The ears of the beagle are so adorable, it’s hard to believe they can cause so many issues. What hides behind those super soft, floppy ears is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and other nasty things. Ear infections are common problems for beagles and other breeds of dogs.
Having dealt with many ear infections with my own beagle, I know how stressful they can be. Below you will find more information about the causes, signs, treatments, and prevention of ear infections in beagles.
There are several causes of ear infections in beagles. Something as simple as your dog getting water in its ear can cause an infection. The ear infections are usually yeast or bacterial infections, brought on by a foreign body, like water, ear wax build up, or ear mites being introduced into the ear. In some cases your dog’s allergies can cause ear infections as well.
Signs and symptoms of an ear infection:
While the cause of dog ear infections may vary, the signs and symptoms are often the same. The signs of an ear infection include shaking of the head, scratching inside the ear or ears, redness, swelling, and in many cases an odor.
The treatment that your veterinarian suggests will depend on which type of infection your dog has. Most ear infections are treated with medicated eardrops, an antibiotic, and possibly oral steroids. Your veterinarian will most likely clean the dog’s ear/ears and instruct you on proper ear cleaning techniques for home care.
Keeping your dog’s ears clean and dry will help prevent your dog from getting ear infections. Although if your dog’s ear infections are caused by allergies, your dog may need medication to control its allergies, which will in turn help prevent ear infections.
Knowing proper ear cleaning techniques is extremely important for preventing ear infections. Here are some steps for proper ear cleaning.
To clean the inside of the dog’s ear, take two or three squares of toilet tissue and place them over your index finger. Lightly insert your index finger into the dog’s ear and gently move your finger around the contours of the ear to clean it. Repeat the process until the toilet tissue comes out clean. Repeat the process on the second ear and proceed to step two.
Do not use cotton swabs in your dog’s ears. If it goes in too far or your dog moves its head the wrong way, you could damage your dog’s hearing.
Once your dog’s ears are clear of ear debris you should spray an ear cleaning solution into one of the ears. It doesn’t take much, just enough to lightly wet the inside of the ear. Quickly place your thumb below the ear opening and massage the ear, you should hear a slight wet sound coming from the ear. Continue this for 30 seconds, then allow your dog to shake its head. There is no need to dry the inside of the ear, ear cleaning solutions are quick drying and if used properly shouldn’t cause an issue. Repeat the process on the second ear and you’re finished.
There are several ear cleaning solutions available over the counter or by prescription from the veterinarian. However, here is a quick, inexpensive recipe for an ear cleaning solution you can make at home.
You will need a bottle of white distilled vinegar, a bottle of rubbing alcohol, and a small spray/squirt bottle. Mix equal amounts of vinegar and rubbing alcohol in the spray bottle and shake until well mixed, and it’s ready to use.
You should clean your dog’s ears without cleaning solution once a week and with cleaning solution every two weeks.
If you suspect that your beagle has an ear infection you should take him/her to see a veterinarian. It is not advisable to try to treat the infection on your own.
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