Ear Wounds on Dogs

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Ear Wounds on Dogs
Bassett hounds are prone to ear infections. (basset hound image by Christophe Fouquin from Fotolia.com)

Dogs might have pointed ears that stand erect, like the American Eskimo dog, or they might have long, floppy ears like the basset hound. Ears are among the more vulnerable spots on a dog, and even with responsible care, dogs can develop ear wounds. Knowing more about ear wounds can help you prevent them and keep your dog healthier in the long run.

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Types

Many types of ear wounds might affect a dog. A dog's ear might be bruised through rough handling, or the ear can become torn. You should bring any dog with tear that is more than a few inches long to a veterinarian. Dog ears can also be prone to infection or to irritation, both of which will cause the dog to scratch at the area. This can result in skin tearing. A hematoma, where a torn blood vessel causes blood to gather underneath the skin, is another type of ear injury that might affect your dog.

Causes

Dogs can get ear wounds in several ways. Dogs that roam and get into fights with other dogs can suffer injuries to their ears, and dogs with longer ears can get them snagged as they go under fences. Dogs that are prone to ear infection will scratch vigorously at the irritation, causing cuts and scratches, and a dog who has ear mites will do the same.

Prevention

One of the most significant things that you can do to prevent dog ear wounds is to keep your dog indoors or in a secure yard. Dogs that are kept in safe places are less inclined to pick up injuries. Checking your dog for ear mites on a regular basis can help prevent injuries from scratching, and cleaning your dog's ears can prevent infection.

Treatment

When you see that a your dog has an ear wound, you can clean the ear with a warm saline solution. You can wipe out the ear with cotton wool and use cotton buds to clean the skin folds at the top of the ear. For an ear that is bleeding, carefully cut the fur away from the injury and then bandage the ear. You can use an Elizabethan collar, which is a large, flat disc that you can secure around your dog's head, to keep the dog from worrying at the wound. If the injury seems severe or does not improve, contact your veterinarian immediately.

Considerations

Dog with drop-ears, like the basset hound or the Skye terrier, are known to be prone to ear infections. The fold in the ear creates a dark, moist environment where bacteria and yeast can grow, and this can lead to a bad infection. Clean your dog's ears regularly to reduce the chances of the dog developing a damaging infection.

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