How to Prevent Ear Infections in Cocker Spaniels

How to Prevent Ear Infections in Cocker Spaniels

Cocker Spaniels, both American and English breeds, are so adorable with their long feathered ears. Unfortunately, it is those cute long ears that can cause some health problems for Cocker Spaniels. Since their ears are so long, it covers their ear canal which can trap warm moist air where the bacteria will thrive and cause recurrent ear infections. Ear infections can also be caused by allergies. The dog will scratch their ears causing inflammation and swelling which leads to trapped bacteria causing an ear infection. Read further to find out how you can help prevent and treat your Cocker Spaniel’s ear infections.

Cocker Spaniel Ear Infection Prevention Tips

It is hard to know what method will work best for your dog, but here are some basic tips that might help keep your dog’s ear infections at bay.

  1. Speak with your vet about possible allergies
    1. Allergies are hard to pinpoint sometimes, but if you can nail down your dog’s allergy, you might be able to help prevent ear infections
    2. Proper medication or a change in diet can help relieve the ear scratching associated with allergies that therefore lead to ear infections
  2. Inspect your dog’s ears every day
    1. Look for burrs, grass seeds, bugs, dirt or other foreign bodies in their ears.
    2. Look for signs of ear mites such as dried blood residue resembling coffee grounds in the ear canal (vets will give suitable treatment for ear mites)
  3. Keep your dog’s ears cleaned out
    1. If you see dirt, bugs, grass seeds or other things in your dog’s ears, you need to be sure to clean them out.
    2. Use plain water or part water part rubbing alcohol by dampening a clean rag and swabbing the inside of the dog’s ear
    3. Several homemade cleaning solution recipes can be found online that may help prevent ear infections (see the end of this post for a recipe for a homemade ear infection prevention solution that really works)
    4. Be sure to effectively dry your dog’s ears after you bathe them with a clean paper towel or wash cloth
  4. How to tell if your Cocker Spaniel has an ear infection
    1. Red appearance to the ear canal
    2. Foul odor coming from the ears
    3. Abnormal discharge coming out of the ear canal
    4. Your Cocker Spaniel is scratching at his or her ear a lot

Cocker Spaniel Ear Infection Treatment Tips

Now that you know some tips on how to prevent ear infections, we will discuss what you can do if your dog has an ear infection. Treating a dog for ear infections is not too difficult, but it may require more than one person so you can be sure to get the medication in properly and clean the ears sufficiently each time when you are treating an ear infection. Here are some tips on how to treat your dog’s ear infection.

  1. Visit your vet if you suspect an ear infection
    1. A vet can help you rule out other problems
    2. Vets can also help you determine if there is an underlying cause for the ear infections such as an allergy
    3. If your Cocker Spaniel has an ear infection, the vet can prescribe drops or an ointment to apply to the inside of the dog’s ear to treat the infection
  2. Use the treatment until the infection is gone
    1. Many times, the ear infection will not go away unless it is treated properly
    2. Use the medication for the allotted time to get rid of the infection completely
  3. Dry your dog’s ears out often
    1. Be sure to dry even the tips of the dog’s ears when they drink water or come in from outside if it is dewy or raining
    2. Thorough drying of the ears can help heal the infection and prevent future infections from occurring
    3. Shave the underside of your dog’s ears and the skin around the ear opening so as to keep it cleaner
    4. Ask your groomer to shave around the ear area if this is too difficult for you to do on your own – keeping the fur short around the ear canal opening will really help a lot

How to Prevent Ear Infections in Cocker Spaniels

Try this homemade ear infection prevention solution:

Combine:

3 ounces of rubbing alcohol

3/4 of a teaspoon of powdered boric acid (make sure you ask the pharmacist for the medicinal boric acid – you can get this at a local pharmacy like a Walgreens or CVS)
1 ounce of white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon of Betadine antiseptic (use the scrub, not the solution) Mix thoroughly, and use when cleaning your Cocker Spaniel’s ears.

All Natural Ear Washes

I personally like to use all natural pet care products when I can. The following are all natural dog ear washes (and wipes) you can use on your Cocker Spaniel’s ears to prevent infection:

Halo Herbal Ear Wash

Pal Dog Ear Wash Treatment Gel

Animals’ Apawthecary Herbal Ear Rinse

TrueBlue Super Easy Ear Wipes

Only Natural Pet Ear Care with Tea Tree Oil

I have signed up to be an affiliate with Only Natural Pet Store because I love their products. If you click on any of these links and purchase products from them, I will get a commission, but my recommendation of their store and products is based on my trust in their all-natural solutions to pet health needs. I figure this will give you good ideas for pet products that will help your pets, plus it will help me pay for keeping up the site. Win – win! Of course, no one is obligated to buy anything, and many people find the recipe I provided above to be super helpful and effective.

I’ve included a link to a coupon for $5 off any order placed before September 30, 2012 below.

Save $5 on your order! Coupon Code: 5BUCKS Exp 9/30/12.

I’ve also provided a link to a 10% off your first order coupon, in case you’ve never shopped at Only Natural Pet Store before.

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For more suggestions on preventing and treating ear infections, check out the comments and our Cocker Spaniel Discussion Forum, where you’ll find a place to post questions and get advice.

Ear infections can be frustrating, but with the proper prevention and treatment, they should be easy to manage. Prevention is the key to helping your dog, so be sure to follow the tips to help prevent ear infections in your Cocker Spaniel to make for a more comfortable life for your dog and yourself.

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ILoveCockerSpaniels.net is a free website devoted to celebrating Cocker Spaniels. It is a site sponsored by a Cocker Spaniel fan who wanted to gather advice from other dog owners so we can inspire and support one another.

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Much love to you and the canines in your life,

Savannah Summers