German Shepherd Ear Problems

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german shepherd ear problems

German Shepherd Ear Problems

Dog’s ears are prone to infections as you may have noticed if your pet dog has had issues with their ears in the past. Should your German Shepherd have chronic ear infections, here is information that can help you and your dog.

For dogs, ear infections are usually referred to as, “Otitis Externa“, which simply means a disease in the outer ear.

Whereas “Otitis Interna“ is a disease of the inner ear.

Outer ear infections account for 90% of the infections in dogs, making ear infection the most common infection for your German Shepherd to be treated for. Ear mites can and also often do accompany dogs ear infections.

Is Your Dog Allergic?

Another thing to remember is that dogs with different allergies tend to suffer from ear infections more than many other dogs.

An infection can be caused by wax building up inside the ear, and may also be caused by long hair blocking the passage of air, causing a buildup of not only wax, but also debris and dirt.

Regular Cleaning Helps to Avoid German Shepherd Ear Problems

Regular ear cleaning will get your pet used to having their ears handled, allowing it to be easier to administer future treatment.

You can prevent German Shepherd ear problems and infections by cleaning your dogs ears well as a part of their regular grooming routine. Cleaning your puppy's ears is easy as you only need a soft cloth and ear cleanser. Simply lift the ears and massage some cleanser to the ear; this will loosen the dirt and other nasty things that may cause future infection(s).

Regular ear cleaning is a powerful, preventative measure, especially if you have a dog that is at a higher risk for ear infections (dogs that swim often, for example). Water inside the ears could be a nagging issue for any dog as they are not made for aquatic living.

You'll spot an ear infection on your GSD by paying attention to these signs

  • smelly ears
  • discharge
  • excessive head shaking
  • swelling
  • redness within the ears

If your dog appears uncomfortable or is constantly scratching their ears, it's probably because they have an ear infection. Pay close attention because if you pet is scratching too hard, this could also break arteries and cause swelling and bleeding.

Another good method of cleaning your dogs ears is by using white vinegar  to remove dirt from the ear and market the development of good bacteria.

Use the vinegar the same way that you would use ear cleanser: pour it on and wipe carefully within the ear with cloth or cotton ball. This may help ease the infection(s) or even clear it up if it was not too severe to start. This may help your German Shepherd ear problems and infections as a most likely at-home solution.

On the other hand, if the infection is serious, it’s wise to phone the vet. It may be fixed easily, though your dog will need some antibiotics to help clear the issue.

The vet might also tell you to clip the hair round the ear or they my do it themselves if your dog has recurring ear infections as this often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that, the vet might suggest surgery allowing for easier drainage of the ear canal.

Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others; examples would be breed’s with large ears or ears that are particularly small.

Now, because you know what signs to look for, you should be able to detect ear infections on your dog before these become a serious problem.

German Shepherd Grooming Tips

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long haired german shepherd grooming

German Shepherd Grooming Tips

German Shepherd grooming is divided into two parts.

  • Maintenance of your pet at home
  • Occasional professional German Shepherd grooming.

The more you can do at home yourself the better in the long run.

The biggest part of German Shepherd grooming is deshedding. German Shepherds are double coated dogs that require regular brushing or you will have to deal with a lot of shedding. Here are the areas to pay attention to when doing German Shepherd grooming.

Eyes, Ears, and Nose

Eyes can be wiped with a damp cloth once a week or more. This helps prevent debris and bacteria from affecting the eyes. Ear wax and dirt can build up in the ears and cause infection or sensitivity to the area. You can take a cotton ball with ear cleaner on it and wipe inside the ear flap once a week. This will keep your dogs ears free and clean of gunk. If your dog is an outdoor dog it may experience some dry, crusted areas on it's nose from exposure. You can watch for dryness and treat with a triple antibiotic in the evening times to help aid moisture retention and healing.

Pads and Nails

Hair grows on the bottoms of German Shepherds feet, between the pads. This causes your dog to slip and slide on uncarpeted floors. Trimming the hair on the pads of the feet can be done once a month to allow for sure gripping of the pads on slippery surfaces.

Nail trimming should be done every 4-6 weeks depending on how quickly your dogs nails grow. Overgrown nails can push back on the knuckles and cause long term damage or deformation of the feet and toes. Sometimes it takes two people to trim nails on a German Shepherd. Some pet owners leave it to the dog groomer or vet to trim their dogs nails. Either way it's a step that shouldn't be ignored.

Regular Brushing

Brushing can be done daily or every other day. That may sound like alot but you get to pick your battle. You can spend 15 minutes a day brushing your dog or you can spend 15 minutes vacuuming the shedding hair up daily. German Shepherd grooming includes understanding that your dogs coat will change twice a year. During these times you may experience more shedding than normal and professional German Shepherd grooming would be suggested at these times of year.

Professional Bathing and Brushing

The difference between bathing and brushing at home as opposed to professional grooming is that pro groomers use a high velocity blow dryer that forces the loose, dead hair away from the dog. They would also brush them after doing so giving a double whammy of shed free maintenance.

Bathing can be done more frequently and occasionally at home if you want to do the brushing yourself rather than paying for it.

Your groomer can be your best resource when asking questions related to your dogs breed. German Shepherd grooming usually includes bathing, drying, brushing, ear cleaning, and pads/nail trimming. Specialty add ons might include conditioner or a deshedding solution to help loosen dead hair.

Make sure you are keeping up on your German Shepherd grooming on a regular basis.