Phaidoux is shaking his head again. You suspect you know what’s wrong. You lift one of his floppy ears and catch a whiff of something foul. Now you know for sure. The poor dog has ear mites. He’s had them before, and you suspect he’ll have them again. You give him a good hard scratch until he yelps in pain and then you have to move on and find a solution. Apparently, a soap and water bath won’t do. Here’s what to do if ear mites infest your favorite canine companion.
Change the dog’s food. Low grade dog food is the biggest culprit when it comes to ear mites and fleas. Both animals are opportunists, and poor diet gives the little buggers opportunity. When you buy dog food, consider what your pet is eating, the way you would consider what your children eat. Would you feed your children pop tarts or McDonald’s hamburgers for every meal? A pet can survive on that crap they pass off as dog food at the grocery store, but they thrive on a well balanced pet meal. If you are going to have a pet, spend the money. Just like our skin goes bad, and we feel gross if we don’t get the right balance of food, so do our pets. Their coats go oily and shed more, they pack on extra pounds, they poop incessantly, they have less energy and they become prime targets for ear-mites. Ask a pet care professional, and then don’t squawk when it costs you $80.00 to feed the dog for two weeks. It’s worth it.
Use a product called “Revolution” once monthly to kill and prevent ear mites and fleas. Advantage will get the fleas, but it misses the ear mites. The product costs a bit of money, but by taking care of your dog’s health, you will prolong the life of the dog and keep him from shaking his head so much. You think you are annoyed by the shaking? Imagine the poor pooch’s predicament. Have you ever had a bad itch you couldn’t scratch? When dogs shake their heads, the blood rushes to the tips of their ears. Sometimes that can lead to vessel breakages and pooling blood that gives way to painful and costly infections that lead to a lot of work on your part to attempt, often unsuccessfully, to prevent the animal from developing unsightly cauliflower ear. A dab of prevention is less costly that the many pounds of cure.
Wash your dog’s ears regularly. All you need is a warm, soap-free cloth. Get the gunk out. Avoid digging too deep, but go deep enough to be sure that your dog’s ears are free of waxy debris. This will give ear mites less on which to feast, and make for a happier, more stink-free companion.
Tips & Warnings
- Our dogs don’t know how to take care of themselves, and they don’t have the technology to open the refrigerator door to choose healthy comestibles. It’s up to you to look after your pet, and the more conscientious you are about that, the more likely that your animal will live a long and healthy life, free of irritants like ear mites.
- Look for a food that has meat as the first few ingredients. If the dog food has corn or some other grain or vegetable as the first ingredient, it is an inferior product.
- Research other diets, such as the raw food diet or a cooked diet for your dog. Oftentimes, it is much cheaper to feed meat than it is to buy a premium dog food.
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