Common Ear Ailments In Chihuahuas
Chihuahuas have the loveliest ears, soft and silky, perky and up-right. The fact that their ears are erect does work in their favour when it comes to chihuahua ear health. They suffer fewer problems than dogs with folded ears.
Chihuahua ears are also incredible, like satellites they can pick up on movements and sounds from far away and always know when the treats are coming out.
Chihuahuas can suffer from a range of ear complaints. An ear infection can make their life miserable. Here are some of the common ear problems and how maintain good chihuahua ear health.
A common ear ailment in chihuahuas is an ear infection. These are caused by bacteria or yeast reproducing in the ear canal which can occur when water, mites, wax or hair gets stuck in the ear, it can also occur from allergens in the environment or from food.
You’ll see if your pup is suffering from these if they repeatedly and forcefully shake their head or persistently scratch at the ear, often until it is raw. Other signs of an ear infection include;
- Hearing loss
- Whining and unusual behaviour
- Pain when you touch the ear
- Discharge from the ear
- Hot ear, redness or hair loss.
While ear infections can affect all chihuahuas, it is more common in younger dogs and 2-3 times more likely in dogs with fold over ears than erect ears.
To reduce the risk of infection, make sure to blot the ears if they become wet or after a bath with a dry towel and clean the ears if they become visibly dirty with a canine ear cleaning solution. If you believe your chi does have an ear infection, visit the vet for a formal diagnosis.
Dogs ears are clever for protecting their ears with fur, chihuahuas are know for lovely feathering. But occasionally a foreign object can get stuck in the ear canal such as grass or a bug.
This can lead to great discomfort in the dog and can also cause an ear infection. Other symptoms include;
- Swollen ears
- Inflammation of the ear
It is very difficult to prevent this condition from occurring, but if you do suspect this is what your chi dog is suffering from, then it is important to seek a physical examination from the vet as soon as possible.
As your chihuahua may be in a great deal of pain and discomfort, it is important you restrain your pet so they don’t inflict any more injury on themselves or hurt others by lashing out.
Deafness in Chihuahuas
Sadly, deafness is fairly common in chihuahuas as they are one of the breeds that show congenital (from birth) deafness and is more common in dogs with white pigmentation. With respect to humans, most of them tend to lose their hearing capacity at later stages of life and rely on other forms of technology (hearing aids, for instance) to hear adequately. Similarly, in chihuahuas also, deafness can occur later in life from old age, toxicity from certain drugs, trauma, infection, anaesthesia, and an obstruction, such as the build-up of ear wax.
Signs of deafness in chihuahuas:
- Doesn’t wake when there is a loud noise
- Doesn’t respond or looks confused with vocal commands
- Turns the wrong way when you call
- Seems unresponsive to common sounds
- Excessive shaking the head or barking
- Painful ears.
If your chi is deaf from birth or has permanent deafness, then you can use a sign language and cue method to have fun and train your dog. To prevent deafness in later life, it is important to care for and clean the ears regularly.
Make sure you only clean the external ear to avoid wax build-up. It is also a good idea to get your vet to check the ears every time you visit so you can keep your chi’s ears as healthy as possible.
We have more articles on chihuahuas ears in the post, ‘The Ears Have It‘. How to read your chihuahuas mood by his ears.
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