Foreign Bodies – Ears
(Continued from yesterday’s blog re grass seeds and foreign bodies) today we look at Foreign Bodies – Ears
During dry weather, it is always a good idea to check a dog’s body, between his toes and also in his ears for plant seeds after each walk.
Visible seeds can be removed with tweezers though its important to stress that we should not try to grasp anything way down the canal. One twitch or shake from the dog as we are trying to help can very easily result in damage to the tympanic membrane (ear drum) or other delicate internal structures of the ear, particularly if you are using pointy tweezers.
Rather than trying to reach far down in this risky fashion, trying filling up the affected ear with olive oil or mineral oil. Sometimes, this will float the seed up so that it can be easily removed. This technique can also be applied if the dog has managed to get an insect in his ear canal. In order that insects can actually fly and get off the ground, they weigh very little and so administering olive oil to the ear canal may well float these out too.
Remember that the seed can easily migrate further down the canal or even penetrate the ear drum or side walls due to the barb like tip. If the dog shakes his head, this may mean the seed is lodged deeper in the ear canal. Deep seeds should always be removed by a vet and never left to work their way out by themselves.
To soothe the dog temporarily, simply use the olive/mineral oil but be ready for the imminent shake the minute you put it in! A pipette or small turkey baster is ideal for this job but please make sure the contents are dropped in carefully rather than squirted in under pressure.
N.B. It is worth remembering that if your dog shakes his head, it may be that he is suffering with ear mites rather than simply having a foreign body in the ear canal.
Ear Mites: http://rhodes-2-safety.co.uk/?p=1047