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Newfoundland’s, like many other breeds of dogs that have ear flaps that hang downward, are more likely to experience problems with their ears.
The first sign that something may be wrong is that the dog will start scratching his ears and shaking its head. The ears may look dirty and be accompanied by a smell. The dog may also hold its head to one side depending on which side has become infected.
Ears that become infected can cause pain a discomfort to the animal and treatment must be sort from a vet as soon as the condition is noticed. Treatment is normally by a course of anti-biotic's and use of some form of ear cleaner.
There are a number of causes of ear infections and not always because the ears have become too dirty. Various micro-organisms like bacteria, fungi, yeasts and viruses can cause problems, either by themselves, or as secondary invaders. General skin conditions may also cause problems with the ear. Even some very small types grass seeds may cause problems.
Persistent ear infections may have to be treated by surgery. The operation is designed to open up the vertical ear canal so improving ventilation and drainage.
Middle ear infections are a more serious condition affecting that part of the ear beyond the ear drum which contains also the organs of balance. Dogs that are affected may show severe distress, affected balance or circling. Veterinary help must be sort as soon as possible to help end the pain the dog is suffering.
The dog’s ears need looking at and if necessary a gentle clean every couple of weeks. It is also advisable to give a gentle clean after swimming. Only use a cleaner prescribed by your vet as it will need to have a neutral Ph. Don’t use cotton wool, but cotton cleansing pads. Gently clean the inner ear flap and the very top part of the vertical ear canal. Let your vet clean the ears if you are uncertain how far in to clean.
How do i get the Medication into the ear without my dog shaking it everywhere?
Gently take the ear flap and hold it straight up with one hand.
Apply a small amount of medication into the vertical part of the ear canal keeping the ear flap elevated so the medication can run down vertically and enter the lower, horizontal part.
With your finger and thumb at the base of the ear flap, gently massage the ear canal, helping the medication to penetrate the horizontal canel.
Release the ear so the dog can shake the head. Excess medication together with any debris and wax will usually be shaken out.
Finally clean the outer part of the ear canal and inside of the ear flap with tissues or cotton cleansing pads soaked in some of the medication. Do not attempt to use cotton buds in the ear canal except under instructions to do so.