Spring Ear Care 101
Updated: May 11
Hello! This beautiful weather and sunshine has reminded us at Elite Blend that Spring is here and with that comes… ALLERGY SEASON! Dogs that have a folded ear, and especially those that also have hair inside the ear canal, can be prone to ear infections. This is because these types of ears have poor air circulation and the hair creates a perfect environment for bacteria/yeast to hide.
With allergy season around the corner, it is critical we are PROACTIVE to maintain our furry family member's ear health. It is important that you have the ear hair removed by an experienced groomer or vet, and it is done properly. Removing the hair will improve air circulation, help the ear canal dry faster, and most importantly, removes the home that bacteria and fungus can hide in.
*Not all vets agree this is the best course of action for ear care - especially those newer vets. Vet schools teach that removing the hair creates little micro traumas in the skin that bacteria can get in - and can trigger an ear infection. While I can see the logic in this school of thought, what plays out in real life is different. The dogs with the un-cleared ear will get an ear infection, the owner seeks treatment and the treatment fails or improves for only a short time. Now the dog has started the cycle of chronic ear infections. What is actually happening is the original ear infection was never fully cleared up. Some of the bacteria and yeast is able to hide in this moist, hairy, home and once treatment stops, the bacteria/yeast repopulates. Even worse, dogs that have really furry ears, can end up having an “ear worm” (tangled hair that goes deep into the ear canal). Vets must sedate the dog to remove.
Elite Blend Labradoodle Ear Maintenance Plan:
VISUAL CHECK: We do a quick visual and smell check of the ears each day.
REMOVE HAIR: We have the ear hair professionally removed twice a year - up to 4 times a year (depending on the amount of hair in the ear canal). Dogs with a lot of hair need it removed more often.
Ear Infection Prone Dogs - flush weekly and dry well
Dogs not Prone to Ear Infections: flush monthly and dry well
Early Stages of an Ear Infection: First, make your vet appointment (it can take a week or more to be seen). In the meantime, use the medicated flush daily for seven days. If the ears calm down, then you can cancel your appointment. Hooray!
How to Flush: We use an Antiseptic Ear Flush. Saturate two cotton balls and insert one into each ear canal. Massage the ears (with cotton balls inside ear canal) until you hear a squishy noise. Remove the cotton balls and let the dog shake out the excess fluid. Use a dry cotton ball to thoroughly dry inside the ear.
With these simple steps your pup will have happy ears and avoid the pitfalls of allergy season.