Tag Archives: ear mites

What Causes My Dog To Scratch His Ears?

dog ear problemsKeeping your dog’s ears clean is vitally important, especially if you have a breed such as a spaniel, poodle, or basset hound where the ears hang down over the ear canal and there is a tendency for infection. Also, dogs like Labradors or pit bulls that love to swim or play with lawn sprinklers can have ongoing issues since their ear canals are being exposed to water and because of the way the canal is shaped water gets trapped causing infections. Professional ear cleaning at regular intervals not only makes your dog more comfortable, but in the long run, it could save your dog’s life. A professional dog groomer has the training and experience in order to properly clean your dog’s ears and keep him healthy.

Parasites, bacteria, and yeast like to hide in a dog’s ears. Without human intervention to clean these nasty buggers out, your dog can end up sick and irritated. Some dogs grow a lot of hair inside their ears, which make it easier for these problems to stay in your dog’s ears unnoticed. The hair can be difficult to remove, especially if it gets matted. Typically, the best way to remove this hair is to tweeze it, an undesirable job which most dog owners would rather not attempt.

Ear mites are parasites which actually eat the wax in a dog’s ears and lay their eggs in it. As the mites get more and more irritating, your dog will keep scratching at his ears with his paws, which will cause bloody scratches and sores on your dog’s ears. These sores may become infected. Eventually, after dealing with the mites awhile, the dog’s ears will release a serum that mixes in with this dark earwax and will block his ear canal. This causes more infection and eventually the dog will be in horrible pain and may lose his hearing.

A groomer can determine if your dog has mites by looking at the color of the wax. If the wax is dark, then your dog most likely has mites. A veterinarian can prescribe ear drops that will get rid of the mites.

If your dog is prone to yeast infections in his ears because of a food or other type of allergy, your best bet is to hire a groomer to clean the ears out a regular intervals. With some breeds, if you perform the ear cleaning at home, it may take you several hours a week to do it properly and you absolutely cannot skip cleaning sessions. If the ears are not cleaned properly, your dog may eventually develop hearing loss, pain, facial paralysis, and other neurological side effects such as loss of balance or severe headaches.