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11 Ways to Treat & Prevent Ear Infections in Chihuahuas

Written by: Arlene Divina
Arlene Divina, one of the content writers at IHD, loves going on adventures with her adorable fur baby. She now creates informative content for pet parents. Read more
| Published on June 1, 2023

As a Chihuahua owner, the health and well-being of your small, affectionate, and lively companion is a top priority. One common health issue for these dogs is ear infections, particularly because their prominent, erect ears are susceptible to bacteria and yeast. This article will guide you through 11 effective ways to treat and prevent ear infections in Chihuahuas. We will also delve into the significance of Omega-3 fatty acids in their diet.

iHeartDogs is reader supported. Some of the links below may be paid affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on a product at no additional cost to you. 

1. Regular Ear Cleaning

Just like other breeds, Chihuahuas benefit from regular ear cleaning. Aim to clean their ears once a week using a vet-approved ear cleaner, gently wiping out debris and excess wax. Be sure never to insert anything into the ear canal.

Our favorite ear cleaner is these PetMD brand ear wipes on Amazon. 

2. Keep Ears Dry

While not typically water dogs, any moisture trapped in your Chihuahua’s ears can increase the risk of infection. Always dry your dog’s ears thoroughly after baths or any exposure to water.

3. Regular Vet Check-ups

Regular veterinary visits enable early detection of potential ear infections. During these visits, the vet can professionally clean your Chihuahua’s ears and suggest preventive measures.

4. Balanced Diet

A well-rounded diet goes a long way in boosting the immune system of your Chihuahua. This strengthens their ability to fight off bacteria and yeast, thus reducing the risk of ear infections. Omega-3 fatty acids play an important role in maintaining overall ear health.

5. Omega-3 Supplements

Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to be highly beneficial in combating allergies, a common trigger of ear infections. By reducing inflammation, decreasing itching, and bolstering the immune response, Omega-3s can help keep infections at bay.

We’re fans of this Norwegian salmon oil on Amazon. It’s a bright orangish-pink color and has no fishy smell at all due to it’s ultra high purity.

6. Allergen Avoidance

Being observant of potential allergens is critical. If your Chihuahua starts scratching or shaking their head excessively after exposure to certain environments or foods, you might be dealing with an allergy. Identifying and eliminating these allergens can significantly decrease ear infection occurrences.

A few good supplements to help your dog’s allergies are apple cider vinegar, quercetin, and colostrum, all of which are found in many natural allergy supplements like this one. 

7. Topical Treatments

Topical treatments, such as those containing hydrocortisone, can provide relief from minor ear infections by reducing inflammation and itchiness. However, always consult with your vet before applying any medication.

8. Oral Antibiotics

In more severe cases, oral antibiotics might be necessary. They are typically administered for a few weeks, and it’s important to complete the full course even if symptoms disappear, ensuring the infection is entirely eradicated.

9. Surgery

In recurrent or severe cases, surgical intervention may be necessary. A procedure like a Total Ear Canal Ablation (TECA) can provide a permanent solution.

10. Regular Exercise

Regular exercise helps maintain a strong immune system. A well-exercised Chihuahua is less likely to develop infections due to enhanced blood circulation, which benefits the overall ear environment.

11. Preventive Medications

Your vet might suggest specific preventive medications to keep ear infections at bay, particularly if your Chihuahua has a history of recurring infections.

We’ll now answer some frequently asked questions about Chihuahuas and ear infections.

FAQs

1. What are the symptoms of ear infections in Chihuahuas? Signs include excessive head shaking, scratching at the ears, redness, swelling, a foul smell, and sometimes, discharge.

2. Can Chihuahuas suffer from chronic ear infections? Yes. If not properly treated, or if the underlying cause isn’t addressed, ear infections can become chronic in Chihuahuas.

3. Are certain Chihuahuas more prone to ear infections? Yes, Chihuahuas with allergies or those who frequently get their ears wet might be more prone to ear infections.

4. How often should I clean my Chihuahua’s ears? Aiming for once a week is advisable. However, you may need to clean more frequently if your Chihuahua has recurring infections or gets their ears wet often.

5. What should I avoid when cleaning my Chihuahua’s ears? Avoid using cotton swabs, which can push debris further into the ear, and avoid using alcohol or vinegar, which can cause irritation.

6. Can diet help prevent ear infections in Chihuahuas? Absolutely! A balanced diet, particularly one rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, can help boost your Chihuahua’s immune system and lessen the risk of ear infections.

7. How are allergies linked to ear infections? Allergies can cause inflammation and excess wax production in the ear, creating an ideal environment for infections.

8. Can Omega-3 supplements cure ear infections? Omega-3 supplements can aid in prevention and recovery, but they cannot replace a vet’s prescribed treatment for existing infections.

9. When should I consult a vet if I suspect an ear infection? You should consult your vet immediately if you suspect an ear infection. Early treatment is vital to prevent complications.

10. Is surgery common for ear infections in Chihuahuas? Surgery is typically the last resort, generally recommended for severe or recurring infections that do not respond to other treatments.

In conclusion, taking care of a Chihuahua’s ears requires regular attention and care. Regular ear cleaning, inclusion of Omega-3 in their diet, and routine vet check-ups are fundamental steps to prevent ear infections. Remember, a healthy Chihuahua is a happy Chihuahua!

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