Ear cleaning is a regular grooming task for any pet parent, but it’s especially important for Dachshunds.
Doxies have long ears that fold over, essentially sealing the ear canal off. This means they often fall victim to excess wax, parasites, and moisture.
Because of the way their ears hang, it’s not uncommon for Dachshunds to have ear problems.
In this article we’ll discuss why it’s imperative to take extra care of your dog’s ears.
We also share insight as to how to clean a Dachshunds ears, so your furry friend can stay happy, healthy and alert.
All About Dachshund Ear Care
Inside your Dachshunds ears there are two types of healthy cerumen, which is the waxy residue that we’re all familiar with.
Cerumen keeps bacteria and pests out of the ears, while protecting and lubricating the eardrums.
The first type of cerumen has a moist consistency, and the other is dry, flakey, and oily. Both types are important for your Dachshund to maintain, as they each play a vital role in ear health.
It’s crucial both types of cerumen are properly managed and maintained in your Dachshund’s ears. If your pup has too much of cerumen, an infection or other health problems can occur.
Unlike humans who can easily clean their own ears, Dachshund’s need help from their owners.
Never use Q-tips to clean your Dachshund’s ears because you could go too far and damage something. Use a cotton ball instead.
Dachshunds have long, floppy ears that flop around when they run. But with that cuteness comes a detriment.
Since a Dachshund’s ears hang low, air circulation is minimal. When the inside of the ears aren’t receiving enough airflow, moisture can build up causing fungal and bacterial infections.
Fleas and ticks also like to create a safe haven in a Dachshund’s ears since they are dark and retain moisture.
If you don’t keep your Dachshund’s ears cleaned, they can end up being the victim of painful ear infections.
Ear infections can lead to further health problems if not taken care of. If left untreated, an infection in your Dachshund’s ears can lead to swollen lymph nodes, discharge and loss of hearing.
Ear drums can also rupture as a result of neglecting ear care.
How to Clean a Dachshund’s Ears
In order for your Dachshund to have clean, healthy ears, you will need to regularly maintain them.
You should clean your Dachshund’s ears at least monthly and any time they look dirty or smell.
You should check your pup’s ears on a weekly basis, just to ensure that everything is in tip top shape.
Here’s what you should look for:
- The ears should be soft and pink.
- Signs of parasites, including their feces which look like coffee grounds. Small red dots on the ears could indicate bites.
- Any oozing substance or foul smell (such as a cheese or yeast smell) is a sign of infection.
- Dark deposits, which are most likely built up cerumen and can easily be removed.
Now it’s time to clean your Dachshund’s ears.
- Wash the outside ear flap with a clean, damp washcloth.
- Use cotton rounds, or a cotton ball, saturated with a dog ear cleaning solution to clean out the small nooks and crannies of your Dachshund’s ears. Don’t use a Q-tip, as they can push debris and residue back into the ear.
- Avoid pulling too hard on the ear flap, but it’s okay to manipulate it in order to properly clean your Dachshund’s entire ear.
Keeping Your Dachshund’s Ears Clean
Prevention is always cheaper and less painful than treatment, and the same can be said for your Dachshund’s ears.
Check your dog’s ears on a regular basis so you can, hopefully, catch any issues before medical attention is needed.
To keep your Dachshund’s ears clean and healthy, quickly check the state of their ears every week. This can simply be done when your pup is relaxing on your lap.
If you notice anything out of the ordinary, chances are you caught it quickly enough to treat the issue.
If your Dachshund enjoys playing outside or romping around near water, make sure that you completely dry their ears off after the fun.
If you are bathing your Dachshund, avoid getting water into their ears. If you can’t avoid it, after a bath is the perfect time to clean your dog’s ears out with a cotton pad.
Frequently Asked Questions About Dachshund Ear Health
Why do my Dachshund’s ears stink?
The simple answer is – they probably have an infection. Your Dachshund’s ears won’t smell if they are healthy.
If your dog’s ears smell, that’s not normal and should get looked at.
If your dog’s ears smell like cheese or yeast, it is absolutely not normal.
If the smell doesn’t go away with a thorough cleansing, an ear infection is definitely possible, at which point you’ll want to seek veterinary advice.
What is the brown stuff in my dog’s ears?
That brown build up that you’re seeing in your Dachshund’s ears is wax, or the cerumen we talked about above. This substance is normal, but too much of it can cause infection, hearing loss and other issues. It’s best to clean excess cerumen with cotton balls or rounds. You can use them in conjunction with a dog ear cleaning solution.
How can I tell if my Dachshund’s ears need to be cleaned?
Your Dachshund’s ears should be pink and soft. There should not be any sort of odor coming from the ear canal.
Brown or red spots mean your dog should get looked at by the vet.
If you see a lot of brown, gooey build up, it’s time for a good cleaning.
Crusty, flakey residue in the ears is also a sign that your Dachshund’s ears need to be cleaned.
Tiny brown or red spots can indicate there is the presence of a parasite, at which point we suggest seeing your veterinarian.
When should I see a veterinarian about my Dachshund’s ears?
If there’s a rancid odor radiating from your Dachshund’s ears, you can do your best to clean them yourself at home.
If a thorough cleansing doesn’t eliminate the stench, your pup probably has a fungal or bacterial infection. At that point, it’s important to see a veterinarian.
Also if you notice a pest infestation, bites or inflammation, you will want to take your Dachshund to the vet.
If your Dachshund’s ears stink really bad, go to the vet for an exam and medication.
Dachshunds require some extra attention when it comes to keeping their ears healthy.
You should check the ears weekly just to be sure that no foreign objects, pests or substances are making their home in your pup’s protected ear canals.
Remember that if there is a bad smell coming from your dog’s ears, such as a cheesy or yeasty smell, it may be time to see your vet.
About the Author: Through her 17 years of owning and caring for Dachshunds, and almost 10 years researching and writing about them, JW has become a respected expert in the Dachshund community. Read more about her here.