It took awhile, but nice weather finally arrived in Northern Wisconsin! Our two Chinese Crested dogs are ecstatic to have the run of a snow-free yard again. However, for our dog Mojito, fresh grass is as itchy as it is fun.
We’ve managed to mostly conquer Mo’s seasonal allergies with over-the-counter Benadryl and limiting his exposure to allergens. (Read about that journey here and here.) But, the first real thaw of the year exposed the usual molds and pollens, and shortly thereafter we noticed something was up with Mo’s ears.
This time his most obvious symptom was the careful application of a rear foot to the inside of an ear, squinting uncomfortably as he dug around. It’s pretty easy to visually check the interior of Mo’s huge bat ears, but I couldn’t see anything odd besides a little redness from him trying to jam a paw in there. Something was definitely bothering him, though, because he was trying to scratch at it several times a day.
We already had a vet visit lined up to get this year’s heartworm prescription renewed, so at the clinic I was sure to ask about Mo’s new itching behavior, and wasn’t really surprised when he was diagnosed with otitis externa: an infection of the outer ear.
Allergies — usually from pollen or food — can predispose a dog to ear infections, especially chronic infections. Symptoms can include redness and swelling, itching, offensive odor, brown or yellow discharge, or the dog shaking or repeatedly pawing at his ears. Left untreated, infections can cause physical trauma to the ear from all the scratching, as well as progress past the eardrum to become otitis media (infection of the middle ear), a more serious condition that can lead to deafness, loss of balance, and even facial paralysis.
If your dog is suffering from ear trouble on a regular basis, it’s time to check with the vet for the underlying cause of his misery. A change in diet or avoiding other allergens could be what he needs. Luckily, we’d caught Mo’s problem early, and it cleared up with a week’s worth of prescription Tresaderm drops and more frequent, thorough ear cleanings. I already had some Ear Clens Pads at home, but I went ahead and picked up the entire Ear Clens Kit for this job, as the liquid Solution allows for deeper cleaning of the ear canal. Now that his ears are healthy again, I add a puff of Powder after weekly baths, too.
|Check out our How-To video for easy instructions on cleaning your dog’s ears. It’s a great start at preventing common ear infections!|
- Common Ear Infections (and Causes) in Dogs
- Ear Infection Checklist to take to your vet
- Signs Your Pet May Have Allergies