Head, Shoulders, knees and toes - EARS


Owning a Shar Pei is an endurance of love and requires constant pursuit of knowledge about the breed, it really is an education like no other.

The breed are prone to several skin conditions, and with a little insight can be managed very well. However, in all instances, when anything new appears or changes please seek professional veterinary advice.

I could give you a list of issues your fur baby will likely face and possible treatments, but I really think we need to share our experiences so that others new to the breed can learn quickly and identify any issues and take action; prevention is better than cure is the philosophy.

In this light, please take a moment to join a specialist group online, that specialize in Shar Pei Health, Nutrition and Behaviour, with some members caring for this breed for over twenty years, their insight and experience is invaluable.

Shar Pei have narrow ear canals, often called stenotic, which are exceptional more narrow than other dogs, resulting in air unable to circulate, often leading to ear infections both bacterial and more commonly yeast. This can lead to chronic inflammation and may in time need surgery.

Knowing this, the best thing you can do is develop an ear cleaning routine which is more preventative, and will save you money in vet bills if left to chance, and result in a happier healthier puppy.

My suggestion is to play with your new puppy's ear flaps and give massages around the ear area, paying attention just below the flap. This will get them uses to being touched and reduce the chance of having a fear response when drops and ear washes are introduced.

Please find a good ear treatment, one that is in drop form which can be given a couple times a week, and an ear flush, which should be used once a week.

Our Blue Pei was touch sensitive from the day we picked him up, and has suffered terribly with recurring ear infections resulting is us having to pay for him to be sedated for treatment several times due to his fear and anxiety. It has taken us until he was 20 moths old to get him to trust us not to hurt him, and even though he doesn't like it, we now have a routine, that he can cope with and has drastically reduced his need for clinical intervention.

We started with cotton balls soaked in a liquid that is usually an enzymatic solution that we then massaged into his ears releasing the liquid into his canals, then wiping the entrance or external ear canal removing any debris collected there. We then built up slowly to him allowing us to use drops with an appropriate shaped nozzle, which when he sees sends him running but with positive reinforcements and plenty of praise, we can then administer.

How to identify an ear infection

  1. Lift flap of ear up and look inside. Do you see any sticky brown substance inside?

  2. Smell your dogs ears, yeast infections have a distinct musty smell.

  3. Look at your dog head on, is one ear dropping lower than the other?

  4. When it has gotten really bad, your dog will constantly be shaking their head, and scratching at their ears, sometimes causing bald spots and sores.

Again, in all instances, when anything new appears or changes please seek professional veterinary advice.

#pethealth #athome

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