Any species can develop ear infections, but Cavalier's may be more prone due to their big, floppy, furry ears.. With our dogs, we've discovered that good ear hygiene can reduce the number of visits to the vet. Here are some ideas for what to keep around the house and how to use them:
Ear Cleaner- It's always a good idea to use an ear cleaner when you know that your CKCS has been in an environment that is likely to cause an infection (such as frequent exposure to water). Cleaner can also be applied the moment any ear discomfort appears (indicated by head tilting or ear scratching). This non-irritating solution cleans, dries, and stops the growth of microorganisms in the auditory canal. It works well as a monthly cleaner to ward off future problems. Please watch this short video if you are unsure how to properly clean a dog's ears.
Ear Wipes- Keep these on hand to quickly clean and disinfect your Cavalier's ears. This is a quick and easy preventative maintenance measure. Vets also advise using these wipes to help prevent infections by drying up the swimmer's ear and removing yeast and germs that can cause an infection. Although we try to use these as part of our weekly cleaning schedule, they can be used daily as needed.
Topical Ear Treatment- Otic Ear Therapy with Hydrocortisone is our final stop before visiting the veterinarian. This substance will reduce painful ear infections from bacteria, fungi, and/or yeast. It will also soothe infected ears. We only use this when a condition is present, and even if we believe a journey to the vet is unavoidable, we still use it to relieve pain until we can schedule an appointment. On more than one occasion, the irritation or infection will be cleared from this treatment before we reach the vet.
A great combo kit - Since publishing this article, PawTree has become the seller of our new preferred ear product, which we have come to love. Look out their Itches & Twitches Deluxe Pack for dogs and their Ear Wash & Ear Dry Kit, which will take care of your dog's smelly ears, itchy skin, dull coat, and allergy-related problems.
The best way to prevent the pain and cost of ear infections is to handle ear care regularly and to address any concerns immediately. Having these things on hands as part of your Cavalier care kit will be a welcome relief when and if issues arise.
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