Do your ears hang low?

A couple of weeks ago we began the less-than-savory topic of “doggie smell” – as in, “Why does my dog stink?!”  We talked about problems in your dog’s skin and coat.  But what about that nasty stink coming from his ears?  Um, yeah—you know what we mean, don’t act like you don’t!

Well, if your pup’s ears are stinky, you’ve got yourself a problem (though it should be relatively easy to remedy).  A foul odor emanating from those soft, little—or long, floppy—ears means there’s an infection of some sort.  This is the kind of thing for which you’ll need to hit the vet up for help.  (Even if there’s no odor yet, if your pup is scratching at his ears a lot and shaking his head, there could also be a problem brewing!)

Ear infections can be treated with medicated ointment or drops, but you’ll also want to make a habit of checking and cleaning your dog’s ears, especially if she has a lot of fur growing in them or has ears that hang down.  You can get an appropriate ear cleaning solution at Pet Groomerie or at your vet, and follow the instructions on the bottle!

But what the heck causes these ear infections?  Well, lots of things can. If your dog’s ears stay damp, bacteria and yeast can grow in them and cause problems.  If your dog has allergies, these can also manifest in the ears because allergies can cause an overgrowth of bacteria and other organisms on the skin.

Allergies can be a much tougher problem to solve, at least until you can determine what exactly is making your dog react.  Just like people, dogs can be bothered by environmental allergens like dust, pollen, molds, or grasses and flowers. What to do?  Make sure to dust frequently and well, especially in your pet’s favorite areas—which might go unnoticed by us humans—such as under tables and beds, on windowsills, and behind furniture.  Tossing soft toys in the freezer for a couple of hours can kill the dust mites, too.  For pollen and outdoor allergens, you might consider wiping down paws with a cool washcloth when your pet comes back inside.  A weekly cool bath with a gentle pet shampoo can keep fur clean of seasonal irritants, too.  Steam cleaning carpets benefits both pets and humans.  And just as you wash your bedding frequently, wash your pet’s with a dye- and perfume-free detergent.  Seriously, y’all—add it to your laundry list; your dog will thank you!

If your pup’s problems are caused by food allergies, isolating which foods cause the problem means that you can then remove those foods from her diet.

In any event, simple maintenance can go a long way toward preventing ear problems.  If you don’t want to mess with it or don’t feel comfortable doing so, give us a call at the Groomerie; we can handle it, do you don’t have to!

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