Four Steps to Keep Your Dog’s Ears Healthy

Whether your dog is genetically prone to ear infections or just loves getting in the water, it never hurts to monitor his ears for signs of inflammation. Prevention is the best approach to total ear health. With that in mind, it is important that we know what to look out for and how to care for the ears properly. Here are a few steps you can take to keep your dog’s ears clean and itch-free.

Ear examine by the veterinarian

 

1. Know the Basics

Anatomy – A dog’s ears are quite different than our human ears. Their ear canals form a shape that resembles an upside down horn. This makes it more difficult for debris to get out as it must work its way upward.

Risk Factors – Anatomy alone leaves all breeds at some risk of developing ear inflammation. However, some breeds are more susceptible to ear infections. This can be due to more wax producing cells in the breed, such as in the Labrador Retriever, or a narrower ear canal, as in the case of Chow Chows. Allergies, hypothyroidism, living in a humid environment, parasites, and frequently swimming or bathing can also contribute to ear problems. The best policy is to include ear care as part of your dog’s weekly grooming and watch for signs of trouble so it can be treated right away before it become more serious.

 

2. Watch for Warning Signs

A dog might not be able to talk, but you will know if their ears are bothering them. Ear problems can crop up literally overnight, so don’t delay getting care for your dog if you notice any signs of ear trouble. If you see any of the following symptoms, it is time for a trip to the vet:

  • Frequent scratching or pawing at ears, head shaking or rubbing of ears against a hard surface.
  • Discharge
  • Odor
  • Constant tilting of the head or drooping of the ear downwards.
  • Redness or swelling
  • Crusty skin inside or around the ears.
  • Hair loss around the ears.
  • Excessive dark earwax.

 

3. Talk to Your Vet

When in doubt, your veterinarian is the person you want to talk to. Give them a complete history and then allow a full examination. The vet can take a sample of wax from your dog’s ear to determine if something is wrong and what the proper course of treatment will be. Sometimes minor inflammation just requires a cleaning or two, while full infections may require a prescribed medication to get rid of the issue entirely. Ear infections are quite painful for your dog, and getting relief quickly is the key to treating them successfully.

 

4. Make Ear Cleaning Part of the Grooming Routine

Taking a look inside of your dog’s ears every now and again is a good idea. A gentle ear cleaning whenever they have a bath can be helpful and assist in keeping future problems at bay. Consult with your vet for a mild cleaning solution that would be ideal for your pet. You want a very gentle solution made specifically for ear cleaning and without any alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, or other potentially irritating ingredients. Some cleaning solutions dry the ear canal, some break down ear wax, and others even do both. For a routine cleaning, follow these steps:

  • Have your dog lie down on his side on a comfortable surface, such as his bed, where you can reach him easily.
  • Now open his ear flap (if he has drop ears) and gently insert a few drops of the cleaning solution into the ear canal.
  • Massage the base of your dog’s ear to let the solution move in. If he shows any signs of pain at this point, stop immediately and consult your vet.
  • After a minute or two of massaging let your dog get up to shake it off.
  • Use a large cotton ball (**never use a Q-tip as they could potentially cause damage**) to clean any excess solution or debris out of the ear.
  • Switch sides and repeat.
  • Give him a treat for being such a good dog.
  • Just by knowing what to look out for and by taking a few steps to prevent inflammation you can help your dog spend less time itching and more time enjoying the things they love most.

 

Note: This is a repost written by Lindy Callahan, and published by Divinity’s friends at the Grey Muzzle Organization.

Senior Sunday – Twilight Dogs (La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens)

For this Senior Sunday post we cross the Atlantic Ocean to visit another senior dog sanctuary. This week’s post focus’ on La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens (Twilight – the retirement home for dogs) in La Peyzie, France.

La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens - Logo


 

From the Twilight Dogs (La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens) website

We started Twilight in the summer of 2009, in memory of losing our Kizzy, and needing to find a friend for our elderly but happy retriever, Teg.

It became evident, searching the pounds and refuges, that if you were an old dog, life was not always so good, and your ending might be premature and/or without dignity. So now we offer limited places for elderly dogs who are lost, abandoned or bereaved of their owners.


Seniors have a lot to offer, we just need to be willing to watch, listen, and learn… (Divinity’s Dad, 2012)


 

La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens

La Maison de Retraite pour Les Chiens

 

 

Sunday morning brunch on the terrace

Sunday morning brunch on the terrace

 

 

Time for a Walk

Time for a Walk

 

 

Nap Time

Nap Time

 

 

Everyone Loves Dad

Everyone Loves Dad

 

 

An Old One Gets a Lift from Mom

An Old One Gets a Lift from Mom

 

 

Who's Snoring

Who’s Snoring

 

 

Twilight - A Retirement Home for Dogs

Twilight – A Retirement Home for Dogs

 

 

Twilight Dogs contact links

To learn about all the dogs, that Twilight Dogs, click the following links:

Twilight Dogs Website

Twilight Dogs Facebook

Twilight Dogs Twitter

Twilight Dogs List of all Sanctuary Dogs at Twilight

 

 


 

Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

Senior Sunday – Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary

This weeks Senior Sunday post focus’ on Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary in Missouri Valley, Iowa.

Promise 4 Paws adds to the list of senior sanctuaries I’ve posted on such as Grey Muzzle Rescue & Sanctuary & Retirement, House with a Heart, and Monkeys House.

Promise 4 Paws

 

From the Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary website

Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary is just that…A sanctuary for senior dogs. Our mission is to provide a loving, home-like environment for senior dogs for the remainder of their lives. We continuously strive to keep the dogs’ lives as normal as possible and give them the love they deserve. The first step to achieve that? give them an actual home. when you come to the sanctuary, you won’t see dogs in kennels. you’ll see 20 or so dogs roaming the yard, napping on big, comfy dog beds, chewing on toys and doing everything your typical dog is doing at home.

 


Seniors have a lot to offer, we just need to be willing to watch, listen, and learn… (Divinity’s Dad, 2012)


 

Here are a few of the many residents currently living at Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary.

 

Sara

Sara

Sara is an adorable little min-pin. Those ears crack me up every time I look her way.

To learn more about Sara, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 

Ollie

Ollie

This chucky boy is Ollie! He is one of several chihuahuas taking over the sanctuary. Ollie is younger, but suffers from heart failure. He is very shy at first, but is definitely warming up to his new life. He finally slept in bed with us the other night and was very cuddly. If you stop by the sanctuary, likely you’ll find Ollie hanging out in the kennel, like the picture above. He just likes to check out the action of everyone else. Love him!

To learn more about Ollie, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 

Bubba

Bubba

Bubba is 13 and is full of life. He loves to be outside wandering the yard.

To learn more about Bubba, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 

Riley

Riley

Rile is a  15-year old border collie. She is so sweet. Riley is in the beginning stages of losing both her hearing an vision so she does get started when she’s unknowingly approached, but otherwise, this girl is a happy soul.

To learn more about Riley, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 

Toby

Toby

Toby is the newest member of the family and is currently staying in a temporary foster home until he is healthy enough to come to the sanctuary. Toby is estimated to be around 13-years old. This guy has lived all his life on a chain outdoors. He is very skinny and has a few health concerns we are monitoring, but overall he is a wonderful dog adapting to a new life.

To learn more about Toby, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 

Shelby

Shelby

Miss Shelby is a 12-year old cocker spaniel. Don’t be fooled, this face looks all sweet and innocent, but she loves food and will counter-surf with the best of them to reach your food. Other than this, Shelby is a true lover and is the best to lay with.

To learn more about Shelby, click the link to the Promise 4 PawsSanctuary Dog Page

 


 

Promise 4 Paws contact links

To learn about all the dogs, that Promise 4 Paws has available for adoption, click the following links:

Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary Website

Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary Facebook

Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary Twitter

Promise 4 Paws Senior Dog Sanctuary List of all Sanctuary Dogs

 

 


 

Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

Senior Sunday – Old Dog Haven

This weeks Senior Sunday post focus’ on Old Dog Haven in Lake Stevens, WA.

Old Dog Haven

 


 

From the Old Dog Haven website

Old Dog Haven is a small nonprofit group using a large network of foster homes to provide a loving safe home for abandoned senior dogs in western Washington. When we have room and the means, we take these dogs into our homes. We adopt out those dogs with a reasonable life-expectancy. We care for the rest as members of the family in permanent foster homes (what we call “Final Refuge”) for as long as they have good quality of life. In addition, we try to assist owners in finding new homes for their senior dogs through our website and referrals.

Our Mission

The mission of Old Dog Haven is to provide loving safe homes for senior dogs, age 8 and up, in western Washington, who have been abandoned or will become homeless at this stage of their lives. This may include:

Taking the older dogs into our homes and caring for them as members of the family as long as they have good quality of life, with preference to the oldest dogs including hospice situations;

  • Taking dogs with a reasonable life-expectancy into temporary foster homes and adopting them into a permanent home with people who will devote themselves to the dog;
  • Assisting owners in placing their senior dog into an appropriate new home, without asking for compensation.
  • We intend to keep these dogs as healthy and comfortable as possible by providing excellent veterinary care, without heroic measures intended only to extend life.
  • We are committed to helping these dogs find peace in their last years, regardless of our judgment of the humans who have left them.
Why We Do It

All too many dogs of advanced years find themselves terrified and confused at shelters, where their chances of adoption are almost zero. Others are desperate for a new home because of an owner’s death, a move, owners working much longer hours, trouble with small children in the home, or bad financial circumstances. Many of these dogs are in poor physical condition as well, making them even less appealing to others. Helping them is sometimes challenging, is often expensive, but is very very rewarding. Our goal is that their last years are happy and that they die safe and at peace, knowing they are loved. Wouldn’t we all wish this for our own pets and for ourselves?

 


Seniors have a lot to offer, we just need to be willing to watch, listen, and learn… (Divinity’s Dad, 2012)

Note: Please share this post on your social media so that others can learn about these wonderful senior dogs. It’s the only way to spread the word about these seniors who need homes.


 

Old Dog Haven Dogs – Available for Adoption

Sassafras

Sassafras

Sassafras is a sweet senior lady looking for a new start in life. She is blind, but that doesn’t hinder her curious and exploratory spirit. She
loves investigating the backyard and soaking up sun almost as much as she loves curling up in a lap or in her bed for snuggles and nap time. Sassy is a small poodle. She can live with dogs, cats and respectful children, and she is house trained. Because she is blind, she will need to be carried up/down any stairs in her new home, and protected from accidental falls. She arrived at the shelter with a skin problem and bad teeth, but her skin is almost all cleared up and she’s had a dental (including a few extractions) so her mouth feels much better. Let’s help little Miss Sassy Pants find a forever home to spend her golden years in!

To learn more about Sassafras, click the link to her Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Tito

Tito

This extra-large, extra-smiley boy is Tito! Tito is a Rottweiler-lab mix who is about 9-years old. Tito is looking for a home where he can live out his senior years in comfort. All he needs a comfy bed and yummy treats and he is happy as can be. Tito loves to play with squeaky toys and play tug of war. He also is smart and knows a few commands- he knows “sit”, “down”, and “give paw”! This big boy is also housebroken. Tito needs to be the only pet in the home, as he likes to have all the attention to himself. Tito needs a home (no apartments for this big boy) with a nice big yard so he has room to roam and explore, and he may do best with a fence. He can be a little nervous with strangers and uncomfortable with a lot of activity, so Tito would do best in a quiet home without young kids. If you have the perfect home for this big boy, come in and meet Tito today.

To learn more about Tito, click the link to his Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Angel

Angel

Angel is a 14-year-old, 15-pound, Jack Russell Terrier who found herself at the shelter after her owner passed away. She’s a sweet senior lady who enjoys hanging outside, going on walks and taking time out to smell the roses. Angel is looking for a stable and patient home to live out her sunset years. She would be ideal for someone who is home often and would do best as the only dog in a home with no kids (or older kids who will respect her space). Angel is independent and, although she isn’t much of a cuddler, she enjoys having her neck/back scratched once she has warmed up to you. In her old age, she has trouble seeing and is hard of hearing but still has a spring in her step. Please help Angel enjoy the remaining years of her life and apply to meet her today!

Angel (SAS ID#34973500) is posted for the Seattle Animal Shelter located at 2061 15th Ave W, Seattle WA 98119.

To learn more about Angel, click the link to her Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Rocket

Rocket

Rocket is a 10-year old boy who weighs 14-pounds. Rocket is said to be a Jack Russell Terrier/Chihuahua mix. Isn’t he cute? Not only is Rocket good looking, he’s a very smart, active dog. Rocket needs a home without male dogs or dogs that are bigger than he is. He has not been observed around cats but he has been good with kind children over age 4. Rocket is said to be great on leash and he walks at least a mile a day; he’s ready to be your exercise buddy! In his downtime, Rocket loves to be swaddled in a blanket and held. He loves sleeping in bed a night with his person.

Reportedly Rocket can go quite awhile without needing a potty break. Currently he stays alone for the workday inside his home without any issue. Rocket is a great companion dog who sounds like a lot of fun.

Rocket is waiting in Edmonds, WA., hoping to find his new home very soon.

To learn more about Rocket, click the link to his Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Sally

Sally

Sally is a grande dame in a small package. She obviously has stories to tell, given her rakish ear notch and distinguished gray muzzle, but she’s keeping her secrets and enjoying walks, cuddles, and soaking up the sofa cushions in a foster home. Sally is a 10-year old Rat Terrier. As with any senior dog, she has a few issues — she has the occasional accident in the house and a special diet keeps her skin allergies at bay — but this low-maintenance, easy-going gal will make someone lovely companion for her golden years. While she gets along with people, dogs, and even the resident cat, this mellow yet spry lady deserves a quiet home with someone who will respect her space and the fact that her senses are not what they used to be, so she can startle easily.

Sally (SAS ID#35111651) is a cross post for the Seattle Animal Shelter located at 2061 15th Ave W, Seattle, WA.

To learn more about Sally, click the link to her Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Turbo

Turbo

Turbo sure lives up to his name. He is ready to go and your typical Jack Russell who weighs 14-pounds. He is almost 12-years old. Turbo is very friendly but still a tenacious terrier through and through. He needs his fur-ever home to be cat free with a fully fenced and secure yard. Turbo would do well in an apartment as long as he had a couple LONG walks a day. Even at almost 12-years old this guy has lots of energy Turbo might be a little shy at first but give him a few to warm up and he’ll be your best friend. His fur-ever family should be 13-years and older this includes visiting family.

If you think your home could be this spunky little fellow’s fur-ever home then don’t hesitate to come check him out. He’ll be sure to steal your heart. Turbo has irritated skin right now which is being addressed through a diet upgrade. If you have any other K9 residents, please bring them along for a ride to have a little meet and greet. Turbo can do a little marking at first, but that isn’t anything a little bellyband can’t control; he is otherwise potty trained.

Turbo is a cross post for Camano Animal Shelter Association on Camano Island, WA.

To learn more about Turbo, click the link to his Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Mr. Chips

Mr. Chips

Mr. Chips is an adorable rat terrier mix who is guessed to be about 12-years old. He seems younger now then when he was rescued. A healthy diet, increase in play and activity can certainly do that! Supplements for his joints and muscles have helped greatly with the arthritis he displayed upon arrival to his Rompin Paws Rescue foster home. His fosters hope whomever adopts Mr. Chips will continue the diet and supplements that have helped him do so well.

Mr. Chips is a pretty laid back guy who loves to be close to his humans and follow them wherever they go. He is a happy boy who greets all comers with a wagging tail, wanting to say hello. When his fosters return after a short absence, he likes to be picked up and greet them properly .Mr. Chips is still the quintessential lapdog.

While a happy go lucky guy, there are 5 other dogs in his foster home. He is showing signs of strain as he would really prefer to just be with one other dog or would also do well as an only dog. He does not much like larger dogs or puppies, understandably.

Mr. Chips absolutely loves his daily walks and looks forward to them. He also enjoys going for car rides and looking out the window at the scenery. On cooler days he will find a spot on the rug to lay on where the sun comes through the window.

To learn more about Mr. Chips, click the link to his Old Dog HavenAdoption page

 

Old Dog Haven Dogs – Foster Homes Needed

 

A Pair of Dachshunds

BellaT-Bone

Two 14-year-old dachshunds, male & female, 14-pounds and 9-pounds. One has impaired vision, the other sees just a little bit and has a fatty mass hanging from her chest that we’d hope to remove. They aren’t in bad health otherwise and really want a home together.

To learn more about A Pair of Dachshunds, click the link to their Old Dog HavenODH Homes Needed page

 

Chubby Rottie Boy

Chubby Rottie Boy

Chubby Rottie Boy is a Rottweiler, neutered male, pretty darn fat at 109-pounds. This big guy is very arthritic so limited mobility – won’t handle stairs. He is not aggressive with dogs but is pushy, obnoxious and strong so needs someone experienced in management. Much too interested in cats. If you love this breed he would like to hear from you.

To learn more about Chubby Rottie Boy, click the link to his Old Dog HavenODH Homes Needed page

 


 

Old Dog Haven contact links

To learn about all the dogs, that Old Dog Haven has available for adoption, click the following links:

Old Dog Haven Website

Old Dog Haven Facebook

Old Dog Haven Twitter

Old Dog Haven YouTube

Old Dog HavenAll Adoptable Dogs

Old Dog Haven Dogs Needing Foster Homes

Old Dog Haven Final Refuge Dogs

 

 

 


 

Interactive Map of Senior Dog Rescues, Sanctuaries and Special Programs

Note: This map is presented with kind permission from Senior Pups

Click the “Brackets” on the right-side in the Map Header below to view the full-size map

This is a Hold-Up, Leave all of the Treats on the Floor…

This was posted on Twitter by the Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network and I thought readers of Divinity’s blog would enjoy it themselves.

This is a Hold-Up

 

Note: It was from Col. Potter that I adopted Divinity in May, 2009. Since that day, Col. Potter has rescued many Cairn Terriers, and Cairn Terrier mixes.

 

Col. Potter - Rescue Number

 

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network – Webpage

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network Facebook

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network Twitter

* Col. Potter Cairn Rescue Network All Available Cairn Terriers for Adoption