German shepherds have large, erect ears and excellent hearing. They are a working breed that relies on their acute hearing on and off the job. Whether guarding the border or family pet, they can hear four times better than humans.
Depending on the breed, dogs hear sounds from 40,000 Hz to 60,000 Hz. Humans hear frequencies of 20 Hz to 20,000 Hz. Their sharp hearing is what allows them to pick up the faintest sounds, even those that go unnoticed by their owners.
Although they are strong, athletic dogs, they do have a sensitive side. They are prone to allergies and other skin sensitives. Allergies and ear infections are a common reason German shepherd owners take their dog to the vet.
Some common allergy problems include:
• Environmental allergies (canine atopic dermatitis)
• Contact hypersensitivity
• Insect/flea bite sensitivity
• Food sensitivity/allergy
German shepherds can be allergic to things such as pollens, grass, and dust mites. These triggers can cause contact sensitives that often manifest on the areas of their body that come in contact with the environment, such as their paws, belly, and armpits. However, the pollens can also be transferred to other parts of the body when they scratch, such as to their ears.
Why You Should Keep Your Dog’s Ears Clean
Canine allergies are a common problem of itchy yeast infections in dogs. Broken skin, moisture, and yeast may lead to bacterial infections of the ear canal that are painful and require medication to treat.
Since the ears of German shepherds are deep and erect, they are also prone to wax, dirt and debris collecting inside. Care should be taken after playing in dust, dirt, grass, and water to be sure their ears are clean and dry.
For dogs that have frequent bacterial or yeast infections, cleaning the ears every week or two can help prevent recurrent infections and help keep their ears clean and dry. To clean your dog’s ears, follow these tips:
Whatever product you choose, you’re going to want one that is:
• Prevents microbial action
• Can be used regularly
• Is made for sensitive ears
• Removes debris and excessive wax
• Dries the ear canal
• It has a low pH
How To Clean Your Dog’s Ears
A quick and easy way to get your dog’s ears clean and free of allergens is to use a product like Top Performance ProEar Cleansing Pads. Having these on hand to quickly wipe off your German shepherd’s ears after they’ve been playing outdoors can help remove pollens and dirt.
To use, when your dog comes inside, simply wipe the inside and outside of the ear with the pre-moistened pads. Requires no rinsing, drying, and can be used up to three times per week.
Weekly or Bi weekly cleaning
Keep your dog’ ears clean and dry with an ear cleaner such as Virbac Epi-Otic Advanced Ear Cleaner for Dogs and Cats. This ear cleaner is available on line and often sold by vets. It is safe to use on puppies and is alcohol free.
To use you simply shake well then fill the ear canal with the cleansing solution. Gently massage the base of the ear canal then gently wipe with a cloth or cotton pads that have been moistened with the ear cleaner. You don’t need to shove the cloth or cotton pads down the ear canal because this product is self-drying.
Another self-drying popular ear cleaner is ARC Laboratories Oticlean-A Pet Ear Cleaning Lotion. This product is great for after swimming or playing outdoors, especially getting wet. This product is also self-drying and contains alcohol.
To use Apply a couple of drops of liquid in an ear, let sit for one minute, and wipe clean.
Another very popular ear cleaner is Zymox Ear Cleanser for Dogs and Cats. This enzymatic ear cleaner contains Lacoperoxidase, Lactoferrin and Lysozyme, which have natural bio-active properties for mild bacterial control.
To use fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution. Massage into the ear canal. Wipe the excess off with a cloth or cotton pads. Don’t place the cloth or cotton pads deep into the ear canal. If the ears are especially inflamed or dirty, they sell other products that work together with the ear cleaner.
We hope these ear cleaning tips help keep your best friend pain and itch free. Please feel free to pass along to your friends.
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