Cleaning a bloodhound’s ears is an important part of their health regimen that oftentimes gets overlooked. When well cared for, these lovable hounds are known to have friendly and loyal dispositions. But left unchecked, ear infections can start festering, causing pain and misery not only to the dog but its beloved owner as well.
How Often Should I check My Bloodhound’s Ears?
To maintain your dog’s ear health, you should inspect them on a weekly or at least bi-weekly basis. Doing so allows you to identify and address any problems before they become major issues.
When Should I Clean My Dogs Ears?
How do you know if your dog’s ears need to be cleaned? Routine ear cleanings are not necessary. If they look and smell good, leave them alone. As long as your pooch’s ears are healthy, they don’t need to be cleaned. In fact, cleaning a healthy ear can damage its self-cleaning abilities.
However, if they have a mild odor, or you see an occasional head shake you should give them a clean. That may be enough to stop an infection before it takes hold.
Sniff Their Ears
Make a habit of sniffing your dog’s ears, starting when he’s a puppy, so you’ll know how they smell normally. Healthy ears don’t have an odor, so i f their ears smell yeasty or downright stinky, it’s likely that a bacterial or yeast infection is brewing.
Look Inside Their Ears
Now take a look inside their ears. The skin should be nice and pink with a light coating of pale yellowish wax. A small amount of wax is part of the ear’s self-cleaning system and is nothing to be concerned about.
You should also clean the ears if the wax looks dirty gray instead of golden or if the ears look waxier than normal. When too much wax builds up, it can block airflow in the ear and lead to an infection of the outer ear canal.
When Should I take my Bloodhound to the Vet?
If the ears look red or have a dark brown or black discharge, or if your dog frequently shakes his head, paws at his ears, or rubs them against the carpet or furniture, he needs a visit to the veterinarian to see what’s causing the problem.
Also, give your dog an ear rub.
Does Your Dog Like Having Their Ears Rubbed?
If your dog enjoys having their ears rubbed, the ears are healthy. If they’re tender from an infection or injury, they will probably pull away from you and will not want to have them touched.
So just gently massaging your dog’s ears is a great first step toward checking their condition. If you notice that he’s sensitive about having them touched, it’s time to take a closer inspection.
Best Way To Clean Bloodhound Ears
So if you’re looking for how best to clean your bloodhound’s ears effectively and safely, then read on!
Preparing To Clean Bloodhound Ears
Gather all tools needed like cotton balls, ear-cleaning solution, and a towel before setting up a comfortable area where you can work with your pet without distractions. Put the towel across you, as this will protect your clothes if your bloodhound shakes his head!
Now that you’re ready to start the process, make sure not to rush through it as this could scare them and sudden movements could damage the delicate inner ear canal.
Speak softly to him throughout each step so he stays calm while still paying attention to what you’re doing.
Steps To Clean Bloodhound Ears
The steps to clean your Bloodhound’s ears are:
- Starting at the outside, use a soft-bristled brush or comb to work through any mats in the fur around the ear. Make sure not to tug too hard as this could hurt your pup’s sensitive skin.
- To get rid of dirt and debris, wipe the outside of their ears with a damp cloth that has been soaked in warm water. Lift the ear flap and remove any mats and external debris around the ear. Don’t forget to be extra gentle near the entrance of the ear!
- Next, move on to cleaning inside your bloodhound’s ears. Use an ear cleanser specifically made for dogs; never put anything else into their ears such as hydrogen peroxide or vinegar solution which may cause irritation.
- Lift the ear flap and apply a few drops into each ear before massaging gently at the base for about 30 seconds and then wiping away any residue with cotton balls or gauze pads. Stop if you notice any redness, swelling, discharge, or other signs of infection, contact your vet immediately if so.
- Let your dog shake their head as this will push the debris out of the ear canal toward the outside making it easier to clean away. This is where that protective towel comes in!
- Use a cotton ball to gently wipe away any wax and debris.
Q-tips should not be used to clean your dog’s ears as they could worsen the issue by pushing debris deeper into their ear canal and could damage the tympanic membrane.
Is It Safe To Use Cotton Buds to Clean My Bloodhound’s Ears?
Many people think that using cotton buds (Q-Tips) is an easy fix-all–but this couldn’t be further from the truth! Cotton buds are actually quite dangerous when used in a dog’s ear canal and can cause serious damage.
The safest route is to follow the steps above with a specialist dog ear cleaner.
What Causes a Bloodhound’s Ears to Smell?
Different factors can lead to a smelly smell in your dog’s ears. The following are some of the most common reasons why dog ears may have an unpleasant odor.
Ear Wax Buildup
If the self-cleaning process of a dog’s ear is disrupted, it can cause an accumulation of ear wax. This may not bother your dog in the slightest. The earwax in this case will be yellow.
Your dog’s ears may have a slight change in odor due to wax buildup, but it will be faint.
To solve this problem, it is recommended to get a vet-approved ear cleaner and clean your dog’s ears.
Yeast infections in the ears are common for dogs and may lead to a stronger ear odor. These occur when Candida levels are too high in your dog’s body.
In many instances, a yeast infection may produce a smell that is described as sweet or musty. Additionally, there may be redness and a brown-coloured discharge from the ear.
It is important to bring your pet to the vet as soon as possible if they develop a yeast infection. To diagnose this problem, your veterinarian may do a cytology test, which involves taking a swab sample and looking at it under a microscope.
Prescription medications may include topical antifungal drops or an ear cleaner, and in severe cases, an oral antifungal medication could be needed.
It is alright to clean your dog’s ears at home with a vet-approved solution, but you should not do it within 24 hours of a vet appointment as this can complicate diagnosing any issues.
Bacterial Ear Infections
Bacterial ear infections can cause some of the most severe symptoms. With certain types of bacteria, you may even be able to smell the infection from across the room.
When this happens, signs like swelling, redness, and pain can be intense. In addition, the discharge could be fluids mixed with blood or pus.
In these circumstances, seek professional assistance from your veterinarian and do not attempt to clean your dog’s ears at home. Your vet can do cytology to determine if bacteria are present.
Treating Bacterial Ear Infections
Treatment for bacterial ear infections typically includes antibiotic eardrops, and in some cases oral antibiotics. In cases of resistance where typical solutions don’t work, it may be necessary to identify a specific culture for the antibiotic treatment of that bacterial strain.
In cases where the infection has caused pronounced swelling in the ear, oral steroids may be necessary to reduce pain and inflammation. It is essential to visit your veterinarian regarding these cases without delay.
Mixed Ear Infections
Mixed ear infections (where bacteria and yeast are present) are common. The symptoms can vary, depending on the types and numbers of organisms present, and they may appear similar to yeast and/or bacterial infection.
Signs of a severe middle ear infection include:
- Your dog appears to be off-balance.
- Your dog seems uncoordinated.
- Your dog turns in circles.
This is a serious infection that should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
It should be noted that a dog that has recurrent ear infections often has an underlying condition that should be addressed.
It’s important to keep your Bloodhound’s ears clean and healthy. Checking your bloodhound’s ears regularly can help prevent ear infections, reduce odor, and save you from a lot of hassle down the road.
While regular ear cleaning is not needed, it is recommended that owners should check their pup’s ears for dirt or wax build-up at least once every two weeks and take appropriate action if necessary.
When cleaning your pet’s ears use only solutions specifically designed for dogs. Cotton swabs are not recommended as they can cause injury to the delicate tissue in the ear canal. If you notice signs such as redness, discharge, inflammation or bad odors coming from your dog’s ears then contact your veterinarian immediately.
Cleaning your Bloodhound’s ears may seem like an intimidating task but with proper understanding and care it can be accomplished without any trouble. Plus, with regular maintenance, you will ensure that your pup stays happy and healthy!
So don’t forget: stay vigilant when caring for those floppy hound ears – it could make all the difference in keeping them safe and sound for years to come.
Sam is an award-winning canine photographer and runs Farlap Bloodhound breeders and Kennels in Devon and is the secretary of the Bloodhound Club.
Sam Clark has a passion for bloodhounds and their amazing ability to track a scent, and was one of the first in the UK to train her dogs to either track humans or other dogs for canine rescue.
- 1 How Often Should I check My Bloodhound’s Ears?
- 2 When Should I Clean My Dogs Ears?
- 3 Best Way To Clean Bloodhound Ears
- 4 What Causes a Bloodhound’s Ears to Smell?
- 5 Conclusion