Do you own a Dogue de Bordeaux? Yes? I guarantee you will encounter this issue at one point or another. In fact, for some folks Dogue de Bordeaux ear infections are a chronic problem. Unfortunately, Dogues de Bordeaux are prone to this condition. Why?
- The canine ear canal is mostly vertical and shaped like an L (unlike a human ear canal that is horizontal). Consequently, the canal easily traps debris and moisture.
- Dogues have non-erect, dropped ears. Lack of air circulation provides favorable conditions for bacterial growth.
- Dogues are incredibly susceptible to allergies, especially food allergies. Allergies in canines will manifest itself on the skin, the anal-glands, as well as in the ears.
The most common causes of Dogue de Bordeaux ear infections are yeast or bacteria accumulation, moisture in the ear from recent bathing or swimming, allergies, wax buildup, improper/excessive cleaning of the ear, fleas, or ear mites.
External otitis (infection of the ear canal) is not difficult to spot in your Dogue de Bordeaux. Signs of a bacterial infection include more than usual head-shaking, scratching of the ear, rubbing the ear against furniture, and tilting his head down on the painful side. Look for:
- Possible swelling of the skin folds
- A waxy discharge with an abnormal odor.
Yeast infections in your Dogue de Bordeaux’s ears have many of the same characteristics as bacterial ear infections, but are characterized by itching and flaking as well. Most yeast infections happen as a secondary infection. They set in following primary bacterial infections or other conditions, such as allergies.
Suspect ear mites if your Dogue de Bordeaux is constantly scratching at his ears, and if you find a brown substance resembling coffee grounds inside his ears.
Fleas. Pretty self explanatory. When fleas are present at the same time as an ear infection treat them simultaneously.
It is extremely important to begin treatment immediately. Not only is this a painful condition for your baby, but the longer the infection is allowed to progress the harder it is to treat. External ear infections will progress to the middle and inner ear. In severe cases hearing could be affected.
Treat for ear mites with a parasiticide containing thiabendazole (antifungal), neomycin sulfate (antibiotic), and dexamethasone (corticosteroid), like Tresaderm. Use daily for 7–10 days to eradicate mites and eggs. Repeat the treatment two weeks later. Thoroughly clean your Dogue de Bordeaux’s ears first. This will help make the medication more effective. Animals rapidly spread mites between each other. Treat ALL the pets in the house.
Bacterial infections are treated with antibiotics. Usually in the form of an ointment or drops that go directly in the ear. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed in persistent cases. Likewise, yeast infections are fought with antifungal medications.
I have had tremendous success in treating ear infections in my Dogues de Bordeaux using these two solutions:
My go-to product is Zymox OTIC HC 1.0% Enzymatic Solution. Zymox contains enzymes that have been tested to be antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral. This is an over the counter medication available online from sites like Walmart or Amazon.
Use once a day for 5 – 7 days as directed.
A simple, homemade, inexpensive alternative. This recipe contains a few household ingredients. Mix all of following ingredients in the alcohol bottle and shake:
16 oz bottle Isopropyl Alcohol
4 tbsp Boric Acid Powder
16 drops Gentian Violet 1% Solution
Fill ear with the solution and gently massage for 30 seconds. Wipe away excess. Fill a second time and wipe away excess without massaging.
Use twice daily for the first two weeks. Once a day for the next two weeks. Once per month thereafter.
Tip: The violet will stain. I recommend treating the ear with this solution OUTSIDE.
This solution requires more time and effort. No big deal if you have just one fur baby. Although, when you have kids or a pack of dogs to keep after it may be a bit difficult to stay on top of it. For that reason alone, I find I prefer the Zymox.
If your Dogue de Bordeaux is afflicted with recurring ear infections, it is likely a food allergy is the culprit. The best way to diagnose a food allergy is though an elimination diet. Or, if you can, I recommend transitioning to raw. It takes at least 8 weeks for all food products to be eliminated from your Dogue de Bordeaux’s digestive system. For this reason, the elimination diet will need to be fed for at least as long as it will take to make sure all of his original diet is out of his system.
Once his original diet is out of his system, the new diet will have a chance to demonstrate whether it is effective in eliminating the symptoms of the food allergy. The elimination diet should be fed until your Dogue’s allergy symptoms go away. Many dogs will start to experience symptom relief within four to six weeks of eating the elimination diet, but some dogs may take much longer to respond.
Keep your Dogue de Bordeaux’s ears clean and dry. Check them regularly, at least a couple of times each week. Additionally, do not overdo it with the ear cleansers. Especially when your Dogue de Bordeaux is not having any problems. Just wipe the ear clean and dry with a cotton ball or baby wipe.
***DISCLAIMER – The photos in this post are purchased stock images and are NOT my own personal Dogues***