You can observe the appearance of translucent plaque in dogs’ ears even in the absence of other signs of ear diseases. This is sulfur, the usual secret of the sebaceous glands, which is produced to clean and protect the ear epidermis.
It usually does not cause any discomfort, does not accumulate in the channel. However, there are cases when the residue in the ears of the dog is dark, smells bad and accumulates in dangerous quantities.
When there Is a Disease?
The main indication that the dog has ear problems is its behavior. It shakes its head, scratches its ears and temples and avoids tactile contact. Plaque takes on some color, usually dark. There is a sour or just a sharp smell, and the structure becomes granular. The amount of sebaceous secretions is greatly increased. It accumulates and rolls into lumps. Some otolaryngological diseases are also characterized by lacrimation, swelling of the eyelids, inflammation of the skin at the temples, partial loss of hearing or vision at an early stage.
There may be pus discharges or even bleeding. This indicates a critical stage of sore ears in dogs and a high probability of bacterial infection of the open wound deep in the ear canal. In this case, you have to carry out a quick disinfection of open tissues with chlorhexidine and deliver the animal to the veterinarian. Infection of blood can have lethal consequences, but with timely treatment, the pet will retain hearing and will not have chronic diseases.
What Does the Sore Indicate?
Most owners notice a brown residue in the ears of the dog. In small quantities, it can be nothing more than dust, which falls into the sebaceous secret and rolls already at the exit of the ear canal. During certain periods there is more secret, for example, in hot weather. However, if a dog has sore in ear, this may be also the skin reaction to the presence of any stimulus, such as wounds, foreign object, parasite, fungus. Then the epidermis tries to protect itself by releasing more earwax, which leads to the opposite consequences – even more irritation.
Often brown or black residue in the ears of a dog indicates ear mites, complicated by otitis media. Self-treatment is not recommended, as incorrectly selected drug will lead to the fact that the real disease will be neglected to a critical stage. For example, black plaque often appears with fungal infections. Analyses that define parasites differ from sowing of fungus and simply will not show the presence of infection. Therefore, it is necessary to perform diagnostics and to take ear swabs and scrapings. All you can do yourself you can just is to wipe the area around the ears and near the canal with sanitary lotion. If there is critically no time, the veterinary clinic may allow you to bring the cotton swab taken from the ear at home.
If a dog has sore in ear of white color, it can indicate both the excessive production of sulfur when otitis media (infectious or allergic), and the ear mite. It is noteworthy that in contrast to fungal diseases in humans, yeast infection in dogs is manifested not with white but with black color. White dots are ear mites themselves. Brown and black granular mass, appearing after some time, are traces of parasites.
How to Help a Dog before the Visit to the Vet?
Self-treatment with antibiotics or hormones against allergies without proper diagnosis can lead to serious consequences and even hearing loss. Therefore, you should only perform basic hygienic treatment of ears prior to the visit to the vet. For this purpose you can use ready lotions, but in any case not alcohol-containing liquids. Despite the good disinfection, they dry the skin, causing it to produce earwax more actively. A good option would be to use chlorhexidine to disinfect areas around the ears if they were combed by the dog to scratches.
In order to clean the usual white sore in the ears of the dog, you should take the gauze or other natural fabric and roll the sides inward, so that the thread could not stay in the ears. It can also be wound around the finger, animals usually respond better to cleaning directly by the hands of the owner. It also allows you to control the force of pressure, which is very important when inflammation. The use of cotton pads and sticks is not recommended because they leave small hairs that irritate the skin and cause the dog to scratch its ears even more. Then, drop the lotion into the ear and carry out a soft massage of the ear base. After that, let the dog to shake it out and remove the excess with a gauze or a napkin.
When a dog has a sore in his ear due to ticks or abundant fungal infection, the ear should be cleaned of plaque before using the prescribed medication. To do this, the lotion is applied directly to the gauze. Clean the granular discharge slowly with your finger. Do not try to scratch the crusts that are very dry and have not soaked from the first time. After such cleaning, the dog’s ear is washed with lotion once again in a standard way.
Thick medications (ointments, gels, creams) are applied in the end, firstly drops are used (then there should be a break of 5 to 15 minutes). If the animal reacts nervously to medications, it may feel pain because of some of their ingredients. After consulting with the vet, you should replace the drug by another one containing an analgesic (for example, Autospectrum, which includes lidocaine).