The Cocker Spaniel’s gorgeous long ears make him very pleasing to the eye. However, they can be prone to infections and irritations from time to time. To prevent this, here are some important ways to look after your Cocker’s ears.
Inspect the ears daily
If you can spot problems before they get too serious, you’ll find them much easier to treat. So, take a good look at your Cocker’s ears on a daily basis. Lift them up and look inside. Are they clear of debris? Do they look healthy? Are they clean looking? Be sure to note any changes so that you can report them to the vet.
Watch out for parasites
Unfortunately, the Cocker’s long floppy ears make wonderful homes for parasites. Ear mites can often be found in the ear canal. You won’t see the mites themselves, but you’ll notice a brownish canker or crusting. Also watch out for brown or black ear wax that looks like coffee grounds.
Know the signs
Look out for the following signs of ill health in your Cocker Spaniel’s ears:
- Blood inside the ear or in the ear wax
- An unpleasant smell coming from the ears
- Discharge from the ears
- Any redness, swelling or inflammation
- Hair loss in the ear area
- Excess shaking of the head from side to side
- Paws constantly rubbing at the ear
Wash the ears gently
When it’s time to wash your Cocker’s ears, remember to go gently and not to wash too often, as these are delicate organs that can be prone to irritation. In general, keep them free from debris but remember that a small bit of ear wax is perfectly normal. Here are some tips for washing the ears:
- Use a cleaning solution that has been made especially for dog’s ears, if you can (if not, a little warm water will do)
- Apply the lotion to a cotton wool ball and carefully wipe the insides of the ears
- Don’t use cotton buds or try to insert these into the ear canal – the ears are far too delicate to risk this!
- Don’t use too much fluid as you don’t want drips getting into the inner ear – once the ear is wet it can be very hard to remove the moisture and this will really bother your dog
- If you like you can clip the hairs inside the ears – but only if you think they are causing a nuisance rather than protecting the ear
- Clean until you can see the ear canal
- Dry the ears with a paper towel afterwards
- You might also want to clean the fur on the outside of the ears, as these can often trail in food and water bowels leaving them messy and dirty looking