Frenchies and Ear Health
As a follow-up to the Frenchies and Eye Health home page story we did last fall, here’s some information about Frenchie’s ear health.There are a number of
conditions Frenchies are heir to when it comes to their ears. Deafness is a problem in white and mostly white Frenchies. Thankfully, many breeders recognize that a deaf puppy can grow up to find a loving, dedicated family.
Some dogs aren’t born deaf, but through neglect and untreated ear infections become deaf. The lucky ones come to FBRN and undergo TECA (total ear canal ablation) which removes the “cauliflower” looking growths, like the ones you see in Bohemian’s photo. Following TECA, the ears are usually floppy, like Bohemian’s after pic.
Ear infections can cause dogs to scratch their ears or shake their heads, resulting in hematomas. A hematoma is when blood pools in the ear. Sometimes a Frenchie can survive hematomas with his ears upright, but more often a hematoma will result in a crumply ear, like Hera’s.
Ear infections can be caused by allergies to food, to the environment, or because they are not being cleaned often enough. Since Frenchie ears stick straight up, they catch all kinds of gunk. Frenchie ears should be cleaned once a week. You can get a good ear-cleaning solution from your vet, and while you are there, ask for an ear-cleaning demonstration—proper ear cleaning is different than you might think! Do we have to tell you this? NEVER use a Q-tip type object to clean your dog’s ears!
Another cause for your dog to scratch or shake his head is the horrible foxtail. A foxtail is a seed container with a sharp, barbed end that can embed in the flesh of an animal, and has been known to go so far under the skin that it can kill when an infection forms around it.
Mites and other parasites can cause your dog’s ears to become infected and/or to smell bad.
If your dog’s hair starts to thin or get patchy on the ears or the edge of the skin gets dry and crumbly, a vet visit is in order. Adrenal problems or hormonal changes like hypothyroidism could be the cause.
One last thing to beware of, especially at this time of year: Frostbite. Circulation is not that great to the ears, and if a Frenchie is out too long in cold weather (frankly, most of our Frenchies object to going out in the cold, but there are dogs who surprise us), their ears could be frostbitten and fall off. We are grateful to a woman who recently bought 4 of these perfect hats for some of our frogs. The company added 2. Here are photos of Lakota and Manny sporting their ear-protecting chapeaus from Snorf Industries!
Those adorable bat ears come with a price: Frenchies’ ears are especially prone to infection. From the first week you bring your Frenchie home make it part of your weekend to clean your dog’s ears. And you might want to buy some stock in cotton balls.