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Is it a Dog Ear Infection?

by Laura

Our dog is a large, 11 year old Rottweiler named Ben. He's starting to scratch at his right side ear on a regular daily basis - in fact, the skin around the ear is getting red and inflamed.

When I try and clean the area with a warm wet cloth I'm seeing a lot of dark (dirty brown) wax. Ben doesn't roll around in the grass or the dirt anymore - he's too old and stiff in his joints for that. What do you think is going on with his ear?

Response from Kris at The Dog Biscuit:
First things first: take Ben to a vet to check out the ears. It's likely he'll need some antibiotic drops.

If you're wiping his ears with a warm, wet cloth you need to ensure that the ear is dried after cleaning; otherwise a dog's ear is a good breeding ground for bacteria and a warm, wet cloth might simply be encouraging that bacterial growth.

I clean our two dogs' ears every week with a pet ear cleaner that I bought at our Vet's office. The cleaner contains alcohol, Lactic acid, Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate, Benzoic acid, and Salicylic acid. I put a couple of drops on a dry cotton pad and wipe inside; a clean pad for each ear.

This cleaning treatment seems to keep the ears clean and dry.

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Update from Laura:

Just wanted to let you know that we took Ben to the Vet and he did have an ear infection. After 10 days of antibiotic drops he was all good! We have followed your advice though - we now clean his ears once a week with an ear cleaner that our Vet's office sells. It's amazing how dirty the ears get - particularly for an older, arthritic dog who doesn't really roll around in the grass or the dirt - he's happy to just stretch out on his bed! Thanks for the advice - appreciate it.

Laura (and Ben)

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