Labrador Retriever Ear Problems
In the Labrador Retriever ear problems are quite common and you should give some attention to your Lab's ears and also his eyes. After a long run or an expedition into the undergrowth, check your dog's face and ears for thorns and scratches. Treat any cuts with a salve to prevent infection. If your dog is pawing at his face then there may be something in his eye or ear. Using a flashlight you may see something in the ear that you can remove, but if you do not see anything or if you cannot easily and safely remove it, you will need to take him to the veterinarian.
Ear problems may be the cause if your dog is always shaking his head or rubbing his head against the ground. Frequent scratching around the ears and abrasions caused by scratching may mean he has fleas, so check for this first. If the dog is producing excessive ear wax, or if his ear smells badly then there could be an infection. The same is true if he will not let you touch his ear or if his ear is red or swollen. These inflammations can have many causes including parasites or bacteria, and it is important to have the problem diagnosed by a veterinarian so that the proper treatment can be given. You may be given ear drops to apply to the dog's ear and possibly antibiotics to add to his food.
From time to time you will probably want to clean your Labrador Retriever's ears. You can take care of the build-up of wax and dirt that normally accumulates in the ear by washing with a cotton ball dampened with warm water. You can also buy special creams for cleaning a dog's outer ear from grooming parlors, veterinarians and pet shops, but avoid getting anything that will be too oily and attract more dirt.
Be sure not to push anything into the ear canal while cleaning the dog's ears. This can cause the dog a lot of pain and can also damage the inner ear. Only clean the outer part that you can easily reach. If you think the dog's ears are blocked, take him to the veterinarian who will wash the ear out thoroughly. The veterinarian's office may be able to show you how to do this at home if your dog needs it often.
For the eye, do not use cotton balls which can shed irritating filaments into the eye. Instead use a clean lint-free cloth dampened with warm water to wipe away any discharge that collects in the corners of the eye. If the eye seems red, swollen or irritated, if the dog blinks a lot, has excessive discharge or tears, or if one eye looks different than the other, consult with your veterinarian. Eye infections can become serious, therefore it is important to have the problem diagnosed quickly.
Labrador Retriever ear problems and eye disorders should be treated quickly to keep your dog happy and healthy.
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