An ear infection for your Morkie is not fun for either of you; and the bad news is, the more often your Morkie gets infections, the more susceptible he is to future infections. In fact, ear conditions are the second most common reason dogs visit the Veterinarian. So how do you deal with the dog ear infection?
First, what’s the cause?
The dog ear infection is almost always a SYMPTOM of some other, underlying problem.
And if your Morkie has drop ears (not standing-up, Yorkie style ears) it’s even more difficult because the inner ear isn’t exposed to sunlight or oxygen — two of nature’s best natural cleaners.
4 common causes of ear infections are:
- bacteria or yeast infection
- parasites like ear mites
- foreign particles
Of these four problems, the first two are by far, the most common. Although very young kittens often have ear mites, they’re a little unusual in dogs. And the chances of some foreign particle getting into your Morkie’s ear without you seeing it, are also slim.
Allergies and Ear Infections
Like us, dogs can be allergic to many things including:
- Tree, grass and weed pollens
- Mold spores
- Dust and house dust mites
- Cigarette smoke and much more
- (source: Pets.WebMD.com)
Allergies can cause ear AND eye problems and can lead to serious ear infections if not treated. Symptoms:
- your Morkie shakes his head a lot
- scratches at his ears
- skin around ears ins red and inflamed from his scratching
Talk to your Vet about treating the underlying allergy; it may be as simple as administering Benadryl (see my post http://aboutmorkies.com/?p=1672) It can be a real ‘wonder drug’ in treating seasonal allergies in dogs.
Bacteria or Yeast Infection
These external ear infections are easy to spot because of the brown, waxy build up in your dog’s ears and a nasty smell. Although it’s very tempting to just grab a cotton swab stick and clean it out – DON’T DO IT! You risk very serious damage if you puncture the ear drum.
Instead try using a good dog ear cleaner (from your Vet or a good retailer)
- fill the ear canal with the liquid until it overflows
- gently fold over the ear flap and then massage the liquid into the ear canal
- let your dog shake his head
- remove any excess liquid and dirt from the outer ear only, with a tissue or cotton ball
If this doesn’t work, then get your Morkie to the Vet for an examination and potentially a professional ear flushing. Your Vet may then prescribe medication to fight the bacteria or yeast. This antibiotic treatment should address the infection so the ears will clear up. You may however, still need to clean them regularly – talk to your Vet about just how often, because like most things, this can be overdone too – causing more problems.
Removing (visible) excess hair in the ear canal
Your Vet may also recommend that you pluck the extra hairs from the ear canal regularly since they can tend to trap moisture, heat and debris.
You can use blunt-end, rounded tweezers, or grip tweezers for dog grooming or even just your own fingers. The fine hair pulls out easily and your dog can’t feel it at all.
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