Dog tooth and ear basics

While often overlooked, the teeth and ears are areas of pet care which are essential for the health and well-being of your dog. Indeed, they need regular dental care, as a buildup of tartar can cause inflamed, swollen gums and secondary infection that can lead to serious health problems. Dogs, one to three years old, should have their teeth brushed once a week. Dogs over three years old should have their teeth brushed three times a week.

Use a toothbrush that is made especially for dogs. They have long handles which allow you to brush the dog’s back teeth. And never use human toothpaste – instead use an enzyme toothpaste specifically made for dogs. Additionally, there are specially treated dental cleaning pads which can be wiped over the surface of the dog’s teeth. The enzymes in the pad do the cleaning.

Another important but overlooked area is that of ear care. Dirt and debris in the ear canal can lead to inflammation and infection. Routine ear care, using products which cleanse the ear of debris, help to dry the ear canal and assist in preventing otitis, a chronic inflammation and infection of the external ear canal.

Ear mites are small parasites which can invade your dog’s ears. These mites typically cause a dry, dark brown debris to form in the ears of dogs. Ear mite treatments kill only the adult mites, not the nymphs, (pre-adults). Effective ear mite treatment includes an initial series of treatments to kill the adult mites followed 10 to 14 days later by a second series of treatments to kill the newly matured adults.

Of course, always consult your own veterinarian for specific advice concerning the medical condition or treatment of your own pet or animal.

I would like to thank Dr Rainer Hoerning of Coin for his expert advice on this article.

Whilst on the subject of teeth, a friend of mine ‘Bente’ left his teeth at the side of his bed. When he woke up he found his 6 month old Rottweiller was chewing them!

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