Thursday, January 19, 2012

Does Your Senior Dog’s Ears Hear as Well as They Used to?

A dog’s ears can be sensitive at any age. It is important to keep vigilant as your dog ages to be certain that minor ear discomfort doesn’t become a life changing situation. Several things can cause problems for your older dog’s ears. Parasites and mites are a common, well known issue but allergies can cause ear itching and swelling too. Bacteria and yeast can grow in a dog’s ears after lake or a trip to the groomers if the ears aren’t sufficiently dry. And then hormonal changes as a dog matures can bring on thyroid conditions which can trigger ear infections in the older dog.

Signs of Ear Problems
  • Bad smell or odor
  • Excessive scratching of the ears
  • Sensitivity to petting of ears; often a signal that it is painful
  • Constant tilting/shaking of the head to one side
  • Black or yellowish discharge
  • Redness inside the ear flap or canal
  • Changes in behavior like listlessness, depression or irritability
  • Accumulation of dark yellow to brown wax
  • Loss of balance and disorientation
  • Bleeding or discharge resembling coffee grounds
While nothing will replace a visit to your vet to address any serious hearing or ear concerns, there are some tools that a senior dog owner can use to keep your dog’s ears in tip top shape.

Tools to Protect Older Dog Ears

Otoscope – The same tool your vet uses to see inside a dog’s ear canal will give you a better view of the inside of your pet’s ear.
Cleansing Pads & Solution- Keeping your pet's ears clean and dry is your best defense against ear infections.
Drying Agents – Prevent bacterial growth after a swim in the lake or a bath.
Ear Mitacide - If itchy ears are accompanied by a black, crumbly discharge, there's a good chance your pet has ear mites. Pyrethrin or Ear Miticide can eliminate these irritating, common parasites.

Copyright 2012

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