Morkie Care: What You Need to Know dog ear problems
How do I clean my Morkie’s ears?

If your Morkie’s ears are itchy or if the ear canal has waxy, brownish gunk in it, they need cleaning. Wax debris can build up, and in the warm, dark environment of the ear canal, all sorts of nasty things can grow including a yeast infection or bacteria. Ear infections are the number one cause of visits to the Vet.  Here’s what to do to avoid ear problems:

waxy dog ears


Waxy build up in your dog’s ears make a perfect home for bacteria, yeast and even parasites.

First: try to determine the cause of the problem

Many dog owners think “ear mites” right away, and freak out. In fact, it’s rarely ear mites, especially in adult dogs., (Mites prefer kittens.) The 3 most common causes of “dirty ears” in dogs are:

  • bacteria
  • allergies
  • yeast infection

No matter what the cause, the cycle is similar – irritated skin in and around the ears makes the body secrete extra wax, which gets infected, and the infection causes more inflammation and waxy secretion.

cycle-of-ear-problems

The vicious cycle of dog ear problems.

It’s hard to distinguish among the causes; and the symptoms of ear problems in your Morkie are very similar:

  • shaking the head
  • pawing at the ear
  • appetite is off
  • tilting the head a lot
  • loss of balance
  • sometimes nausea and vomiting

 

Next: Start with a good quality ear wash

dog ear cleaners

Three commercial ear cleaners that score high among consumers. They are available at Amazon.com or at your local store.

 

Using a high quality ear wash, from your Veterinarian’s office or from a reputable pet supply company, do this to clean your Morkie’s ears:

  • tilt and hold his head, so the infected ear is at the top
  • fill the ear canal right up with the liquid
  • massage around the base of the ear for a minute or two
  • stand back while your Morkie shakes it all out

DO NOT DO THIS:

  • use any kind of liquid, such as water, soapy or other. Use only a dog ear cleaning product. Good ones include
  • use cotton swabs or anything else, to dig into your Morkie’s ear canal – leave it alone. He can shake out the excess dirt and wax safely himself, when you’ve applied the cleaner as described above.
NEVER use cotton swabs on your dog's ears.

NEVER use cotton swabs on your dog’s ears.

 

1. Cause and solution: Bacteria in the ear canal

Bacteria are one of the main causes of infection and inflammation of a dog’s middle ear or inner ear.

If you’ve tried standard cleaning procedures for the ear, and the symptoms haven’t gone away (itching, shaking head, rubbing head along the ground) then it’s time to see a Vet. He/She will probably prescribe an aggressive antibiotic. You may also be advised to flush your Morkie’s ears with Vet-supplied special liquid.

The sooner you catch this with the Vet, the sooner you can get it cleared up.

 

2. Cause and solution: Allergies

Allergies come in two forms for your Morkie: from what he breathes in, and from what he eats. AND… skin disease may also be influenced by the presence of thyroid disease or adrenal gland disease (Cushing’s disease).

Dogs can often be allergic to the main protein source in their food. If you suspect that could be the case, try changing. Lamb is the least allergy-causing of the meats and may help reduce the allergens, which cause the ear inflammation and infection.

 

3. Cause and solution: Yeast infection

Besides bacteria, another possible disease-causing agent is yeast.  And like a bacteria infection, yeast can invade your dog’s ears and generate a lot of waxy, glue like gunk.  DogsNaturallyMagazine.com advises:

Yeast is a fungus and is in all dogs (and people) as a normal part of their flora. Yeast lives on your dog’s skin and inside her gut, where it normally lives with other healthy flora, as part of the balanced immune system.

But when the immune system is stressed, yeast can begin to over-populate the gut.

Your dog’s skin is the largest organ in her body … and when yeast populations grow out of control in the gut, the body tries to get rid of the fungus.

This is when you will start to see the effects in your pet. It’s called a yeast infection.

For the short term, you can try cleaning your Morkie’s ears every two or three days to see if the infection clears up. If not, it’s time to see the Vet who may have to do a full flushing of the ear canal, among other options.

ear-cleaning

Nice and clean!

 

Once more: How to clean the ears  

No matter what the source is, and especially if it’s hard to identify what’s causing your Morkie’s ear problems, you can start with a proper cleaning.

  • tilt and hold his head, so the infected ear is at the top
  • fill the ear canal right up with the liquid
  • massage around the base of the ear for a minute or two
  • stand back while your Morkie shakes it all out

DO NOT use any kind of other liquid except he dog ear cleaning product. And NEVER use cotton swabs to dig into your Morkie’s ear canal.

 

Frustrating problem

Infected and inflamed ears can be very frustrating to treat. It’s hard to identify the culprit, even for your Veterinarian. And ear problems can be the source of pain and discomfort for your Morkie. Unfortunately, when ear problems are left too long, your dog risks deafness, permanent damage and chronic pain.  But regular cleaning and veterinary checkups can help catch “flare-ups” before they progress.

morkie-with-her-ears-dyed-pink

 

 

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