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Moisture in the ears

Moisture in the ears

If you have a dog who loves to swim or a dog with extra furry ears, a problem you might encounter is moisture buildup in their ear canals. There are some dogs who don’t ever swim, hate to bath who are still prone to moisture buildup due to heredity.

The problem with said moisture is, it can be a breeding ground for a wealth of yeast and bacteria. This buildup of yeast and bacteria can cause an ear infection. Ear infections in our pets can also be caused by mites and allergies they might be plagued with.

Moisture buildup and allergies can also present a third problem. From excess scratching, flapping and rubbing they can weaken the main vein in the pinna/ear flap causing a hematoma. (blood filled pocket)

If an umpire were to judge the dog it would go like this.

Strike 1: Moisture buildup

Strike 2: Infection

Strike 3: Hematoma  

Yoooooooooooooou’re OUT!!!

If you notice your pup excessively rubbing and scratching at the ear, always see your Veterinarian (Umpire) as soon as possible to see if you are at a “Strike 1” or “Strike 2” status.

If you are prescribed antibacterial or antifungal drops for a “Strike 2” situation, you will find it hard to keep the drops in your dog’s ear as they want to shake them out immediately. No Flap Ear Wrap can help keep the drops in the ear canal to let them do their work. We suggest you put the drops in, quickly attach the wrap and remove it after 15-30 minutes. (whatever your Veterinarian suggests) Also if your dog has an abundance of hair in the ear canal, removing it also helps air flow. You, your Vet, or a good groomer can help with periodic hair removal.

A hematoma (Strike 3) due to strikes 1 + 2 is a double-edged sword.  You need to stop the flapping so the broken vein will quit forcing blood into the pinna/ear flap causing it to literally balloon out.  The ears also need to air out due to the moisture that started the whole thing. The only way to stop the flapping is to keep the ear immobile. The way to keep them static is to wrap them. Wrapping them with a stick to itself gauze type product might work, but the moisture still has no escape. And, nine times out of ten, the pup can unwrap it record time. It can be a vicious cycle.

We have found that you can either get your Veterinarian to prescribe powder such as one called Neo-Predef or as some of our customers have tipped us off to, a calamine based powder called Monkey Butt for ladies (cut with cornstarch not talc)  and one called Miracle Care R-7 powder. An alternative to putting powder in the ear canal is to simply roll a large cotton ball in the powder of your choice, using our NFEW, simply place the powder covered ball at the top of the ear canal (don’t insert it into the canal) and attach the wrap. This should be done at least four times per day to wick the moisture away.

Keep SAFE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"Mean Seeds"

"Mean Seeds"

When it comes to our pets, we want them to enjoy nature, but we also need to protect them from parts of it.  

“Mean seeds” include awns, Canadian wild rye, cheat grass, downy brome, foxtail barley, June grass, timothy and many others. These seeds are designed to burrow into hard soil. This would also include any of the grass burr and sticker burr family as they are the obnoxious cousins of the “Mean seed” family. Here at No Flap Ear Wrap, we have many customers who buy our wraps to specifically protect the ears from these heartless seeds.

These “Mean Seeds” and other family members, all carry boarding passes and view everything else as a party bus to their next destination. They attach to soft clothing, hair, fur etc.

Where they can attach to your pet, they can also permeate the skin and travel under the tissue. As an example, should one attach to the fur around your pet’s paws, it can then permeate the tissue and travel exiting the elbow causing pain and destruction the whole way. 

Where most pets don’t have apposing thumbs, they cannot hold a brush, comb or operate tweezers. (barring the ape family, opossums, the panda family, some frogs and reptiles, and maybe raccoons) It is up to us as their caretakers to check them thoroughly after they come inside after a day of romping and rollicking.

Our pets are at risk all over their bodies. Especially the eyes, ears, nose, throat. These are the most vulnerable ports of entry for the “Mean seeds”. They board some of these areas while the pets are sniffing their way through the brush. If a pet is running and panting, they board the inhaled breath and attach to the throat.

Our suggestions to prevent these “Mean seeds” from boarding are:

Avoid walking your pet or letting them run through dry weeded areas.

For the pets with longer curlier fur, have your groomer give them a field cut just before the grass seeding season.

Check them over thoroughly after they have been out of doors for anything that may have attached to them. If they are rubbing or scratching a particular spot even after you have checked, check again. If you are not sure, check with your Veterinarian.

The Denim and Pinpoint Mesh No Flap™ Ear Wraps are excellent choices and provide protection for the ears. Denim is our most robust and hardy material. Pinpoint Mesh is our most lightweight and breathable fabric. If your pup loves the outdoors and lives in a climate that is warm and humid the Pinpoint Mesh would be the best option.

Ugh! The nasty hematoma.

Ugh! The nasty hematoma.

An aural hematoma or ear hematoma is broken blood vessel in the ear that bursts and a pool of blood then collects between the skin and the cartilage of a dog’s ear flap. It's typically caused by overly aggressive ear scratching or head shaking that results from an ear/yeast infection. A foreign material like grass, a tick, or a playful or sometimes not so playful bite from another dog can also cause this kind of painful untimely injury.

Treatment of a hematoma can vary, depending on the individual dog’s health circumstances, your healing preference and budget. Your veterinarians recommended healing plan and their preferred personal preference of procedure can vary from other veterinarians. Whether you proceed with healing a hematoma naturally, with aspiration (draining of the hematoma), or surgery, it’s critical that the affected ear stays immobile and unable to flap during healing. One hard shake and it’s back to square one, even if they have had surgery to correct a hematoma another one can reoccur above or below the surgical site.

Choices for healing and recovery in the past have been bandaging and the Elizabethan cone. While we agree that the Elizabethan Cone most certainly has its merits, wearing one for longer healing can be stressful, bandages can be escapable, even the stickiest of bandages, ears can flap which will result in regressed healing or possibly the need to redo surgery.

Following assessment and possibly treatment by your veterinarian, your dog will most likely have its ear inverted and taped to the top of his or her head. This is followed by more tape, gauze and more tape to hold the gauze in place. (Did anyone notice how many times the word tape was just used?) Some of this tape sticks to the poor pups’ fur and skin. Now stop and imagine someone folding your ear down and taping all around your head to keep it in place. When getting a re-check of the damaged ear, if the tape is still in place it must be cut and pulled off the dog. This can pull out a lot of fur at times and be painful. If the bothersome area does not meet the healing standards, the taping process is repeated. This can go on for sometimes weeks. Tight bandaging, gauze and tape is very restrictive, there is little to no air circulation. The point of all the tape and wrap is to keep the ear immobile. This will stop the blood flow to the ear flap.

With our wrap, your dog’s ear can be left down in a natural position, no tape, easy access and they are not trapped 24/7 in a tight, sticky bandage. You can safely monitor the ear, keeping the collar on, simply undo the chin Velcro, assess healing and then reattach chin Velcro. Your dog can eat, sleep, play and use the dog door easily while healing.

We highly recommend our Pinpoint Mesh for longer healing plans. It provides the perfect balance of breath-ability, flexibility and durability. If you have a dog with an extremely determined temperament, pairing the mesh with our denim wrap is a great idea! It’s best to have a spare wrap on hand to secure the ears should you need to hand wash and line dry one. For rowdy shenanigans, doggy daycare, partners in crime like dog siblings that will try nibble and pull on the wrap, heavy scratching during healing, use the denim. For restful times, senior pups, dogs with more sensitive skin, we recommend the pinpoint mesh. Rotate the two as needed.