Not everyone pays a lot of attention to their dog’s health. They’re often caught up at work or they’re too busy with their social life to be aware of small changes in their dog’s behaviour. But it’s these small signs that can indicate the condition of a doggie’s health and if noticed early on, you could prevent a minor issue from turning into a serious problem.
Because of the design of the French Bulldog’s ears, they can often gather more dirt and irritants than a lot of other dogs. Keeping your Frenchie’s ears clean is an important element of maintaining their overall health. It’s not uncommon for French Bulldogs to have a variety of health problems including anxiety, breathing troubles, heat sensitivity, and joint diseases among other ailments. As a part of the regular health care you should be providing for your Frenchie, you should be sure to monitor the state of their ears as well.
Check your Frenchie’s ears regularly
Shine a torch into your dog’s ears to see if you can notice anything out of the ordinary. Look out for excess fluids, redness, swelling, or an unpleasant smell. If you’ve found any of these issues then there’s a good chance that your furry friend could have severe dirt build up or even an ear infection.
Your first move should be to take your dog to the veterinarian for a check-up. You should try to inspect your dog’s ears at least once a month. Do not use an ear bud (cotton bud) to try clean your Frenchie’s ears. This can irritate their ears even further and easily cause more harm. Most likely the vet will suggest some ear cleaning solutions that you can use to properly and safely clear out your dog’s ears. Try to steer clear of ear cleaning solutions that are alcohol or hydrogen peroxide based as they can also end up making your dog’s condition worse.
Cleaning the outer part of the ears
Mineral oil should be fine to clean the outside of their ears but you don’t want it to go too deep into the ear canal. As you can imagine, your pooch won’t take kindly to being cornered and having their ears messed with so they might make it difficult for you go through with the cleaning. You may want to ask someone to help you to keep your Frenchie calm and still while you clean.
Dampen a clean paper towel or fine cloth and use it to wipe the outer areas on the inside of your dog’s ears. You can do this with an ear cleansing solution as well. You don’t want the cloth or towel to be too wet. Excess water can cause the skin in their ear to soften and swell up, making them more susceptible to infections.
If a vet has given you an appropriate cleaning solution, use a cotton ball to apply the solution to the ears. Make sure to use a fresh cotton ball for each ear. If some solution makes its way into your Frenchie’s ears, they should simply shake it out by themselves after you’re finished cleaning. Be sure to only wipe around the outside of your dog’s ear canal so that you don’t push any dirt further into the ear or damage their eardrum. After they shake out the solution, wipe down their ears with a dry cloth. Dry ears are less likely to develop infections.
Cleaning the ear canals
Cleaning deeper in the ear will be more challenging as the ear canal is much more sensitive. Once your Frenchie is calm and still, carefully lift the earflap so you can apply the cleansing solution deeper into the ear. If your dog cries out when you put the solution into the ear canal then they could be suffering from an infection and you should take them to the vet as soon as possible.
If they’re okay with solution and they don’t appear to be in pain from it, be sure to squirt a sufficient amount of the solution into the canal. It’s okay if the solution overflows but try to keep the bottle from touching the ear as it could become contaminated. If it does, make sure you sterilize it with alcohol and then wipe it down so that the alcohol doesn’t irritate your dog’s ear on the next cleaning.
Once the solution is in, thoroughly massage your Frenchie’s ears for roughly half a minute so that the cleaning solution can loosen any dirt in the canal. After your canine pal shakes out as much of the solution as they can, use a cotton ball to dry their ears, but again, don’t force the cotton ball too far into the ear.
Dealing with ear mites
If your dog doesn’t have an infection and they’re not abnormally dirty but they still seem to be suffering from ear problems, they could have ear mites. Officially called Otodectes Cynotis, ear mites are highly contagious and can cause a great deal of irritation for your dog.
Symptoms include a lot of ear scratching, head shaking, frustration, redness and swelling, and a brown discharge from the ears as well as a nasty smell. After your vet has confirmed that your Frenchie does in fact have ear mites, they should give you some medicine for you to use in your dog’s ear and perhaps some antibiotics as well.
Try to remain aware of your Frenchie’s habits so that you can quickly spot if there’s something that needs your attention. Always make sure that you consult a vet before going through with any treatment for your dog. Having fun and playing silly games with your pooch is perfectly fine, but make sure you don’t blow into your dog’s ears and never put your fingers in their ears under any circumstances as your fingers often carry bacteria and can cause irritation and potentially an infection. Also try your best to avoid getting water in your dog’s ears when it comes to bath time.