The Breton Spaniel and ear problems: prevention and treatment of otitis

Owner's question:

"Hi! I have a Brittany Spaniel and I noticed that she often shakes her head and rubs her ears. I have read that spaniels can be prone to ear problems. What should I look out for and how can I treat or prevent these problems?"

Vet's detailed answer:

"Hi! You are very right to look after the health of your Breton Spaniel.

Brittany Spaniels, like many other breeds of dogs with long, droopy ears, are indeed more prone to ear problems, such as otitis externa (ear infections).

Ear infections often cause itching, pain, which can cause dogs to shake their heads, rub their ears or have an ear odour.

Excess ear wax, parasites, fungi, bacteria or allergies can cause these problems.

To prevent this, check your dog's ears regularly!

Check for any discolouration, bad smell or visible parasites. Clean his ears with an ear cleaner specifically designed for dogs, but be careful not to damage the inside of the ear!

Avoid bathing too often or getting water in the ears, as moisture can promote ear infections!

If your dog is rubbing his ears on the floor, shaking his head or smelling an unusual odour coming from his ears, make sure you take him to the vet as these could be signs of an ear infection.

The vet will establish the cause of the ear problem and recommend appropriate treatment, which may include topical medication, systemic antibiotics, antifungals, painkillers or allergy treatment.

Ear problems can be common in Brittany Spaniels but can be well managed with proper care and treatment. Always keep an eye on your dog's ears and consult a professional if you notice any changes."