Photo by Nikki Figular
Under normal circumstances, your dog’s ears shouldn’t smell bad at all. They shouldn’t be red, or itchy, or have a discharge. If your dog shows any of these symptoms, his ears need attention.
Up Close And Personal
One of the most enjoyable aspects of owning a dog is always having something to cuddle. It’s not so nice cuddling them when their ears are stinky.
Foul smelling ears are an indication that something isn’t quite right in the ear canals. When you bathe or groom your dog, it’s important that you get close to his ears and have a sniff. Identifying problems early will allow you to start treating the ears straight away, and have him feeling more comfortable very quickly.
Ear mites can cause a bad smell in the ears, as well as an obvious build up of dark crumbly material. They also make the ears extremely itchy, and are easily spread from one dog to another. If they’re not treated, a secondary infection can develop, which hurts and can be more difficult to resolve. You can easily treat ear mites by using an insecticidal ear drop from your veterinarian.
Ears that don’t dry out very well are a perfect environment for bacterial growth and infection, and the resultant bad smell. Examples are dogs with floppy ears which don’t allow air circulation, and even dogs who swim frequently. These dogs benefit from using a product that dries up excess moisture in the ear canal.
The third main cause of smelly ears is skin allergies. Irritation and inflammation of the skin due to allergies also extends to the ear canal. Your dog will dig and scratch at his ear with his foot, desperately trying to relieve the itch. These allergies lead to secondary infection with bacteria and fungi, which is also itchy, painful, and smelly. Smelly ears are often related to an allergy to food, or to dusts and pollens in the environment.
Get Some Fresh Air Into Those Ears
You can tackle your dog’s stinky ears by treating the cause of the smell, which is usually an infection. To do this, you’ll need to take your dog to your vet for an ear exam. She’ll take a sample of his ear discharge and examine it to identify the bacteria that’s causing the problem. She’ll then clean the ears and prescribe an appropriate antibiotic, and also some pain relief.
You’ll still need to deal with the primary problem. If your dog is a water baby, then make sure you clean and dry his ears after he swims. If the infection was caused by ear mites, your vet will advise you on what to use to kill them. If he has allergies, it’s a good idea to start a food trial to rule out any food sensitivity. Your vet may prescribe anti-itch medication such as Benadryl to stop him scratching and traumatizing his ears, and encouraging further infection.
Ear Clear is a useful tool to have in your arsenal for treating ear infections. It’s an all natural product, containing antimicrobial herbs and tea tree oil, and will help to reduce any infection and swelling in your dog’s ear canal. Extra virgin olive oil will soothe the ear canal, and help break up any wax accumulation. Finally, lavender oil is anti-bacterial and anti-itch, and makes your dog’s ears smell a lot more pleasant.
A bad smell means that something is wrong in the ears, and that something usually hurts. Treating the cause of the smell will not only have you snuggling up to your dog again, but will have him feeling more comfortable. That’s a win-win situation for both of you.