If your dog appears to be in some discomfort, and is shaking their head or pawing at it, then they could have contracted an ear infection. If you have suffered from such an infection before, you will understand how uncomfortable it can be. Now imagine that with a dog's sensitive ears, and you will realise why it is important to take action.
The causes of ear infections in dogs are usually bacteria, fungi, yeast or mites. In each case, the irritating microbes get into your pet's middle or inner ear and cause it to become inflamed, which leads to the discomfort and pain.
Treating these infections is not all that difficult. Take your dog to the vet, and you should find that they can clean out your pet's ear and provide you with some kind of medicine. Usually, this will require administration directly to the affected area, which means pouring it into your dog's ear on a regular basis.
To alleviate the discomfort, you might be tempted to try an ear cleaner. If you do, make sure it is not one that contains acid of any kind. Common acids include acetic, boric and lactic acid. This will only serve to irritate your dog's inner ear more.
One of the most important aspects of caring for a dog with an ear infection is to ensure they do not end up with another one in the future. If your pet is prone to ear infections, it could be due to something in their environment.
Often, a dog's diet can be the problem. Dogs can become allergic to their food, and this can cause the inflammation in the ear. To prevent this, simply switch to a hypoallergenic diet, such as James Wellbeloved dog food. This should cut down on reoccurrences.
Remember that your dog will be in constant discomfort through all this, and probably will not understand why, which can distress them further. Be patient with them, and give them more time to respond to commands.
In addition, make sure they know that you are not the cause of the pain by showing them plenty of affection; this will make it much easier to give them the medicine when you have to pour it into their ears later.
Written by: Hannah Dyball