all the wax and dirt from inside the dog’s ears. Don’t poke too hard since you don’t want to damage the ear drum. This procedure is pretty simple and most dogs seem to handle it well.
Some dogs might shake their head a lot for the first few times, but they usually get used to it after a few sessions.
If your dog does happen to get upset from having their ears cleaned, you always have the option to give the job to somebody else. If you’re really uncomfortable having somebody else handle your dog’s ears, then you could always practice a few times on your own before attempting it on your dog. But in my experience, dogs usually don’t have a problem with this at all.
No matter who is doing the cleaning, the process should always start off slow and then increase in frequency and intensity as the dog becomes more comfortable.
The other part of ear care is the inner ear. This needs to be looked at by a professional if it happens to be a problem. There are some diseases and other conditions that can occur in the inner ear that require medical attention. So if you notice a change in your dog’s hearing (either an increase or decrease), then you’ll need to have it checked out.
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