As a proud owner of a German shepherd, his beautiful erect ears must be one of the features that endures you to him. These alert ears are always on the lookout to sniff out any potential dangers. You, therefore, do not want any German Shepherd Ear Problems to inhibit their watchdog abilities.
What are these problems? What are the remedies for these ear infections? Keep it with us and find out the answers to all of your queries.
Symptoms of German Shepherd Ear Problems
Being able to tell if your buddy has an ear problem is the first step in ensuring that your friend stays healthy throughout. It is advisable to always be on the lookout for these common symptoms.
- Foul odor from the ears
- Ear swelling
- Loss of hair around the ears
- Frequent rubbing or scratching of the ear on furniture
- Smelly discharges from the ear
- Hearing losses
- Rigorous ear shaking
Your GSD may exhibit some of these signs or not, as various ear problems manifest differently in dogs. A keener dog ear check-up every week with a spotlight should identify these issues.
Common German Shepherd Ear Problems
German shepherds do not require high levels of grooming standards. Occasional shedding and general dog grooming routines will just do it for your furry canine. Since GSDs have upright erect ears, ear problems are not that common in them as in breeds with floppy ears. The perky ears facilitate air flow and circulation within the ear, keeping them dry most of the time.
This does not in any way mean that they are immune from ears problems. They still develop these problems due to the exposure to environmental elements.
1. German Shepherd Ear Mites
The common type of ear mites that may take residence in your German Shepherd is the eight-legged Otodectes Cynotis. It feeds on the oils and waxes found in the dog’s ear canal. It causes intense ear irritation and inflammation and continues to spread if proper measures are not taken. A characteristic dark discharge from the ears is a sign of the advanced stage of the infection.
The parasites are commonly found in outdoor cats and are passed from pet to pet as they interact. In case your dog shows the signs of this ear infection, it is critical to consult your vet immediately. Doing self-diagnosis is foolhardy and should not be attempted.
Certain bacterial infections mimic the symptoms of mites’ infection. It is only your vet who can come up with the right diagnosis after performing tests on the discharges. The right treatment will also be given to the dog.
2. German Shepherd Ear Yeast Infection
This is another common ear problem in GSDs. Constant rubbing of the ears and head tilting occasions this ear infection. Otitis Externa is the term used in reference to this ear infection that attacks the dog’s outer ear. This is from the earlobe to the eardrum. If left unattended to, it spreads to the inner parts of the ear and becomes more threatening.
This infection is caused by the trapping of water inside the dog’s ears during bathing or swimming. The trapped water also further goes on to trap debris, pollen, dust, mold and other cleaning products.
All these, if left for long in the ears potentially lead to ear yeast infections. A prescription for an ointment or cream and a topical antifungal by the vet should be enough to get rid of the infection.
German Shepherd Ear Cleaning
Most, if not all of the German shepherd ear problems can be averted and treated by proper care of his ears. These ears are not just for listening, but can also harbor lots of bacteria and debris if not cleaned regularly. It is a task that may seem easy and straightforward. It is not always so. The dog’s ears are very delicate and need extreme caution when being dealt with.
Cleaning of your dog’s ears should not be only because of infections. She needs her ears to be cleaned of the waxes and oils that accumulate inside the ears. Follow these simple steps to clean your buddy’s ears. The key is to be very gentle with the canine friend.
What You Need
- Cotton balls
- Cleanser for dog ears
- Drying powder
- Blunt-nose tweezer/scissors
- Dog treats
- Pull up one of the ears as gently as possible. As the ears straighten, the ear canal becomes exposed.
- Squeeze a few drops of the ear cleaner into the ears. You may want some help to keep the dog still.
- Gently massage the base of the dog’s ears to distribute the solution.
- Swab out the interior of the ear using the cotton balls. Wipe away any debris and the residues of the cleaner as well.
- You can then optionally apply the drying powder to keep the ear dry.
- If any hair is present in the dog’s ears, trim it using the blunt nose tweezer.
- Do the same for the other ear.
- Give him some treats for the good behavior.
German Shepherd Ear Infection Home Remedies
Home remedies provide for cheap and readily available means of getting rid of ear infections in your dog. Here are some that could work for your dog.
- Olive oil and garlic: Garlic is kind of a natural antibiotic because of its antiviral and antifungal properties. The oil has a soothing property in the dog’s ears. Drop one or two drops of the mixture into the infected ears.
- Boric acid + distilled vinegar: Soak isopropyl alcohol sheets into this mixture, squeeze out any excess fluids and use the sheets to wipe the ears. This solution kills fungus, mites, and bacteria.
- Colloidal Silver: Drop a couple of drops into the affected ear(s).
Keep Your Dog’s Ear Problems at Bay
German shepherd ear problems can make your friend very uncomfortable if unattended to for some time. The scratching and shaking can be too much to handle. The good news is, they are all curable and can be prevented by regular German Shepherd ear cleaning.