For dogs that love water, there’s nothing like a summer swim. But, just like humans who spend a lot of time swimming, dogs can experience ear infections due to moisture getting trapped in the ear, causing bacteria. Like any potential pet issue, knowledge is power – so if you have a dog who loves water (or even if you don’t), here’s a quick list of need-to-know ear info.
- All Ears are Not Equal. Unfortunately, floppy ears are more susceptible to infection because they fold over the ear canal and retain moisture. This means cocker spaniels, bassets, and even retrievers may require a little more ear attention after a swim.
- What to Look For. The most obvious sign of an ear infection is your dog consistently scratching or digging into their ear(s), but we recommend looking taking a peek at their ears as often as you remember; be on the look out for yellow or black debris, an unpleasant odor, and/or redness and inflammation in the ear.
- What You Can Do. The best thing to do is routinely clean your pet’s ear with a pet-specific ear cleaner – you can talk to your vet about ideal formulas and frequency for your pet. You can also be proactive by drying your pet’s ears after a swim with gauze or cotton after they’ve done their best to shake the water out. Never use a q-tip, as you can easily rupture vital parts of the inner ear. Lastly, keep long ear hairs trimmed to promote air circulation and faster drying.
Of course if you have any questions or doubts about your pet’s ear care, you can always talk with your veterinarian but don’t let anything go untreated – the longer the infection stays, the harder it is to get rid of, and it can ultimately lead to permanent damage. While there’s no foolproof way of thwarting ear infections, just remember that being proactive is the best prevention as a pet parent.