The Dutch shepherd is not a very commonly found breed in the United States but there are organizations in America that promote them. They are also not yet an official American Kennel Club registered breed.
The Dutch shepherd originated in the Netherlands and was widely used to herd sheep, which they still do today, along with being excellent guard dogs, trackers, and of course, family pets.
Dogs that are herders or working dogs need excellent hearing and all dogs do possess this.
Not only can your Dutch shepherd and other dogs hear four times as well as you, but they can hear very quiet sounds we humans cannot pick up and some sounds that can be heard by them are in frequencies that encompass a very wide range.
We don’t want ear problems or infections to jeopardize our dog’s hearing, so in this post, we will concentrate on Dutch shepherd ear problems and Dutch shepherd ear problems symptoms along with how to treat dog ear infections from home,
For your dog’s vitamin supplement, foods, toys, or other dogs product please visit the Health Extension website.
Dutch Shepherd Ear Problems and Symptoms
Anatomically speaking, a dog’s ears are quite different from ours. Human ears are on the sides of our head, allowing us to hear noises from the side, while dog’s ears are on the top of their head which enables them to hear in a better range with sounds coming at them from the front and all around.
Some dogs have long floppy ears and can hear almost as well as dogs with top-of-the-head ears, who hear exceptionally well.
Unlike humans, they can hear a sound coming from the left with the left ear and noise from the right with the right ear at the same time.
Dirt and Debris
You may not think about it, but dogs are not as careful as we are about their eyes or ears as they forge ahead into dirt piles, forested areas with sharp twigs and branches, or even in their own yard.
Your Dutch shepherd can end up with dirt, plant matter, twigs, etc., in their ears. Some, like a twig or branch, can damage the ear or eardrum, causing hearing loss. Check your shepherd’s ears after outdoor play and clean if necessary.
An injury to the ear could cause a punctured eardrum and even too much head shaking or scratching can injure the inside or the outside of the ear.
A hematoma can develop, which is a blood blister, or aural hematoma when an injury develops.
Hematomas can be small and although they may look as if they might burst, the blood generally reabsorbs into the body but may take a while.
Usually, you need to do nothing but keep an eye on hematomas. If they are causing pain and discomfort, visit your veterinarian, especially if they are blocking the ear canal. Hematomas may need to be drained.
Parasites like fleas, ticks, or mites can cause ear problems as well as skin issues. Your Dutch shepherd may be allergic to flea bites, which many dogs are, and they cause intense itching including in and around the ears.
Flea shampoos, powders, and drops should eliminate fleas and some also are for ticks. Don’t forget to treat your home if a flea infestation occurs as well as wash your pup’s bedding and toys.
Ticks also can be serious and some can carry Lyme disease, which has shown a drastic uptick in dogs, especially those that spend much time outdoors.
Ticks can make your dog very sick and can even be deadly. As a preventative, use flea and tick collars, pills, or drops, so fleas and ticks don’t become a problem.
Ear mites are very contagious and cause lots of itching. Even if your Dutch shepherd is your only pet, they can still develop ear mites just from being next to an infected dog or cat at the park.
If ear mites are the cause of ear scratching, you must clean your shepherd’s ears and treat them with ear mite treatment drops.
If you do own other pets, all must be treated or they will just continue to pass them around. No need to be squeamish because ear mites are not contagious to humans.
To check your Dutch Shepherds’ health status or their DNA checks, please visit the Embark vet website for all the help you may need.
Dogs can and do suffer from allergies and so can the Dutch shepherd. Allergies can be caused by something in the environment, whether indoor or outdoor such as dust, mold, cleaning products, scented candles or air fresheners, pollen, and grass.
Also, in dogs, allergens may be in the very food they eat, and often times it’s hard to figure out just what ingredient it can be.
Symptoms of both types of allergies
Symptoms of both types of allergies can be similar and may affect other areas of the body as well as the ears.
- Watery eyes
- Itchy, inflamed skin as well as paws and ears, both inside and outside
- Loss of fur due to scratching
- Gastrointestinal issues, vomiting, diarrhea (found with food allergies)
Clearing up allergies involves, first, identifying the allergen that is the trigger and eliminating it if possible.
Using new and all-natural household cleaners is an easy remedy if the cleaner is the culprit, but removing grass and pollen is impossible!
Some treatments for environmental allergies are allergy medication (antihistamines) or immunotherapy (allergy shots). For food allergies, changing your Dutch shepherd’s food should eliminate allergy woes.
The good news for a Dutch shepherd is that floppy-eared dogs like the Labrador and golden retrievers, bloodhounds, basset hounds, beagles, cocker spaniels, poodles, etc.,
are more prone to ear infections. With long ears covering the ear canal, no air circulates, creating a moist, warm environment, perfect for breeding bacteria.
This does not mean that Dutch shepherds or other breeds like the German shepherd with stand-up ears, don’t ever get ear infections.
Everything listed above can cause ear infections from dirt to parasites to allergens which all cause your shepherd to rub and scratch their ears.
This can lead to open sores on the outer ear and an irritated, inflamed inner ear, again, creating an excellent breeding ground for bacteria.
There are two types of ear infections: bacterial and yeast infections.
- Bacterial Ear infection
bacterial ear infection – This is usually caused by the staphylococcus bacteria. They will mostly occur in dogs with an undeveloped or compromised immune system, generally puppies and senior dogs. Bacterial infections are generally treated with antibiotics.
- Yeast Ear infection
yeast ear infection – Yeast infections are another type of infection caused by an overgrowth of the yeast Malassezia, which normally is found in ears, but not in large quantities.
They are treated with antifungal topical creams and ointments (ketoconazole, miconazole).
Yeast infections are common in dogs with floppy ears and those that love to swim as yeast thrives in moist areas.
Symptoms of an ear infection
Symptoms of an ear infection are:
- Rubbing ear
- Head shaking
- Pain on its own or when touched
- Itchy ear
- Waxy discharge
- Red, inflamed outer or inner ear
- Swelling of the ears
- Scabs or crustiness
- Dark or pus discharge
- The ear is warm to the touch
- Loss of balance
How To Treat Dog Ear infection From Home
Preventing ear problems by cleaning your shepherd’s ears regularly can help you avoid ear infections.
Overcleaning, however, can also cause issues as well, so a happy medium must be found. Having some wax in the ears is normal and necessary.
If your Dutch shepherd plays outdoors a lot, more frequent cleaning may be necessary.
When cleaning your dog’s ears, use an over-the-counter dog ear cleaner, preferably a natural one.
Witch hazel is a good alternative. Wipe on with a cotton ball or gauze. Never stick Q-tips in your pup’s ears. This can cause damage. Be sure to dry their ears well after bathing and swimming.
Some at-home remedies for ear infections are:
- Apple cider vinegar
Use one part apple cider vinegar to one part spring water (filtered). Soak a cotton ball in the solution and wipe the ear.
Use an eyedropper to squeeze some liquid in your dog’s ear, massage, and wipe with a clean cotton ball. This will relieve itching and soothe.
- Green tea
Place two tea bags in 8 ounces of boiling water. Allow cooling to lukewarm. Wipe the ear and use a dropper to flow in the ear. Massage.
Purchase this in liquid form and add five drops to a cup of lukewarm water. Use the same method as above. Calendula has antimicrobial qualities and reduces inflammation and pain
- Oil of oregano
To one-half ounce of aloe vera juice add one drop of oil of oregano. Clean the outer parts of the ear. This essential oil acts as an antibiotic.
- Grapefruit seed extract
This is an antifungal, antiviral, and antibiotic rolled into one. To aloe vera juice add ten drops and clean ears with the solution.
Ear infections can be treated at home, but keep in mind that infections can become severe. Infections can occur in one of three areas of the ear.
Otitis externa is an ear infection of the outer ear and ear canal. Otitis media is an infection of the middle ear that has spread from the outer ear.
Otitis interna is an infection of the very inner ear that can be quite serious and can lead to dizziness and even deafness
If you treat your Dutch shepherd’s ear infection using homeopathic methods and you aren’t seeing any improvement in a few days, take your shepherd to their veterinarian to have their ears checked out.
Even though you may not agree with antibiotic usage, your pup may require this type of medication. Leaving ear infections untreated can lead to paralysis of the face and deafness.
Keeping the lines of communication open with your Dutch shepherd’s veterinarian is good to ensure good health for your shepherd and avoid and/or treat health and ear problems.
Some ear issues and infections can be easily cured at home, but if your pup is still in distress after home treatment, have your veterinarian step in to help.