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Ear Problems!


Dr. Baker says …

All dogs have the potential to have physical problems. Some breeds have more problems then others. Brittany Spaniels are a durable breed and have no more hereditary difficulties then other hunting breeds. Yet, one of the most common problems seen by hunters, trainers and veterinarians are related to the ears. The term for external ear problems is referred to as otitis externa. The dog’s external ear canal is “L” shaped. The vertical canal connects with the outside while the horizontal canal lies deep and terminates at the ear drum.

Ear problems can be placed into a number of categories. The most common include parasites, foreign bodies and ear infections. Breeds like the Brittany Spaniel that have floppy or hairy ears can be prone to otitis. Their activity in the field with exposure to grasses and moisture increases the possibility of developing otitis.

Signs of ear problems can vary from dog to dog. Parasites (ear mites) are rare in older animals. Foreign bodies (grass awns, etc.) usually cause substantial immediate discomfort. Finally ear infections can be the result of allergies, excess bacterial growth and or yeast.

Treatment depends on the reason for the problem. Field treatment should consist of flushing the ear with warm water. Some people use a diluted white vinegar solution (1 part vinegar to 5 parts water). Other materials like alcohol, peroxide or mineral oil are not recommended. Cotton balls or soft tissues are great cleaners. Try not to use Q-tips as they can damage the lining of the ears or push material into the lower part of the ear canal. If improvement is not noted your veterinarian should be consulted.


Ear Problems!

  1. John says:

    I’ve been fighting yeast infections in my 4yr old Brit since she was 6 months old. She has bad allergy’s also. Been to the vet and have been doing weekly cleanings since…

    1. admin says:

      It’s tough when they can’t tell you what’s wrong. Allergy’s are the worst because they seldom go away completely. That’s where we come in.


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