Icelandic Sheepdogs and the treatment of ear infections

Dog owner's question

"Hi! Our Icelandic Sheepdog, Birta, often suffers from ear infections. I have read that the breed is prone to this problem. Is there anything I can do to prevent or at least reduce the frequency?"

Veterinarian's reply

"Hi! First of all, I am sorry to hear that Birta is having these problems. Ear infections are indeed a common problem in Icelandic Sheepdogs, partly due to the anatomy of the breed.

Because of the woolly ears and cold climate, Icelandic Sheepdogs' ears are prone to moisture build-up, which creates an ideal environment for bacterial and fungal infections.

First of all, clean Birta's ears thoroughly and regularly, but only the visible part, don't reach deep into the ears as this can cause injury!

Use a veterinary recommended ear cleaning solution to help remove excess earwax and parasites.

Secondly, keep Birta's ears dry, especially after bathing, swimming or in heavy rain.

Moisture can contribute to ear infections!

Third, diet can also affect the incidence of ear infections.

Some dogs are sensitive to certain foods, which can cause allergic reactions, including ear infections.

Try a hypoallergenic diet for Birta and see if this reduces her ear problems.

If the ear infection still returns, consult your vet as further diagnostic tests or stronger medication may be needed!

Severe or chronic ear infections can cause hearing loss, so it is important to treat the problem as soon as you notice symptoms.

I hope these suggestions help and that Birta finds relief from her ear infection symptoms soon.

Regular veterinary check-ups are essential to keep your dog healthy and that, in the best case, you can treat the problem before it develops.

Sometimes ear infections can be a defensive reaction of the body to an internal problem, such as a hormone imbalance, an immune system disease or even a tumour. So if ear infections are a recurring phenomenon in Birta, it's worth having a thorough internal examination!

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If an ear infection has already developed and symptoms (such as redness, swelling, unpleasant odour, itching, pain or shaking of the dog's head) are present, it is important to consult a vet as soon as possible.

Appropriate treatment often includes anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial components, and sometimes systemic antibiotics or steroids.

Keeping your dog's ears clean and healthy is essential to the overall health of your dog.

A simple routine like weekly ear cleaning can make a surprisingly big difference in the long run.

I wish you and Birta perseverance and lots of love!"