Hear this proper ear care for labradors

Dog breeds such as Labradors and Basset Hounds are prone to ear problems because of their long, floppy ears. Air is trapped inside when the ears fold and covers the ear canal. Organisms causing various ear problems grow best in this warm moist ear canal.

Regular check up and cleaning of ears is important for Labradors. Some dog owners check their dog’s ears only when they see their dog shaking and scratching his ears. Do not wait for this to happen. Checking your ear’s pet at least once a week helps prevent various ear problems.

Before cleaning, check first your dog’s ears for any sign of ear infection. Otitis externa, an infection that occurs when water is trapped in the ear canal, causes painful sensitivity, redness and swelling. Presence of ear mites can also be seen in ear wax. Ear mites are very contagious that is why it is important to treat the infestation. Treatment with the use of insecticides usually lasts for approximately three weeks and repeat application may be necessary. Ear canker, an infection causing a dark-colored discharge and foul odor is another problem affecting dogs. It is a result of accumulated ear wax and lack of air circulation. Also, check your dog’s ears for excessive matting of hair in the external ear, foreign material, retention of dirt, weeds and other organic matter. Some of these things can work their way down to your dog’s ear canal causing serious problems.

Some vets suggest regular use of ear wash. But as a substitute, some use mineral oil, hydrogen peroxide or mixture of equal parts of vinegar and water or vinegar and alcohol. But these mixtures should not be used to dogs with open sores as this cause burning sensation. Some veterinarians are also discouraging the use of hydrogen peroxide and alcohol as ear washes for dogs.

For safety, it is best to use mineral oil in cleaning your dog’s ears. Using a cotton ball dampened with cleaning solution or mineral oil, remove the dirt in the outer area first. To clean the inner ear, gently pour enough cleaning solution into the dog’s ear to fill the canal. Gently massage the ear for about 20 seconds to help loosen dirt and wax. Wipe the dirt and excess fluid from the inner ear using cotton balls. Remember not to poke or probe the internal ear canal to prevent more serious problem.

Labradors are fun and multi-talented dogs. Do not let the ears ruin the positive characteristics of Labs.