One of the main health concerns for a Labradoodle are its ears. The thing is that the ears are so close to the side of the head, as well as pendant, that it leads to a poor aeration of the air canals.
Moreover, a Labradoodle has beautiful curls and locks around and inside its ears, thus causing recurrent painful ear infections in case a dog is not properly groomed.
Labradoodle ears need special care and attention and in this article we are going to give you all the necessary information on this subject.
Most Common Ear Problems
As is was said above, Labradoodles have pendant ears with many curls and hair flocks that don’t allow the air to pass into the ear canals. There are the most common ear issues connected with their ‘construction’:
- Yeast and bacterial external ear infections (otitis externa). The ear canals can become moist and warm which make them perfect for yeast and bacterial infections. Accumulation of wax, thick or matted hair in the ear canal, debris, a foreign body, a tumor or impaired drainage of the ear also play a significant role in the development of the ears infection. In this case, the ear discharge is light brown with a musty smell.
- 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.
- Otitis media (the inflammation of the middle ear) usually results from the spread of infection from the external ear canal. Also, foreign bodies, debris, ulceration or improper ear cleaning can rupture the eardrum and allow infection to reach the middle ear. Also caused by yeast, bacterial infections and mites.
Symptoms of Ear Infection
If your Labradoodle shows the following symptoms you need to visit a veterinarian for further ear examination:
- 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.
How to Take Care of the Ears?
The first thing you need to do as the part of usual grooming session is to remove (pluck) the extra hair in the ear canals. You can do it by yourself or in vet clinic. This procedure will allow more air to enter the ear canals and aerate them. Moreover, there will be less wax and debris that also cause ear infections.
The second step is ear canals cleaning. There are a lot of cleaners available: cleansing drops, wipes, ointments. Just select one that will suit you and your Labradoodle best.
If you use special drops you will need a cotton ball to clean the ears. Take a cotton ball and wet it with the ear drops, wipe the ear canal all the way around and also on the outside ear. Clean the ears till the cotton ball is clean.
If you use ear wipes, just lift slightly the ear and wipe it very gently. Use several wipes till they are completely clean.
We hope that the article has been useful for you and now you know more about Labradoodle ear problems and their solution.