Avoiding Ear Infections During Summer
With the approach of summer, ear infections are on a high. Painful ear problems are one of the top 2 complaints that Veterinarians encounter. Dogs with floppy ears or dogs that enjoy getting wet are the ones most prone to catch an infection.
Ear infections can be very painful and uncomfortable for the dog and shouldn’t be take lightly. Especially certain breeds prone to ear issues, have a tough time getting rid of the infection and the process can be both time consuming and difficult. Care should be taken to immediately assess how grave the infection is as the infection of the outer ear can gradually become an inflammation of the inner ear, leading to deafness, vestibule disease and other serious conditions if left untreated. Thus it is always important to arrest the infection in the early stage and use preventive measure so it doesn’t recure again!!
So in two easy steps we can prep up and prevent ear infections this summer!!
- Regular ear check – get your dog’s ears checked by a vet atleast once a month especially if they are prone for infections. Learn from your Vet how to clean the ears at home and choose the recommended cleaning materials to suit your dog’s condition. At home you can use a non medicated ear clearer (if prone for smelly discharge or excessive wax) and ear wipes twice a week. This may not be the favorite part of your doggy’s day but with treats, pats and a quick swipe with the ear wipes, the job can get done in minutes. Regular cleaning of the ears gives you a chance to check for sign of inflammation and an opportunity to arrest the problem before it flares up.
Don’t use sharp instruments to clean the ears as the ear canal is very sensitive and can cause damage.
Don’t use ear buds unless recommended by the Vet as u end up pushing the wax and infected material further down the ear canal.
Don’t use oils, lotions or liquids in the ears. Only Vet recommended products must be used based on the requirement of your dog.
- Supplementing Essential Fatty Acids- You can support your dog’s immunity by supplementing Essential Fatty acids in the diet. Omega FA are rich in fish but are deficit in most commercial dog foods and thus must be supplemented additionally. People and pets all over the world are enjoying the health benefits of Omega FA, as a supplement to help coat condition, heart, mental and overall body health. Omega 3&6 FAs have anti inflammatory property which fights the inflammation at the root, including ear infections.
They are commercially available as chews, paste or syrups which can be added to the regular diet. Natural organic cold pressed Coconut oil (1/2tsp a day) could be used as well on a daily basis in the diet. Always start with very small amts, see how your dog responds to it. Once you’ve let his body adjust you can gradually increase the amount of coconut oil in the diet to 1teaspoon per kg bodyweight or 1tablespoon per 15kgs of bodyweight. Putting your dog on this will not only boost him immunity and prevent ear infections but will also strengthen his heart and leave him with a smooth glossy fur coat.
Don’t start giving supplements in large doses. Always start in small amounts and gradually increase till the recommended dose once the dog’s body has got adjusted. This transition should take atleast a week to 10days. Any sudden change in diet leads to greasy stools and diarrhea.
Practice these two simple steps and have yourself a fun filled, stress-free summer with your precious pooch!!
– By Dr. Nezhat Patrawalla