Although we can’t talk to dogs, we can still understand them through their actions — whether they are happy or feeling under the weather, there give us little signs to hint how they are.
Similarly, you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, there are also signs you can look out for.
Read more to find out how to tell if they have an ear infection and how you can treat them! In this article, we will be focusing on Basset Hounds.
Facts on Basset Hounds
Hush Puppies infamous dog, the Basset Hound, is known as one of the most appealing American Kennel Club breeds.
They are recognizable, charming and affectionate.
Originally from France and Belgium, this breed has unique features — from their long ears and mournful eyes, they are well known as looking like a sad clown.
They move deliberately in an effortless manner and loves to be affectionate to their owners.
As their ears are large and floppy, they are highly vulnerable to ear infections and ear mites.
Facts on Ear Infections
All dogs are prone to ear infections, some more than others.
There are two different types of infections, otitis media and isotitis externa.
The former affects the middle ear while the latter affects the outer ear canal.
To find out which infection your dog may have, it is important to bring them to your local vet to receive a proper diagnosis.
There are multiple reasons why your dog may have an ear infection, including:
- Bacteria or yeast accumulation
- Wax build-up
- Ear mites
- Improper cleaning
- Injury to the ear canal
Ear infections can also be secondary infection.
This means that there are there may be a larger problem in your dog’s health, resulting in an ear infection.
These infections are usually otitis externa infections.
As with human ear infections, it is important to treat ear infections in dogs quickly and efficiently, to avoid major problems and damages in the future.
Ear infections are more prevalent in floppy-eared breeds, such as Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels.
Bacteria is typically the primary cause of ear infections.
As floppy-eared dogs’ ears are lined with hair, this traps moisture and dirt inside their ears.
This means that their ears aren’t able to dry properly, resulting in bacteria forming.
Signs of an Ear Infection
Similar to humans, dogs will have the same symptoms if they have an ear infection.
Their ears may be inflamed or warm and sometimes wet from debris. Ears that are infected will often emit a bad odour.
Some symptoms which your dog may show when having an ear infection includes:
- Ear scratching
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Swelling of ears
- Hair loss around ears
- Bad odour
- Head shaking
- Unusual movements
- Hearing loss
If your dog has an ear infection in the middle or inner ear, he may also possess other symptoms which include, but not limited to:
- Vomiting or nausea
- Eye discharge
- Droopy eyelids, lips, nostrils
- Horner’s Syndrome
- Pain when the ear is touched
- Nerve paralysis
If your dog shows any of these symptoms, it is crucial that you bring them to their vet as soon as possible for treatment.
Treating the infection quickly will also help to prevent the spread of the infection to other parts of their ear.
When visiting the vet, you may need to provide them with a thorough history of the problem, especially if this is their first ear infection.
Some information which you may need to provide them with includes:
- Duration of symptoms
- Any allergies
- What they have been eating
- What ear products they have been using
- Recent activities
Your vet will then perform several physical examinations to help better evaluate your dog’s condition.
Some examinations include doing a visual assessment, biopsies, culture of samples and an otoscope.
Do note that not all these examinations will be needed, depending on your dog’s condition.
Once your vet is able to get an accurate diagnosis, they can start treating the infection.
Fortunately, ear infections are easily treatable.
Your vet will start by cleaning your dog’s ears with a medicated ear cleaner.
Your vet may also prescribe oral antibiotics and medication to help the infection too.
Ear infections are easy to resolve and take 1-2 weeks.
However, severe infections due to other underlying conditions may take longer to resolve.
It is important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully to ensure that your dog’s ear infection is taken care of.
Prevention is always necessary when it comes to diseases.
As excess moisture is a common cause for ear infections, you can start by ensuring that your Basset Hound’s ears are thoroughly dry after swimming or bathing.
If they are prone to ear infections, you should find out its underlying cause to help prevent future recurring ear infections.
It is also crucial to clean your dog’s ears well at home.
Use a dog ear cleaning solution and massage it into your dog’s ear canal for 30 seconds.
Let your dog shake his head and gently wipe his canal after.
Note that when cleaning their ears, you should not use cotton swabs or paper towels as its fibres may cause irritation.
As excess cleaning can also lead to ear infections, you should check to make sure that they actually need cleaning.
This can be done by identifying what a clean ear looks and smells like — pink and odourless.
Although ear infections may be uncomfortable, it is not dangerous if they are treated early.
If you suspect that your dog may have an ear infection, bring them to your local vet to have it checked out.
Remember that taking care of your Basset Hound’s ears are important as it will help to prevent infection.
Regular ear examinations can also help to catch problems at the early stage.