One of the most noticeable genetic traits of German Shepherds is their beautiful upright ears. With such characteristic, their ears are less prone to infections. The air can circulate more easily which makes their ears much dryer than some other breeds with floppy ears.
If you’re one of those German Shepherd owners, it must be a great relief to know you have something less to worry about.
But, is your dog really free from ear infection? Think again.
Although German Shepherds have these large erect ears to protect them from possible health risks, they can still get ear infections. But the good news is they are preventable and treatments are always available.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why German Shepherds Get Ear Infection?
- 2 Observe The Symptoms
- 3 How To Prevent Ear Infections
- 4 Consult Your Vet
Why German Shepherds Get Ear Infection?
One of the common reasons why German Shepherds get an ear infection is from the environment. When you take your dog outside for a quick run or fetch, it can be exposed to environmental elements that can be a source of bacteria and microorganisms.
Pollens from grasses, flowers, or trees also make your dog more susceptible to ear infections, especially if it suffers from allergies.
Ear mites can also cause ear infections. If your German Shepherd gets into physical contact with an infected dog or animal or wanders around its area, there’s a huge probability your German Shepherd will get infected as well. These ear mites are highly contagious and spread rapidly if preventive measures are not applied immediately.
You should also be aware of what you feed your dog and what it is allergic to. Food allergy is also one of the main factors why your dog gets an ear infection. Once the allergy is triggered, it will be visible through the infections in its ears. By this time, your dog’s immune system will drop and it will be more vulnerable to yeast infection.
If your German Shepherd persistently scratches its ears while the yeast infection is present, it will cause a secondary bacterial infection that will require immediate treatment from your vet.
Observe The Symptoms
If you’re still unsure whether your dog has ear infections or not, you should watch out for the following symptoms:
- Tilting or shaking its head
- Foul odor from the ears
- Scratching its ears more frequently
- Excessive wax and dirt build up
- Loss of balance
- Hair loss around the ears
- Rubs its ears on the floor, furniture, or wall
- Changes in dog behavior
- Ears are hot and painful to touch
- Pawing the ear
Have you seen any of these signs? If yes, it is not too late to prevent the infection from getting worse. Don't worry!
How To Prevent Ear Infections
To prevent any severe ear problems in the future, it is essential to take precautionary measures as soon as possible. You may have to change the grooming routine to keep your German Shepherd’s upright ears clean and infection-free!
Here are some tips you can do:
1. Check the ears.
It is vital to inspect your dog’s ears from time to time to see if there are any changes in the skin condition. You’ll know when to take your dog to the vet and apply necessary treatment immediately.
2. Clean your dog's ears regularly.
There are available best ear cleaners like Zymox Otic Pet Ear Cleaner and Virbac Epi-Optic Advanced Cleaner, that you can use to keep your German Shepherd's ears free from dirt or wax build up. Make this a part of your dog's grooming routine. Although German Shepherds don't usually get an ear infection, their ears should still be regularly cleaned. Just remember to clean the ears gently and carefully to avoid further complications.
3. Feed your dog properly.
Do not settle for any kind of food because it is cheap. If you think you save more, you don't. It will cost a lot in the long run if you end up feeding your furry pal with something it is allergic to. Be careful and make some research and you'll find the best dog food for German Shepherd without putting your dog's health at risk but rather providing the proper nutrition it needs.
4. Clean your dog’s ears right after swimming or baths.
Your German Shepherd’s ears should be dry at all times, especially after swimming or baths. If the ears are not thoroughly dried, the moisture in the ear canal will enhance the growth of the microorganisms that will eventually turn into ear complications and infections.
5. Trim the hair around the outer ear canal.
To let the air circulate, the hair around the outer ear canal should be trimmed. Let the professionals do this and do not attempt to do this yourself. You can also ask your vet the proper way to do it.
Consult Your Vet
There are cases where dogs still get ear infections despite regular grooming and proper treatment. If this also happens to your German Shepherd, it is a significant step to consult your vet immediately to rule out if there’s an underlying problem that causes the infections.