Ear Care – how to tell if it’s yeast or mites?
Dogs with long floppy ears are more prone to ear problems than others with short or upright ears. The reason for this is that the floppy ears create a dark, closed environment that does not get the opportunity to dry out and air. This is the perfect breeding grounds for bacterial infections and sometimes leads to chronic ear problems and infections.
- I recommend flushing your dog’s ears at regular intervals for good ear hygiene and plucking hairs away for optimum air circulation for dogs that have excess hair in the ear cavities. Special ear powder is available that absorbs the wax of the ear to facilitate easy grip.
- Pluck, flush and wipe
- Use a tweezers or groomer’s chalk/ear powder for plucking
- Flush with a good ear cleaner. Caution with dogs already suffering from infections. If their ears are not dirty, leave the flushing go. Remember you want to keep the ear as dry as possible.
- Wipe with cotton wool
- You may use Thornit or ear gel for any infections.
What are Ear Mites?
- As the name suggests, ear mites are a tiny spider like parasitic mite that infects the ears of dogs and also cats. They usually live in the ear canals but can live on other parts of the dog or cat’s body. They are more commonly found in cats than dogs.
- Ear mites feed on epidermal debris & ear wax. They burrow into the ear, causing inflammation which the body responds to by producing more wax.
How do I know if my dog has ear mites?
Ear mites are barely visible to the naked eye; however, here are some symptoms to look for:
- Head shaking or carrying the head tilted to one side
- Excessive scratching at the ears (there may be sores around the ears)
- Dark brown to black crusty discharge in the ears
- Difficulty hearing – especially if combined with other signs.
- It is often difficult to tell if your dog has ear mites or a yeast infection so to be sure you can treat for both!
- Effective “spot-on” – some vets use it and some don’t.
- Ear cleaner – loosens the wax for easy cleaning.
- Antibiotic ear gel – kills mites and cures symptoms.