When it comes to the shape of dogs ears, there are basically two types; the type that stick up like the terrier or the floppy type like the spaniel. Whilst both types can be prone to infection, the floppy ears tend to be more susceptible. This is because they effectively block the exit of the ear canal which leads to increased heat and moisture accumulation which is the ideal environment for yeast and bacteria to thrive in.

Some signs that your dog may have an ear infection:

• Shaking its head more often than usual
• Constantly pawing and scratching its ear. Sometimes even yelping while scratching.
• A strong, sour, cheesy odour from the ear
• There is a heavy, waxy material inside the ear
• Matted hair inside the ear canal
• Red or inflamed, skin

If you notice any of the above signs, see your vet straight away. 
The key to having healthy ears is prevention. This can be done by drying the ears thoroughly every time they get wet and carrying out a 2 weekly ear cleaning routine.

Follow the steps below to look after your pet’s ear hygiene:

– Use a clean towel to dry the outside of the ear.

– Use a cotton pad similar to the makeup remover pads to clean out the inner part of the ear flap. Add some ear cleanser to the cotton pad and clean by starting at the canal exit and moving upwards.

– When cleaning floppy ears, gently lift the ear upwards, this helps straightens out the ‘bend’. Never push anything into the ear and do not use cotton buds.

– Once the ear debris is clear, add 2-3 drops of ear cleanser to the ear canal opening. Gently massage the base of the ear to distribute the solution into the ear canal. After a few minutes allow your pet to shake its head to throw out the dissolved material. Repeat if necessary. If your dog shows any type of pain response in this last step (or before), then it could be the beginning of an ear infection.

You can find out more about VetIQ Ear Cleaner at markandchappell.com/vetiq/hygiene-grooming/ear-cleaner/ And we currently have ten packs available to win in our latest giveaway! Go to goo.gl/ZJCC6Z (competition closes Wed 25th April).