Golden retrievers’ ear problems are quite common, however, some dogs require proper attention over home-remedy methods. You must take necessary steps for healing your golden retriever’s ear infections and prevent it from recurring.
The ear canals of a dog are curved, thus an ear infection can not officially be diagnosed and properly treated without the use of a veterinary otoscope. In this instance, you should identify whether your dog has an outer surface or inner surface ear infection to determine the course of action.
In this article, I cover everything you may need to know about golden retrievers’ ear problems such as what causes them, identifying an ear infection, how to clean your dog’s ears and much more! Continue reading to start learning.
Do Golden Retrievers Have Ear Problems?
Golden retrievers are one of the most intelligent breeds of dogs to own due to their incredible training skills and ability to listen/observe and much more.
Unfortunately, however, for some golden retrievers, infections in the ears are more likely which often requires the owners to take immediate and consistent action to avoid long-term, detrimental effects to their dog’s ears.
What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?
Different reasons may cause your golden retriever to have an ear infection (Or referred to as Otitis) reasons of which I will cover below.
One of the main problems causing ear infections in dogs is a buildup of yeast that has been trapped inside of the dog’s ears for some time.
There can also be the reason of allergies causing ear infections in your dog, thus dogs who suffer from certain environmental conditions, foods or mold can be prone to this problem.
Both of these reasons are underlying issues that you may often find recurring (no matter how many times you treat your dog), and something that can only be diagnosed through a veterinarian.
In saying that, there are surface reasons why your dog may have an ear infection such as a buildup of moisture due to lack of proper cleaning, bathing or grooming. This will also contribute to causing an ear infection in your dog, which thankfully will be easier to handle and prevent.
How Do I Know If My Golden Retriever Has an Ear Infection?
Ear infections are one of the most common problems found in dogs, especially golden retrievers. By learning the information mentioned below on how to quickly identify if your golden retriever has an infection, will be helpful for the future of your dog’s ears and their overall health.
Here are some signs to look out for when figuring out if your golden retriever may have an ear infection or not:
Signs of an Ear Infection in Your Dog
- Frequent shaking or tilting of your dogs head
- Discharge coming from the ears
- Persistent scratching at the ears
- Swelling in or around their ears
- Redness or pus around their head or ear area
- Foul odor coming from the ears
- Masses in or around the ear
If your golden retriever has one or more of the signs mentioned above, you should first take them to the VET immediately.
They’ll prescribe your pup with adequate medicine and antibiotics needed to kill the infection.
Avoid leaving your golden retriever to deal with their ear infection for too long, as over-time this can cause deafness as well as other illnesses to develop within their body and immune system.
Remember: The quicker you identify an ear infection in your dog, the quicker you can start on healing the infection to avoid long-term effects.
How Dirty Ears Affect Your Golden Retriever?
When your golden retriever is left too long with a build-up of dirty ears, they are at risk of developing an ear infection.
Ear infections can go unnoticed for some time, leaving your fluffy friend to be in pain and aches until you realize.
When treating an ear infection in your retriever’s ears is prolonged, they are at risk of becoming deaf, which can become a problem to other problems in their bodies.
It’s always important you make a conscious effort to clean the ears of your golden retriever and incorporate it into their current grooming routine, to avoid such problems from occurring.
What is The Brown Stuff in my Dog’s Ears?
If you’ve noticed brown discharge like liquid leaking from your dog’s ears, then it’s more than likely they have an ear infection of some sort.
Usually, this brown stuff will be accompanied by swelling of their ear-drums, unordinary like behavior and sometimes a bad smell.
The ear infection can be caused for different reasons, however, now that you’ve identified this you should proceed to take them to the VET or attempt at cleaning your retriever’s ears yourself.
How Do I Clean My Golden Retrievers Ears?
When attempting to clean your retriever’s ears, you want to be gentle and proceed to do so safely.
Whether you’re cleaning their ears because of a bacterial ear infection or simply making it apart of their grooming routine, cleaning their ears never hurts and can help prevent future infections.
How to Start Cleaning the Ears of a Golden Retriever
- Have your dog laying next to you in a comfortable position
- Lift the flap of their ears and check for dirt, wax or surface bacteria
- Use a damp cotton ball, gently wiping away any dirt on the exterior and opening of their ear
- Carefully apply Virbac Epi-Otic ear cleaner (or a similar solution) into your dog’s ear canal
- Pull their ear flap down and gently massage the ear for 10 seconds
- Wipe away any excess solution using a clean cotton ball
- Repeat this routine as per their grooming routine
NOTE: If your golden retriever has a serious ear infection (due to yeast or allergies), please refrain from cleaning their ears until you’ve seen a VET. Doing so can irritate and make their infection worse. Proceed with this routine once the ear infection has dissipated.
Checking Your Retriever’s Ears
Checking your retriever’s ears is a fairly easy and straight-forward task to do.
To check your retriever’s ears, simply:
- Lift the flap of their ears, holding upright
- Observe any redness, puffiness or swollen areas
- Look into the ear canal for discharge or other obvious bacteria
You’re wanting to make sure the ears of your dog are pinky-white in color, clean smelling and not swollen, puffy and no discharge running.
Making Your Golden Retriever Comfortable with Ear Cleaning
Ear cleaning isn’t exactly a dog’s favorite pastime, but unfortunately, it is something that must be done.
Ways you can make your golden retriever comfortable with ear cleaning are:
- Giving them plenty of rubs, kisses, and cuddles; Before, during and afterward
- Reward them with a treat after cleaning each ear
- Be consistent with their ear cleaning routine
- Try cleaning their ears after another grooming necessity, such as clipping their nails (so they become aware that ear cleaning comes after clipping of the nails)
- Be firm in your tone of voice, however, remain gentle in your actions
Although ear cleaning isn’t fun for any dog, it can benefit them immensely and will help prevent a painful ear infection developing in the future. Be consistent, make it a habit and reward your fluffy friend!
Can You Prevent Ear Infections in Dogs?
Yes, there are certain things you can do to prevent an ear infection from arising in your dog. The main point of focus is eliminating moisture and bacteria from building in their ear.
To do this, you should ensure to always wipe away moisture from their ears after swimming or bath times. You’re aiming to keep their eardrums as dry as possible after being exposed to water.
It’s also great if you can remember to wipe away any dust or bacteria that may have come into their ears after playing outside or been exposed to windy conditions.
When wiping their ears, opt for using damp cotton balls or a clean towel.
If, however, you notice a recurring ear infection in your golden retriever, this is usually a sign that there is something more going on rather than surface issues such as moisture and bacteria build-up.
Don’t be hesitant to take your golden retriever to see a veterinarian, as they’ll prescribe a proper diagnosis of your dog’s ear infection and can guide you on what further action is required for the future.