Dogs´ ears are subject to a very annoying disease known as canker. This condition is a form of eczema which is preventable if proper care is given to the pet.
You´ll notice in the ear a normal, consistent secretion of wax, yellow in color, thick and sticky. Its purpose is to keep the membrane oily and act as a protector.
Under certain conditions the membrane of the ear becomes inflamed and the secretion more abundant and of a different character. It may be thin, yellow, and sticky, or mixed with pus, but ordinarily it´s brownish black, thin and sticky or thick and dry.
This condition is brought about in the same way as ordinary eczema, but sometimes it can also be caused by a parasite like that causing mange.
If the dog´s immune system is weakened due to improper feeding, lack of exercise, disease, or if the wax of the ear is dissolved by the application of soapy water, then the membranes of the ear become inflamed by the presence of some irritating substance and the discharge makes the canker appearance.
Canker of the ear is painful and irritating, and forces the dog to scratch his ears so much that he often inflicts wounds on the ear and adjacent skin. To prevent a canker from forming, it´s necessary to clean out the ear occasionally. You can do this every after bath in order to avoid water from staying inside the ear.
Roll a piece of cotton around the end of an orangewood stick or a match and use it to clean the outer canal of the ear of dirt, discharge, and water. Don´t use a toothpick because it´s too sharp and may injure the ear. Dust some antiseptic talcum powder or dry boric acid into the ear after cleaning.
Before you bath a dog which has already canker, plug the ears with cotton to aoid water from entering. Clean the ears after bath. If the disease continues after you implement these procedures, you´ll need a more vigorous method of treatment.
Two Types of Ear Canker in Dogs
This disease is usually divided into two – internal canker and external canker.
Internal canker – it consists of inflammation of the lining membrane of the passage to the ear which runs on to ulceration and suppuration. As this persists, a blackish offensive discharge takes place and accumulates in the passage. You´ll see that the interior of the ear is red and inflamed.
The dog will show signs of canker if he frequently scratches his ear with his paw, holding his head on one side and giving it a violent shake, as though to empty something out of the ear. The pain and irritation will cause him to rub and shake his head constantly and violently. The flaps of the ears get bruised, ulcerations form, and the tips become obstinately sore.
The inflammation existing in the interior lining membrane extends itself to the outside through the constant shaking and scratching, which leads to external canker.
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Many believe that canker of the ear is confined to water dogs. This misconception comes from the fact that water spaniels and others of that class, from their exposure, are most likely to get water lodged in their ears, the shaking and pawing to get rid of which frequently sets up the inflammation, ending in canker.
The tears and scratches received from briars and thorns in working close coverts, if not addressed, may also lead to external canker of the ear.
The hint of wet and dirt, and the accumulation of hardened wax in the ear-passage, are no doubt causes, and this is especially true if the dog´s kennel isn´t properly cleaned.
External canker – often exists as a consequence of inflammation, ulceration, or suppuration of the internal passage. There´s a kind of mangy affection of the ears which is altogether different, but which may easily be confounded with it; in these cases the edges of the ears become dry, hot, and scaly, and the hair falls off.
But this is in many cases really mange, and must be so treated. There are cases where the whole of the external ear becomes swollen and tender, and tie flap thickened and filled with fluid between the skin and the cartilage gristle. In such cases it´s not unusual to lance them and press out the matter formed; but a far more successful method is to insert a tape seton in the inside of the ear from above downwards to the flap.
The tape should be moved now and again to allow the fluid to escape, and the ear should be frequently washed with warm water so that the openings made by the seton are not blocked. When the discharge stops, the tape can be cut out, and the wounds dressed night and morning with boracic acid ointment or white naphthol ointment.
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Ready-to-Use Products for Ear Canker in Dogs Treatment
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This powder promotes healing and dries up the inner canker. It also heals the external areas that may become sore and moist from the canker discharge. It can also be used to heal sores and rashes in both dogs and horses.
It´s another medicinal for fast healing of ear canker in dogs. It removes dirt and debris from the ear canal, reduces the waxy build up and cleans your pets´ ears.
A non-irritating formula, this cleaner will keep the insides of the ears clean to avoid infection and facilitate healing. It has with anti-adhesive properties to prevent microbial attachment. It´s also well-rounded; it works for dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens of any age.
Home Treatment for Ear Canker in Dogs
In the general, the first thing to do in treating the canker of the ear is to remove any exciting cause that exists, such as dirt or hardened wax, and this can be best done by carefully washing, and if needed, syringing the ears with lukewarm water.
In cases of hardened wax, pour in a few drops of almond or olive oil. Bathing will soothe the pain and irritation, and all the parts that can be got at should be afterwards carefully dried with a soft cloth.
There are many applications recommended for canker of the ear, and endless nostrums advertised to cure it in a single day all, or nearly all, are preparations of lead, zinc, or silver.
Silver and Zins Lotions
A solution of nitrate of silver is recommended by many; the strength should be from 4gr. to 6gr. of the nitrate of silver to loz. of water. Or a sulphate of zinc lotion may be made as follows : Take sulphate of zinc, 12gr. ; wine of opium, Idr.; water sufficient to make IJoz. of lotion.
Take Goulard’s Extract of Lead, loz. glycerine and carbolic acid, Joz.; finest olive oO, 4Joz. Mix the first two named, and add the oil gradually, rubbing together in a mortar. The bottle must be well shaken before the ointment is used.
All of these preparations are used in a similar manner—place the dog’s head flat on a form, or on the knee of the person who holds him, and then pour a little into the ear-passage. Hold the dog in the same position for a minute or two, until the liquid finds its way into the seat of the affected areas.
The mixture should also be applied freely to all the external sores. If there´s no dark and offensive discharge from the ear, the carbolic acid and glycerine may be omitted from the lead ointment. The amount according to the article of British Pharmacopoeia, viz., 1 part pure carbolic acid in 5 parts pure glycerine.
Another treatment for internal canker is to syringe the ear once a day, or night and morning, according to the severity of the case, with 1 part of spirit of wine and 20 parts of lukewarm water.
Allow the dog to shake his head afterwards to remove the unnecessary fluid, then dry the ear thoroughly with cotton-wool, rolled upon the end of a probe or pointed stick.
You´ll need several pieces of wool. When the ear is perfectly dry, apply a cavity of finely powdered boraoic acid. Make sure that it reaches the bottom.
In cases when this treatment doesn´t work, powdered iodoform can be used in place of the boracic acid. If any of the sores outside look “angry,” scrape with a knife a little bluestone into fine powder and dust them with it.
Alternatively, after bathing and thorough drying, touch the affected areas with a point of lunar caustic.
In severe and stubborn cases, it will help to administer some fever mixture for a few days. The diet must be light, and consisting partly of boiled green vegetables.
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