The Importance of Keeping Your Bully Breed Dog's Ears Clean
We are all aware of the importance of our ears. They help to hear, and also to maintain a balance in our bodies. These two essential functions of ears tend to be even more important in our furry friends, who rely more on their ears than we do. Allow us to stress the importance of keeping your bully breed dog's ears clean.
Ear infections are common in dogs. We often tend to associate them with breeds that have furry and long ears. However, these infections can bother any kind and cause severe damage and discomfort to your dog.
Bully breeds, in particular, are considered susceptible to ear infections due to the positioning of their inner ear canals. These canals usually are narrower in bully breeds than in other ones, meaning that is harder for the ears to get drained. These canals also provide a perfect environment for many types of bacteria, another reason for bully breeds to suffer from ear problems.
Bully breeds can have chronic ear infections for years. If your dog is one of these cases, then you must have gone to the veterinarian on multiple occasions looking for possible solutions to this issue. In this article, we are going to explore the signs, preventions, possible treatments, and some tips to maintain the health of your dog in a good status.
Signs to Recognize Ear Infections in your Bully Breed Dog.
Some general signs might tell you what is going on in your dog's ear. A fetid and robust smell coming from the ears of your dog is one of the main ones. Other signs include, but are not limited to:
- Your dog shakes her/his head often.
- The existence of disagreeable brown gunk or build up that starts to come out of her/his ears.
- Hair loss in the ears.
- Balance issues for the dog.
- Your dog shows signs of itchiness in her/his ears.
- The ears of the dog may appear red, swollen, and sore looking.
- Your dog’s ears seem “crusty” and unhealthy.
- Yellowish/brownish discharge is coming from the affected ears.
- Your dog rubs her/his ears against furniture at home.
- Your dog dislikes being touched on her/his ears.
Causes of ear infections in bully breeds.
Ear infections in dogs are common because several possible causes increase the chances of bacterial development. Some of the causes that mainly affect bully breed dogs are allergies. Bully breed dogs are prone to develop allergies that can produce skin issues and therefore, are an excellent place for bacteria to stay.
However, there are other causes of ear infections that can affect any dog breed, and of course, that does not exclude your bully breed dog. These causes include:
- Thyroid disorders
- Excessive moisture in the ears (which improves the environment for yeast and bacteria)
- Fungus/yeast (aspergillosis)
- Mites (causing skin irritation that invites bacteria)
- An autoimmune disease (pemphigus)
- Injuries in the ears
- Encephalitis or meningitis
- Wax buildup
- Excessive or increased cleaning (causing dryness and therefore, irritation)
- Negative reactions to medicines
- Endocrine disorders
- Seasonal infections (frequently when dogs are outside more, with a hotter and humid environment)
- Foreign bodies
Diagnosis of the ear infections.
After you realized one or several signs related to ear infections in bully breed dogs, and perhaps you noticed one possible cause of the issue, you must proceed to take your dog to the vet. Some useful information/facts that the vet may appreciate to complete a diagnosis are:
- Diet and routine of your dog
- Previous allergies or conditions on your dog
- Duration of any signs
- Medications that your dog have been taking
- Grooming routine
- Recent activities (such as romping in a field, baths, and swimming)
- History of ears infections (if infections have been present, then he/she could ask about previous treatments and causes of the infection)
After the vet has gathered relevant information, he/she could conduct an examination that might require sedation. The sedation will depend upon the status of the infection and the pain that your dog could be into. Both ears will be checked and evaluated, even if the infection only seems to be present in one ear.
Common treatment for infected ears
After your vet evaluated the state of your dog's ears, he/she will determine the gravity of the issue and prescribe effective medicines. If the infection is at its beginning with a small area affected, ear drops could be effective to decrease the infection and get rid of any mites. If the infection is big, the vet could sedate your dog and proceed with a deep cleaning, accompanied with prescribed medicines for a period.
Preventive methods for ear infections in your bully breed dog
As we mentioned before, allergies are a common trigger of ear infections in bully breed dogs. Therefore, you must be aware of any negative reaction that your dog has towards the environment, food, etc, in order to avoid allergies and infections in any part of her/his body.
A controlled and cleaned environment also helps to prevent any infections. For example, if your dog spends time in a park or a backyard that has tall grass; mites could get to him/her easier and produce irritations that lead to infections.
Furthermore, an efficient hygiene routine should be included in your dog’s life. Your veterinarian will likely recommend you the best frequency to carefully clean and check the status of your dog’s ears.
One way to introduce ear cleaning in your dog’s routine is by using an ear wash. To proceed with it, you are going to need a cerumenolytic product such as docusate sodium. We recommend you to clean the ears on a sunny day outdoors by following these steps:
- Fill all the ear canal with the chosen cleaner.
- Fold the earflap and cautiously massage it.
- Stop the massage and take a few steps back, your dog will shake her/his head.
- Finally, dry your dog’s ears by using a clean gauze.
We know that the health of your bully breed dog is a priority for you. All the recommendations above are not intended to prescribe or indicate any treatment. They are meant to be suggestions which you can discuss with a professional to assure the health of your most beloved furry friend!