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How To Prevent And Treat Dog Ear Infections In Dogs That Swim Frequently
Swimming is a great exercise for dogs and it can actually help to reduce the risk of Ear Infections due to its natural ability to flush out water and dirt in the Ear canals. However, if your four-legged furry friend swims often, there is an increased risk of ear infection as moisture gets trapped inside their ears.
How to Prevent Ear Infection in Dogs that Swim Frequently
- Clean Your Dog’s Ears After Swimming: Thoroughly dry the outer ear with a soft cloth after every swim to remove any water that might have made its way into the ear canals. If they have excessive hair in the ear, use scissors to trim it before swimming.
- Make Sure the Water is Clean: Avoid taking your dog to natural bodies of water like rivers, lakes, and streams as these tend to be murky and may have bacteria or parasites that can increase the risk of ear infection.
- Use Ear Drops: Regularly using ear drops specially formulated for swimming dogs can help prevent infection. Choose products with natural ingredients like tea tree oil or witch hazel that have the added benefit of killing any bacteria in the ear.
- Have Your Dog Checked Regularly: Have your veterinarian check your dog’s ears periodically to keep a watchful eye on any potential infections.
Treating Dogs With Ear Infections
If your dog has already developed an ear infection, you should take them to the veterinarian for a diagnosis and proper treatment. Here are some steps you can take at home to alleviate your dog’s discomfort:
- Clean the Ears: Gently use a washcloth to wipe away any dirt or debris from the ear while avoiding the ear canal.
- Apply Warm Compress: Soak a clean washcloth in warm water and apply it over the dog’s ear for about 10 minutes. Doing this helps to reduce pain and swelling.
- Give Antibiotics and Pain Medications: Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian may prescribe oral antibiotics and pain medications to help reduce redness, inflammation, and discomfort.
- Clean Ears After Swimming: After the infection has cleared up, make sure to keep up with the preventative measures discussed earlier to help ensure that your pup’s ears stay healthy and infection-free.
What steps should be taken before and after swimming to help prevent ear infections?
1. Make sure the ear canal is free of wax buildup by using a washcloth, cotton swab, or a commercial ear drop cleanser.
2. Wear ear plugs, especially when swimming in a public pool.
1. Immediately after swimming, gently dry the outer ear using a towel to help remove moisture.
2. If the ears are still wet afterwards, gently shake the head back and forth to help remove excess moisture.
3. Use an over-the-counter alcohol-based ear drop solution to help dry the ear canal.
4. Avoid placing anything, including cotton swabs, directly in the ear canal to help prevent irritation.
5. See a healthcare provider if you experience increased pain, discomfort, or discharge.
Should medications prescribed by a veterinarian be used to treat dog ear infections?
Yes, medications prescribed by a veterinarian should be used to treat dog ear infections. Veterinary medications are specifically designed to target the specific bacteria or fungal infection that is causing the ear infection and are formulated for use in animals. Using over-the-counter medications intended for human use can be dangerous and may not be effective. It is important to speak with your veterinarian to ensure that the medication being prescribed is appropriate for your dog’s specific needs.
Are there any at-home treatments available for dog ear infections?
Yes, there are several at-home treatments available for dog ear infections. These include cleaning the ear with a homemade saline solution, using natural antiseptics and oils like tea tree oil and apple cider vinegar, and using herbs like garlic to fight off bacteria. Additionally, you can place a warm compress on the ear to reduce swelling and pain. It’s important to talk with your veterinarian before beginning any at-home treatments, as what works for one dog may not work for another.
Are there any dietary supplements I can give my dog to help promote healthy ears?
Yes. Your vet may recommend dietary supplements such as omega-3 fatty acids (fish oil) and probiotics to help promote healthy ears. Other supplements that may be beneficial include vitamin A, zinc, and vitamin E. Additionally, some natural remedies that may help improve your dog’s ear health include garlic, apple cider vinegar, and tea tree oil.
How often should a dog’s ears be checked for infection symptoms?
Ideally, your dog’s ears should be checked every two weeks for any signs of infection. This should include gently cleaning the ears if there is any build up of wax, odors, dirt, debris, or other substances. If any of the above are present, contact your veterinarian for an evaluation.
Dogs that regularly enjoy taking a dip in the water may be more prone to ear infections, due to the moisture in the ear canal that can provide an ideal environment for bacterial and yeast growth. To help keep your pup’s ears protected from pesky infections, here is what you should know about preventing and treating ear infections in dogs who love to swim.
First, the best way to protect your pup’s ears is to be proactive. After each swim, it is important to carefully dry the dog’s ears, including gently wiping the interior of the ear with a clean, soft cloth. The following steps are also recommended to reduce the risks of ear infections in water-loving dogs:
• Clean the dog’s ears with a vet-approved ear cleaning product a few times a week. This will help to break down any wax build-up and flush out any bacteria or other debris that could be causing an infection.
• Consider using an ear drying solution after each swim, as this helps lower the moisture levels in the ear canal.
• Using cotton balls during and after swimming can help soak up moisture and debris.
• Make sure the dog doesn’t swim in ocean water or rivers, as these can be full of bacteria or parasites that can cause infection.
If your dog starts to show signs of an ear infection, such as scratching, head shaking, or pain when touched, it is important to take them to the vet for a diagnosis. Ear infections can be painful, and while they can be treated with antibiotics or other treatments, most ear infections will require treatment prescribed by a veterinarian.
In summary, regular ear cleaning and drying helps protect your pup’s ears from infections caused by swimming. If your dog does develop an ear infection, it is best to take them to the vet for proper diagnosis and treatment. With regular preventive care and quick action when signs of infection arise, your pup can continue to enjoy swimming without developing painful ear infections.