I’m All Ears

Although this is usually my summer mention regarding ear care, knowing most of Texas and some of the souther states saw snow this past week, I know our doodles will be dealing with a little more moisture than usual for this time of year. So here is a little more about ear care and ear infection prevention.

It’s Summer Time all around the globe and that means quite a few Doodles will be enjoying water works of all sorts.  Both the Poodle and the Golden Retriever lines bred into the doodle gives it an overwhelming desire to get wet!  Swimming in pools, splashing in streams, wading in waves, and running in rain are all common desires of the Mini Goldendoodle.

We love watching our doods enjoying themselves, but must always remember water play always has it’s affects.  Because of the water tight poodle coat in the breed, moisture is often trapped in the ear canal allowing rapid growth of bacteria and yeast causing an ear infection.  This can happen even without entering the water.  So humid climates, rainy days and water play can accentuate the problem.

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How to spot ear infections?
* Your dog’s ears will appear to have caked on mud particles on both the outer and inner ear.  Black, brown, and reddish looking.
* The ear will be noticeably more red.  An irritable dark pink instead of a nice calm clammy white/light pink.
*Your dog scratches behind his ear often and has the above symptoms.  May also whine while doing so.

To prevent ear infections:
* Clean out your dog’s ears using a professional ear cleaner recommended by your vet, at least once every two weeks.  Cosmetic application pads are a wonderful and soft way to get down in there and remove dirt and other particles.  If you are unsure about doing this yourself, ask your groomer for a quote on doing this service for you.  Do not clean your dog’s ears too much as this will clear away the “good” bacteria that is necessary to fight infections.  We use a homemade solution of 1/2 part white distilled vinegar and 1/2 equal part rubbing alcohol.  We mix this together and drop about 3 to 7 drops in the ear.  There is no need to wipe it out as the vinegar takes care of the yeast and infection while the rubbing alcohol takes care of drying it up.  This is great to use when your dog has been out in the rain, swimming or just had a bath.  Prevention is key!

* Consider a once a year “ear canal hair removal” from your vet.  This service is not costly, but will save you tons in the long run.  Doodles, especially multi-generational doodles, have lots of ear canal air growth that harbor moisture and therefore allow for rapid bacteria and yeast growth causing ear infections.  Removing this hair allows more air flow through the ear canal for natural drying.

* Talk to your groomer about shaving your doodle’s coat under the ear flap.  This also allows for more natural air flow to the ear canal.

Taking these steps will assist in the prevention of unnecessary ear infections and allow for an enjoyable water filled summer for both you and your Goldendoodle!

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