Shih Tzu Ear Infections: Causes and Treatments
Ear infections occur all too frequently in our beloved Shih Tzu. Ear infections are more common in dogs with long, floppy ears and in dogs with hairy ears. The Shih Tzu matches both criteria. This is why the Shih Tzu is susceptible to ear infections. If you take your dog swimming you could be setting him up for an ear infection unless you carefully dry his ears after he gets out of the water.
Ear infections can be either bacterial in origin, or grow from yeast organisms in the ears. In either case, the opportunistic pathogens love to grow in dark, warm, moist environments, like Shih Tzu ears. Due to the anatomy of the ear, natural airflow is very limited. This constant moisture encourages bacteria and yeast to flourish.
Signs and Symptoms of an Ear Infection:
• Red, inflamed ears
• Dog scratching and rubbing at ears
• A bad, smelly odor from the ears
• Dark debris in the ear
• Ears possibly swollen
• Pawing the ears, and rubbing the head on the floor
Any of these signs can indicate that your dog has an ear infection.
You can help your dog have fewer ear infections by keeping the hair around his ears trimmed or plucked so air can get into the ear. Trimming the hair with clippers or scissors works fine. You also need to clean your dog’s ears regularly. That means cleaning at least once a month. Once every week or two is better. Use a good ear cleaner from your vet or from a pet supply store.
To clean you dog’s ears simply follow this procedure:
1. Put a few drops of the ear cleaner in the ears.
2. Let the cleaner go to the interior base of your dog’s ear.
3. Gently massage the cleaner to loosen wax and debris.
4. Take a small cotton ball and wipe inside your dog’s ear. Don’t dig around with it!
5. Repeat the cleaning process once or twice until the cotton ball comes away clean.
Check out this video to see an excellent How To Clean Your Shih Tzu Ears tutorial.
Winnie is amazing. Is your Shih Tzu this relaxed when you perform ear maintenance?