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Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs are an on going problem and about 10% of Westies are susceptible to ear infections. Since a Westies’ ears are upright they don’t get infections as easily as dogs with hanging ears, but once they get an infection it is very hard to get rid of it permanently. A sign of an ear infection is your Westie digging at the ear and/or shaking its head. The ear canal will appear dirty with red or black ear wax. Normally there should be no ear wax in the dogs ear.

The trick to keeping your Westies ear infections under control is to continue the medication for a week to 10 days after the ear appears to be clean. The bacteria may still be in the ear canal and the additional medicine from your vet to kill the remaining germs.

Use an ear cleanser and apply it with a cotton swab. Clean out the ear as far down the ear canal as possible. Use several swabs until they come out clean. Once the ear is clean, wait a couple hours for the ear to dry good before applying the antibacterial agent. Do this twice each day.

Once the infection is gone, if the ear is excessively moist, use a drying cream every few days to keep the infection from starting up again. The ear will probably become infected again, so frequently check the ears to see if they appear clean. We just keep the medicines on hand and treat the ear as needed. If the problem continues, go back to the vet because you may need a different antibacterial agent.

It is imperative that you keep after ear infections. If it is chronic, the ear canal can swell shut, sealing in the bacteria and causing the dog to go deaf.
It is equally important that you keep their ears free from ear mites. It is hard to distinguish whether your Westie has ear mites or ear infection. Consult your vet.

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