For people with beagles, watching for ear infections is an important concern.
The drooping ears of hound dogs do not allow for air to circulate properly within the ear cavity.
This lack of air flow, combined with the heat that stays trapped within the ear, causes moisture. And moist areas are the perfect breeding ground for bacteria, yeast and fungal infections.
The best way to reduce ear infections in a beagle? Prevention.
Prevention means cleaning the ears thoroughly at least weekly, but daily if there’s a recurrent problem. Ear wipes are available at most pet supply stores. Use the wipes to clean away dirt from the inside of the ear leather as well as the outer edge.
Susan Eyer-Anderson, DVM, explains more in this video:
Give Those Ears Some Air
Another way to help prevent infections is to allow air to get inside the ear. This will dry the inside and eliminate excess moisture.
The easy way: When your dog is napping on his side, simply flip the ear leather over his head.
Well, if only it was that easy. Some beagles will automatically shake their heads to right their ears.
If this is the case with your dog, you’ll need a length of gauze and a small piece of tape. Lift the ears and lay them on top of the head. Wrap the gauze in a fashion to hold the ears up and use the tape to connect it.
The gauze will hold the ear flaps up and allow air to circulate into the ear canal.
According to Henry Cerny, DVM, MS, some common symptoms of a canine ear infection include:
- Head shaking
- Rubbing at the ear
- An odor coming from the ear
- In severe cases, a tilted head
At-home ear solutions should be given only with the guidance of your veterinarian — or else you’ll risk permanently damaging your dog’s hearing.
Meat-based diets may cut down on the occurrence of yeast infections. Eliminating or drastically minimizing the yeast and flour in your dog’s diet may reduce infections as well. Read the ingredients carefully; if your puppy’s current food contains flour or yeast, switch pet food.
Naturally, if your beagle is still having problems with his ears, consult your veterinarian, who will always be able to provide the best, safest treatment and advice tailored for your circumstances.