Yes, yes... although we would all like to pretend that our four-legged furry friend does not have that gooey sticky gunk in their ears- I hate to break it to you, but just like us- they have earwax. However, the components making up your dog's earwax is different than that in human earwax.
Detecting ear and hearing problems requires careful observation by us, their loving pet owners.
And, as much as we would like to think our animals are all unique, all mammals generally share the same ear anatomy. Therefore, basic knowledge of the ear's structure and functions can aid pet parents in the care of this remarkably sensitive organ.
So, whether your furry animal's ears are long and floppy, pricked, erect, or triangular- your pet can suffer from a variety of ear complications.
According to the PetMed website, about 1 in 5 dogs and 1 in every 15 cats that visit the vet suffering from an ear disease, from mild inflammation to severe middle ear infection.
As a pet owner myself, I've learned that it is essential to notice the signs and symptoms of your pet's ear pain.
PETS AND THEIR EARS
This beauty right here is my 12-year-old baby, Molly.
A few months ago, I noticed that my normally happy animal was off-balanced and kept shaking her head over and over and over again.
After taking her to the vet, he told us that she was suffering from ear mites. Ouch!
Healthy pets' ears should appear to be clean inside, and free of odor, excessive wax, discharge or other particles.
According to the PetMed website, signs of outer or middle ear problems that owners should note include: head shaking, smelly ears, excessive ear scratching, rubbing ears against the ground or floor, ear discharge, head tilt, circling or crying out in pain.
These symptoms might be caused by wax buildup, ear mites (microscopic parasites), yeast infection, water trapped in the ear, attached ticks, burrs, seeds or other debris.
Discharge from an ear may be caused by the rupture of the eardrum due to pressure from fluid trapped in the middle ear.
To Long-Eared Dog Parents: Dogs with long, covered ears such as spaniels and hounds may be more prone to have problems because their ear canals provide a warm moist environment for bacteria to thrive.
CARE AND PREVENTION
How to prevent ear infection in dogs and cats:
- Research your animal's breed regarding the prevalence of congenital deafness
- Regularly clean and check your pet's ears for unusual odors, redness, swelling, injuries or discharges
- Clean your pet's ears gently with products recommended by your vet
- Do not use cotton swabs in your pet's ears
- Start examining your animal's ears at an early age
- Visit your vet if your animal has unusual debris, excess wax or discharge within their ears
- Visit your vet if your pet is exhibiting unusual behaviors such as being off-balance, not allowing their ears to be touched, and failure to respond to familiar sounds
MORE INTERESTING INFORMATION FROM PETMED...
Which dog breeds are most likely to develop ear infections because of allergies?
- Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers, Schnauzers, Setters, West Highland Terriers, Wheaten Terriers
Which dog breeds most likely develop ear infections because of ear canal skin characteristics?
- Basset Hounds, Beagles, Cocker Spaniels, Labradors, Setters, Shar Pei's, Springer Spaniels
Which dog breeds are most likely to develop ear infections because of thick hair in the ear canal?
- Lhasa Apsos, Maltese, Pekingese, Poodles, Schnauzers, Shih Tzus, Spaniels
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