Thursday, October 29, 2009

Labrador Retriever Ear Infections

The skin of your Labrador Retriever's ear canal is just like that of his body, so that anything which causes irritation to his skin also has the potential to affect his ears. Anything that changes the environment inside his ear canal can lead to bacterial or fungal infection. You can't miss it when your dog has a sore ear - he'll shake his head and often whimper as he scratches his ear. Closer inspection reveals a red, painful ear and possibly excessive discharge from the ear canal.

Labradors may be more prone to ear infections for two reasons. The first is that they love to swim, and damp ear canals are an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. Secondly, they have floppy ears, so any moisture is retained and the ear canals don't get the opportunity to dry out.

There are other causes of infection and inflammation in a dog's ears that aren't specific to Labrador Retrievers. Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism can affect the ears of any dog, and lead to infection. Also, while allergies usually affect a dog's skin and make it itchy and irritated, they can also make the ears inflamed.

If your Labrador has ever had an ear infection, you may already know that they can be very tricky to completely clear up. It can sometimes take several weeks to get those ears back to normal.

There are several steps to managing your Labrador Retriever's sore ears. Firstly, you need to identify what's causing the problem. The bacterial and fungal infections are usually secondary to an underlying issue, and unless that is resolved, the infection will recur.

You'll need to schedule a visit to your veterinarian. He'll have a look inside your dog's ear canal with his otoscope and take some of the discharge to look at under his microscope. This can give him a good idea of what germs are causing the infection. He may also recommend that the sample is sent to the lab to see what antibiotics are appropriate to kill the bacteria.

Treating your Labrador's ear infection is fairly straightforward.

Use a gentle cleanser recommended by your vet to clean away any sticky discharge. This will help the antibiotic drops to work better. Apply antibiotic ear drops once or twice daily according to directions to kill bacteria and fungi.

Preventing the ear infection recurring is often trickier. If your dog has skin allergies, you'll need to manage that problem or the ear infection will just keep coming back. This may mean the use of corticosteroids, hypoallergenic diets and fatty acid supplements to reduce inflammation.

If your Labrador Retriever is a real water baby, regular use of a product to dry his ear canals will help prevent the accumulation of moisture that predisposes to infection. Again, your vet can help you choose the right product.

Ear infections are painful and persistent, and can affect your Labrador's quality of life. Treat them quickly and aggressively and he'll be feeling better in no time.

Dog Fence DIY's staff veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright has written this article especially for you. Dog Fence DIY has a variety of innotek sd 2100 systems that will include proper installation and training. We offer a wide variety of pet containment systems at the best available price to you.

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