Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems

One of the main features of the cocker spaniel dog which is its trademark for its beauty is its gorgeous, pendulous ears! They look extremely cute with their ears hanging down, covered with luxuriously soft and silky hair. However, beauty definitely has its own disadvantages and certainly comes with a price.

Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems are a result of the structure of their ears. Their ears hang low and in turn cover their ear canals, a characteristic which unfortunately makes the canal warm and moist and as a result of being covered it becomes a haven for bacteria to grow and thrive. Dearth of required ventilation in their ears hence, leads to many problems.

There are several allergies, being the cornerstone of health problems in cocker spaniels that can lead to ear problems among them. Cocker spaniels are prone to several allergies arising from food, contact with natural and artificial sources, pests and inhalants. Since ears are a sensitive and moist area, the allergies tend to manifest there, resulting in severe inflammation in the skin lining along the ears. Inflammation in turn, increases temperature and humidity and this leads to a vicious cycle of problems that must be treated at its onset.

One of the common Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems arises due to yeast or bacterial infections and is known as ‘Otitis Externa’. The external ear canal gets inflamed and symptoms include sensitivity in the cocker’s ears due to pain, inflammation, constant shaking of the head, constant scratching of the ears and discharge of offensive smelling wax. Mostly the veterinarian prescribes ointments for this kind of infection but this problem should be fixed as prolonged and untreated infections can even lead to loss of hearing.

Ear cankers are another form of Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems and are an inflammation or infection of the ear and auditory canal. They are usually caused due to grass and plant matter and are aggravated by poor air circulation and accumulation of wax in the cocker’s ear. The treatment is given according the diagnosis made by the veterinarian.

Yet another major ear problem among cocker spaniels is an infection due to an infestation by ‘ear mites’, which are similar to crab lice and are extremely contagious among dogs. Symptoms include constant scratching of the ears, shaking of the head and increased waxy residue. One can examine whether there is such infestation by cleaning the dog’s ears and removing excessive wax, wherein the mites leave residue of dried up blood in the ear. This problem can be solved by seeking veterinary help and prescribed medication.

Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems also arise mainly due to the fact that the ears of the cocker are covered with a lot of hair, both from the outside as well as from the inside. Removal of excess hair, just inside the ear opening and by keeping the hair around the entrance to the ear canal trimmed short can really help to provide the necessary ventilation.

It’s advisable also to trim the area underneath the opening to the ear canal and taking the help of a professional groomer can help keep the ears healthy.

Checking the cocker’s ears regularly for excessive foul smelling wax, mites, inflammation, redness and any foreign objects including grass seeds and twigs is important.  Ensuring proper cleanliness and grooming also helps in keeping Cocker Spaniel Ear Problems at bay.