When I was in general practice, some of my favorite cases were new puppies as this gave me the opportunity to try to educate people early on regarding some of preventative measures that can be taken in order to control for possible ear and skin problems in the future as well as help their pet be more amenable to certain treatments (e.g. ear flushes).
One of the many consequences of allergies and other diseases such as hypothyroidism can be recurrent ear infections (otitis) or skin infections (pyoderma, bacterial folliculitis, Malassezia (yeast) dermatitis). It is often recommended that once chronic ear problems have been identified that routine ear flushing be performed to help remove debris and infectious organisms from the ear canals, hopefully helping to prevent ear infections. Unfortunately, ear infections are often quite painful, often making it difficult to treat your pet without them always running away from you as you reach for the medications. Playing with your puppy’s ears when they are young and starting a routine ear flushing regimen can be especially helpful later on if your puppy is unfortunate to suffer from ear infections as he or she ages, as they will have become somewhat accustomed to the routine. Additionally, if your puppy is accustomed to manipulation of the ears, otic exams by veterinarians may not be as uncomfortable and stressful. (more…)