Best Tips For German Shepherd Owners: Care And Treatment For Their Ears

German Shepherd Dogs (GSDs) are generally very healthy dogs, but much like other dog breeds, they can be predisposed to certain health problems. The ears of a German Shepherd are one of her most notable strengths; yet, they require regular grooming because they are prone to infections and must be kept clean.
The following are examples of common causes that need to be monitored closely in order to reduce the risk of developing inflammation:

  • Long hair can get into the ear both through growing from around the back of the ear and shedding.
  • As German Shepherds like to brush past bushes and through grass when out walking, all kinds of detritus, especially seeds, get into their ears.
  • Occasionally, overactive glands in the ear secrete the equivalent of ear wax which can get trapped quite deep in the ear.
  • Water from swimming or bathing often lodges for a short time, despite the dog’s efforts to shake it out vigorously.

If your German Shepherd is displaying the classic telltale indication of ear irritation, which in the vast majority of cases is typically of a mild nature, it is because she is attempting to eliminate the inflammation herself. At this stage, it is always worthwhile to look for and, if required, eliminate anything that is immediately noticeable. In my experience, if there is nothing that can be seen, it is best to wait a brief time and then check to see whether the problem still exists. This is because, in many instances, the issue will resolve itself.

Cleaning The Ear & Removing Detritus:

Keeping your pet’s fur-trimmed around the outer ear, preventing matting below the ear as well are good precautions. Don’t cut the fur too short or it can very occasionally become ingrowing, creating further problems.
Dealing with something inside the upper ear must be done with great care and I would strongly advise not probing too much in your dog’s ears.

However, in an adult dog, the ears are quite large and a gentle wash with a soft cloth around the top of the ear or even using cotton buds on areas you can clearly see, providing you make no attempt to go beyond that, will resolve the majority of cases. Mixing a very low concentration (say about 5%) vinegar with water makes a solution that will usually help.

If your pet continues beyond two to three days to show signs of discomfort, then a visit to the vet is in order.

In my 40 years of experience with dogs including long-haired German Shepherds, despite many instances of ear irritation, using the above practices has meant it has never escalated. However, this is one of those ailments that is worth being aware of how to deal with in these easy stages, but like most, at some point, it’s time for veterinary expertise.

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