One of the signatures of the Chihuahua look is big ears on a tiny body. Chihuahua’s ears are like satellites turning and twisting on a constant lookout for sounds and voices. They rely a lot on hearing to judge what’s going on around them so having good healthy ears is very important to them.
Even though your Chihuahua’s ears are very important to him, there really isn’t anything special you should be doing to take care of them. Wax should slowly come out on its own. The only thing that you will have to do is make sure nothing falls and gets stuck in there – this includes water.
If a problem does come up then most of the time the dog will show clear signs of something being wrong. He will either do it by constantly scratching his ears or rubbing his face against things as if he is trying to get something off him.
When you notice your Chihuahua acting this way, figure out what’s wrong and try to get it treated quickly. Ear problems are some of the most common problems that veterinarians see with their furry patients. Don’t hesitate to make a call and schedule an appointment right away. If there is an infection then it will require medical treatment and letting it go untreated can lead to more pain and further complications.
Common Ear Problems
As you already know, ear problems can be very uncomfortable if not extremely painful for your Chihuahua. It’s not something that you should leave alone and wait to get better on its own. The good news is that it’s not that hard to notice when something is wrong.
Common Symptoms of Ear Problems in Dogs
- Chihuahua will scratch at his ears, particularly the one ear that’s causing pain or discomfort.
- Swelling, redness, tenderness, foul odor or any other signs of infection.
- The dog will be tilting or shaking his head as if trying to shake something off himself.
- Whining while pawing at his head out of frustration.
- Discharge coming out of one or both ears.
There could be multiple different causes for ear problems. Some of them are easily preventable while others are completely out of your control. Understanding what actually caused the problem could help you find the right treatment for it.
Common Causes of Ear Problems
- Water getting in the ear after a bath or a swim
- Kicked up dirt or other foreign object falling in the ear canal and getting stuck
- Bugs making their way in there and not coming out
- Infestation of mites
- Yeast infection
- Allergies from change in food or environment
If you suspect any of these causes might be the reason your Chihuahua is having ear problems, don’t hesitate mentioning them to a vet. Even if they are not the actual causes, the information you give will at least give him an idea of where to start looking.
Treatment for Chihuahua Ear Problems
There is no one size-fits-all type solution for ear problems. Depending on the actual symptoms and cause, different type of treatment will be needed to solve the issue.
If there are obvious signs of an infection then the infection will need to be treated first. This will be done with either topical or oral antibiotics depending on the situation. Sometimes that will be enough, other times it might not. If it was a foreign object that cause the infection and it’s still left behind then it will need to be removed to make sure it doesn’t cause any more problems.
If no infection is present and your Chihuahua doesn’t seem to be in pain but instead feels discomfort then cleaning out the ear could be the only thing he needs. Usually it’s enough to get out dirt or wax buildup that has settled in the ear canal that’s causing discomfort.
Allergic reactions can be treated by figuring out what the Chihuahua is allergic to and removing it from your his environment. If it’s something that can’t be completely eliminated then anti-allergy medication will be prescribed.
Whatever the cure is for your particular problem, you should always follow through with it according to the instructions giving by the vet. Stopping treatment too soon might cure some of the symptoms that can make it look like the problem is gone, but if it is an infection or a mite infestation it can come back if it wasn’t completely eliminated.
For your regular grooming routine, you should only clean your Chihuahua’s outer ear flap and leave the ear canal alone. That should only be cleaned if your dog is constantly scratching his ears as if something is in there and it’s not infected.
You can easily clean the outer ear with a clean and slightly damp towel/paper towel/cotton strip and just wipe from the inside out. That way you will be pulling the dirt out of the ear instead of pushing it further in. After you clean each ear, take a quick look to make sure everything is normal.
Cleaning the ear canal
I highly suggest you ask someone with experience to show you exactly what to do first before you try to do it yourself. You don’t want to cause damage to the ear drum by accident and permanently damage the dog’s hearing. Next time you take your Chihuahua to the vet, ask the vet to show you what to do.
Basically you will fill the Chihuahua’s ear with a special ear cleaning solution and massage the ear canal to loosen debris or wax build up and clean it all off with cotton balls or strips. Of course you won’t be able to get everything out, but your dog will instinctually want to shake out anything that’s left behind.
Important thing to note is that you should never use q-tips. They can easily cause damage since they are not designed for dog ears. Some would even argue that humans shouldn’t use them either, but human ears are not what we are here to learn about.
Chihuahua Ear Care Q&A
Here are a few common questions that I get asked regarding this topic
Q: My Chihuahua always wants me to scratch his ear, should I be worried?
A: Most of the time it’s nothing serious. It’s just a spot that most dogs like to get scratched. Unless your dog repeatedly keeps showing discomfort in that same ear or if any signs of an infection are present, I wouldn’t worry about it.
Q: Can I use alcohol/shampoos/soap to clean my dog’s ear canal?
A: No you cannot. Make sure you only use a cleaning solution that is specifically designed for this purpose. If you’re going to use anything, check with a veterinarian first to make sure it’s ok.
Q: Why is my Chihuahua always scratching his ears?
A: It would be impossible to diagnose the problem over the internet. If there are no obvious signs of infection and the itch never goes away then you should ask a vet about it, they can run some tests to find out the cause.
Q: There is a brown discharge coming out of my dog’s ear and none of the mite killing products are working. What should I do?
A: Ear mites usually only show up in dogs when they are young puppies. After they reach adulthood, ear mites are not as common. The brown discharge could be a yeast infection. You should really see a veterinarian since they can do tests to find out what exactly is bothering your pup.