The ears of a German Shepherd are instantly recognizable for a good reason. When you first see a German Shepherd, the ears are the first thing that stands out to you. They are also what gives the dog its authoritative and obedient appearance. How exactly should we take care of these priceless ears to guarantee that they will remain in their proper position and remain in good health?
There is nothing cuter than a German Shepherd doing their signature head-tilt, complete with their silly face and ears that stand up. It’s crucial to take proper care of their ears because, in point of fact, those ears are what give German Shepherds their instantly recognizable appearance in the first place. It is easy to underestimate the significance of good ear hygiene, but this aspect of your pet’s care is just as important as the food you feed him and how often you clean him.
It is also essential to keep in mind that the ear canal is not always the origin of ear infections. In many instances, an infection in the ear can be traced back to a sickness or disease that originated in another region of the body and then traveled all the way up to the head. As a result, we need to keep a close eye not just on the condition of your dog’s ears but also on their general wellbeing.
As pet owners, it is our responsibility to contribute to the ongoing cleaning in order to ensure the wellbeing and contentment of our German Shepherds at all times. Concerning the ears, I have put together a basic tutorial that explains why it is necessary to clean their ears, how to do it correctly, and the different forms of ear infections that you should be on the lookout for.
When it comes to the upkeep of the cleanliness of German Shepherds, the ears are frequently overlooked. When compared to the process of grooming your pet’s fur, they are more difficult to clean. If the ears of your German Shepherd are not cleaned on a regular basis, they are more likely to become a breeding ground for bacteria and diseases.
To make the process less difficult for you, we have outlined a number of straightforward steps that you can take:
- Examine the ears of your German Shepherd on a regular basis for any indications of a problem. Discharge, parasites, and dirt are all warning signs that should not be ignored. There is a possibility that an infection is present if the affected ear seems swollen and inflamed, has an offensive odor, and is sensitive in some way. A healthy pair of ears should be pink and free of debris.
- If there are any signs of infection, you should refrain from attempting to clean it. Make an appointment with your trusted vet as soon as possible to get your German Shepherd’s ears examined.
- If they seem dirty but aren’t actually unclean, you don’t need to clean them.
- You can either use an ear-wash mixture that is designed specifically for the ears of GSDs, or you can ask your veterinarian for a natural recipe that you can place in a squirt bottle. Before you use it, give it a good shake.
- To ensure that you reach the interior of your German Shepherd’s ear canals, massage his ears gently after squirting some of the solution into his ear canals using an eyedropper.
- Use a cotton ball to gently wipe down the outer part of your pet’s ear as well as the ear canals that are located inside his ears. Either a gentle towel cloth or a clean washrag will do the trick. Cotton swabs should never be used since there is a risk that they will hurt your dog’s ears.
- Be careful not to stick your fingers too far into your dog’s ears since you run the risk of causing injury to his eardrums.
- After you are through cleaning your German Shepherd’s ears, you should reward him with a tasty treat. In this way, your dog will be able to positively identify the experience of having his ears cleaned with the overall procedure.
If your German Shepherd has a history of ear problems, then it is highly recommended that you clean his ears on a weekly basis or more frequently. On the other hand, if the health of your dog is average, it is OK to clean his ears once a month. It is totally acceptable for you to have doubts about your abilities as an ear cleaner. You always have the option to employ a professional dog groomer to complete the task for you.
Why you should clean your German Shepherd’s ears
The fact that your German Shepherd’s ears are clean and in good health will contribute to the dog’s overall health, which is why proper ear care is of the utmost importance. Checking the ears of German Shepherds at least once a week is recommended, especially if the dogs have enormous ears that stand up straight. Because German Shepherds’ ears stand up, air can easily enter them, which helps them stay dry and prevents moisture and bacteria from building up. This is excellent news for German Shepherds because it means their ears can breathe easier.
However, you should still be on the lookout for anything that might appear to be out of place. A indication of an infection is the presence of dark filth that looks like ground coffee if you should happen to glimpse it. The ears of a healthy German Shepherd are free of dirt and pink in color. Additional suggestions for caring for your German Shepherd’s ears are as follows:
- When you are cleaning the ears of your German Shepherd, it is important to remember to remain calm and encouraging while speaking in a comforting voice. This will help to reduce any worry that your pet may be experiencing. You should do all in your power to ensure that your dog remains as calm as possible throughout this ordeal so that he can view it as a positive experience. Always remember to give a sweet treat or some other form of reward when you have finished the ear cleaning procedure with your pet.
- You should never apply more than one product at a time to your dog’s ears at the same time. It is not safe to employ different substances at the same time because doing so poses the possibility of an unpleasant response happening. Consult with your local veterinarian to determine the best course of action.
- Another indication of an impending ear infection in your German Shepherd is if he has a habit of shaking his head more frequently or holding it to one side. You should examine his ears for any signs of illness or take him to the veterinarian as soon as possible. In circumstances like this, the best treatment is always prevention.
- If you see any symptoms of a dangerous infection coming from your German Shepherd’s ears, such as a bloody discharge or fever, you should take him to the veterinarian clinic as soon as possible.
- When cleaning the ears of your pet, you should never use a cotton swab. In the event that your dog abruptly shifts his position, it is simple to insert cotton swabs into his ear canal. A ruptured eardrum is quite harmful and can cause your GSD a great deal of agony. Always use a towel or cloth that is gentle on the skin, such as a soft towel or even simply a standard cloth.
- If your dog has hairy ears, you should consider getting the hair clipped once in a while so that it doesn’t get too long. The presence of hair in the ear canal might contribute to the buildup of wax. If there is an excessive amount of ear wax in the ear, it can cause major damage and even clog the ear canal of your pet.
Accustoming the animal to the procedure
The act of cleaning is something that many shepherds find intolerable; they may turn their heads away, try to run away, lash out, and some may even growl.
You will need to progressively adapt the animal to the procedure in order for it to be painless for both the pet and the owner. Here is how you can do this:
- Establish a food motive for the pet (give the Shepherd a bit less food than usual for a week to encourage him to eat more eagerly);
- Demonstrate to your dog that the cotton ball does not pose a threat by holding it in one hand and allowing him to investigate it while you continue to feed him with the other;
- After a few days, apply pressure with the cotton pad to the inner aspect of the dog’s ear, and then immediately try to coax him into eating the food;
- After a few more days have passed, you should try to clean the ear a little bit, and then you should offer the animal a reward.
After each session, you should provide your Shepherd with encouragement, praise, and the food that he enjoys the most.
Even if he won’t allow you to clean him, you shouldn’t resort to violence, meaning you shouldn’t squeeze your dog or punish him in any way. Show him how to complete the task step by step.
How to clean GSD ears properly: step-by-step instruction
Before cleaning the ears of a German Shepherd, it is vital to gather all of the equipment that will be required for the surgery. To begin, you will need to go out and purchase a specialized lotion or tonic.
Many proprietors opt to utilize wet wipes that have been dipped in a specialized liquid rather than liquid items. In addition to clean cotton pads or sterile gauze wipes, the operation will call for both of these items.
The following steps are taken when cleaning at home:
- The dog is commended for its compliance after being told to “Sit” or “Lie down” and being fixed with the appropriate command.
- Plaque is looked for in the organs that are responsible for hearing. In the event that it is not substantial, cleaning will proceed as normal. It is required to flush the ear with chlorhexidine if there was an excessive amount of excretion that had an unpleasant odor, and then treat it with medicinal remedies.
- The removal of a minor plaque is accomplished as follows: first, saturate a cotton pad or tissue with cleansing lotion. Next, wipe the inner ear canal very carefully.
- Wrap the ear in a warm towel and give it a light massage after applying a few drops of lotion to any minor crusts that have formed on the skin. After that, the tough plaque will begin to soften, and it may be removed in the typical manner, which is by using a cotton pad that has been soaked in water.
When it comes to cleaning the ears of a puppy, the method described above will work just as well.
Never use hydrogen peroxide as a treatment since it has the potential to cause serious burns to the skin if it comes into contact with it.
It is of the utmost significance to begin the training of the Shepherd in proper hygiene at an early age. Because the ears are such an important part of a dog’s body, it is important for their owners to check on their health often. When you are cleaning, make sure to check the skin for any signs of damage or illness. Don’t forget to praise your pet for proper conduct.
What you need to know about ear infections
Dogs frequently suffer from ear infections, making it one of the most prevalent medical problems they experience. There are two distinct kinds of ear infections that can afflict German Shepherds. Both of these diseases can be painful. The first condition is called otitis media, and it affects the middle ear. The second condition is called otitis externa, and it affects the ear canal on the outside.
The difficulty with ear infections is that the pet owners typically find out about them when it is already too late to treat them. When it comes to grooming, it’s simple to forget about the ears, but if you catch the problem soon, it’s not difficult to fix it. You should be on the lookout for the following symptoms if you suspect that you have an ear infection:
- Scratching the ears
- Rubbing the ears on the ground or furniture
- Shaking the head
- Tilting the head to one side constantly
- Hair loss
- Unpleasant odor
- Yellow or black discharge
- Loss of balance
- Walking in circles
- Hearing loss
Ear infections can be brought on by a wide variety of factors. The causes of each infection are unique to themselves. The most common cause of otitis externa is an accumulation of bacteria or yeast in the ear, which can be caused by a number of different factors. Any infection can be made worse by debris that becomes trapped in the ear canal. This debris can take the form of matted hair, ear wax, or even a foreign item.
Ear infections can also be caused by tumors or an infestation of ear mites in the ear canal. It is also possible for otitis externa to originate in another area of the body and then spread to the ear as a secondary infection. This is referred to as a primary infection.
On the other hand, otitis media is an infection that begins in the middle ear and progresses inward. A burst eardrum caused by poor cleaning or a foreign material is another potential source of infection. This can occur when the ear canal is not properly cleaned. Other sorts of dog breeds are more likely to suffer from ear infections than others. Dog breeds with floppy ears, such as Labrador Retrievers, Basset Hounds, and Cocker Spaniels, are more prone to developing ear infections than other dog breeds. This occurs as a result of the moisture that is prevented from escaping from their ears, which in turn encourages the growth of germs.
Avoiding getting an ear infection in the first place is the most effective approach to deal with one after it has developed. It’s crucial to give your dog’s ears a good cleaning once a week, especially if they have floppy ears. As was said before, the ears of a German Shepherd stand up, which means that they receive a greater amount of airflow, which helps to keep them dry and prevents moisture and bacteria from building up. But you should still clean your pet’s ears at least once or twice a month at the very least.
What can I use to clean my dog’s ears at home?
When it comes to cleaning your ears at home, there are a few different options to choose from. The components of each of the solutions are unique, as are the procedures for using them. The appropriate quantity of each solution is also variable. The application of each solution also varies from one dog of the same breed to another dog of the same breed.
Always make an appointment with the nearest clinician or veterinarian in order to receive appropriate direction and a prescription for an appropriate ear cleaning. Do not use them until you have been given the appropriate instructions.
When cleaning your ears, do not use a solution that contains hydrogen peroxide. Because it has a negative effect on the skin cells that are present on the ears of your German Shepherd, the composition in question can be described as irritant.
Extreme sensitivity can be found in the tissues of the ear. They run the risk of being harmed as a consequence of the deployment of this remedy.
What is the best way to clean a dog’s ears?
Make an appointment with the clinician or the veterinarian who is located closest to you, and discuss the process of ear cleaning with them. After conducting a thorough examination, they will make a recommendation regarding a product that should be used to clean your German Shepherd’s ears.
Only purchase that remedy, and make sure to drill it into the head of your German Shepherd. At the base of the ear, provide a massage for thirty seconds. You will hear a distinct sound that is characterized as the splashing of the ear cleaning solution. This is because the substance has a cleansing effect on the environment.
It is important to remember not to put the nozzle of the container that contains the cleaning chemical into the ear. The solution becomes tainted as a result of this pollution. After having the solution inserted into his ears, the dog will repeatedly turn his head around in a circular motion. Permit him to take part in this activity.
Bring a towel with you, and use it to wipe the solution from the skin and hair around the ear. In addition to this, it shields you from any splashes of solution that may occur.
Following the shaking, the cotton gauze should be used to thoroughly clean the ear canal and the interior of the ear. In the event that you experience any signs and symptoms of pain or irritation, please call your local veterinarian as soon as possible.
1. At what age do German Shepherd ears stand up?
When your puppy is between eight weeks and six months old, typically around the time that he or she is teething, the ears of a purebred German Shepherd will begin to stand up. When it comes to other breeds of dogs, the process of their ears standing up might take anywhere from 16 to 20 weeks of age. It varies from dog to dog, so you shouldn’t be concerned if your canine companion’s ears haven’t perked up yet.
2. Do German Shepherds need haircuts?
The coats of German Shepherds should under never circumstances be trimmed or shaved. They have an outer coat and an undercoat, making up what is known as a double coat of fur on their bodies. After having a section of the coat shaved off or cut, it will never come back in the same way again. Shaving the coat of your GSD will only make him more susceptible to insect bites, the damaging effects of the sun, and other skin irritations.