As well as other dog breeds with floppy ears (Beagle, Cocker Spaniel), Dachshunds have some distinct problems in this particular area.
Since the ears are floppy and long, they are not properly aerated thus becoming and ideal place for bacteria and fungi to grow and multiply. Such dogs need special ear care throughout their life.
Yeast Infection Symptoms
Yeast infection – Dachshunds are particularly prone to this infection as their large floppy ears do not allow good air flow, so the ear canals can become moist and warm which make them perfect for yeast infections. In this case, the ear discharge is light brown with a musty smell.
If there is some yeast infection in your Dachshund ears, a vet doctor can prescribe special ear cleansing solutions and ointments to eliminate yeast, along with oral antifungal drugs.
There are several ear infection symptoms that should be a signal for a dog owner to visit a vet doctor:
- Scratching of the ear or near it.
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge with unpleasant odor.
- Redness in the ears.
- Swelling in the ears.
- Crusts or scabs on inside of the outer ear.
- Unusual head shaking.
- Loss of hearing.
Another common ear problem is caused by ear mites (Otodectes cynotis mites). They are tiny parasites that live on the lining of the ear canal. When they pierce the skin to feed, this causes discomfort and inflammation. They cause a dry black discharge and the ear may smell (even stink).
In order to treat ear mites, a vet doctor can prescribe special anti-parasitic ear cleaner that is formulated specifically for dogs. Ear mite solutions should be used for 7–10 days to eliminate mites and their eggs, with a retreatment in two weeks.
Ear Margin Dermatosis
Common Dachshund problem – ear margin dermatosis, which represents itself in the form of alopecia, scaling, crusting and keratinous debris at the pinnal margins. These symptoms are always followed by exudate of yellow to brown color (greasy or waxy). Also, these symptoms are accompanied by waxy seborrheic odor in the ears. Moreover, dog ear margin dermatosis is characterized by severe hyperkeratosis.
Treatment of ear margin dermatosis is always of a complex nature: ant-seborrheic treatments should be combined with sulfur salicylic acid shampooing (every 24 or 48 hours) to remove debris. Also, inflamed ears should be treated with topical corticosteroid cream, such as 1% hydrocortisone.
Less Common Dachshund Ear Issues
Senior Dachshunds may suffer from Thyroid Deficiency. The first symptoms often involve skin issues, as well as in the ears area. The only one remedy is hormonal replacement therapy.
Foreign bodies in the ears (grass seeds, hair, small twigs) can cause an inflammation.
Food allergy or allergy to medications, pollutants, etc. manifests itself in the form of ear skin itching, ear redness and hair loss around the area.