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How to Spot Eye, Nose, and Ear Disorders in Dogs


The most common health issues  – particularly for purebreds – are eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs.  In many instances, early detection is crucial for preventing worse problems in the future.  Here, how to spot eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs will be discussed.

The most common eye, nose, and ear disorders in dogs are undoubtedly ear infections among dogs.  This is especially true for pets with floppy ears or excessive hair growth.  Cocker spaniels, beagles, Labrador retrievers, and Bassett hounds are among the most likely to suffer from frequent ear infections.

The best way to determine whether your dog has an ear illness is to watch his or her behavior.  Excessive head shaking and ear scratching are two telltale signs that your dog’s ears are bothersome.  Next, peer into your dog’s ear with the help of a flashlight.  If the skin appears red and inflamed, an ear infection is likely to blame.  Other signs include ear discharge that is dark in color, as well as a characteristic yeast-like odor.  For severe inner ear infections, your dog might tilt his or her head to one side. Read our review on Burt’s Bees Ear Cleaner.

Purebred dogs are genetically predisposed to developing eye disorders, which is why pet owners should frequently check the health of their pet’s eyes.  First, look for discharge from the eye, particularly near the tear duct.  Some discharge is normal; however, if an excessive amount of “gunk” is observed, or if this discharge is tinted yellow or green, a veterinary appointment should be scheduled.

Additionally, look directly at your dog’s eyes:  do they appear clear, or cloudy?  As your dog ages, cloudiness is normal.  However, if young dogs develop sudden cloudiness they may be experiencing juvenile cataracts.

Also look for any discomfort your dog might be experiencing, such as swelling or redness.  If your pet scratches at his or her eyes excessively you should schedule a veterinary appointment as well.

Among ear, nose, and eye illnesses, nose disorders are least common yet symptoms that affect the nose can be indicative of another problem.  For instance, while some dogs commonly snore (such as brachycephalic breeds), if a dog suddenly begins snoring this can be a sign of a nasal blockage or other respiratory problem.

The skin on your dog’s nose should be moist.  If you observe any broken skin or isolated dry patches, you should consult your veterinarian.  Additionally, nasal discharge, particularly discharge that is thick or tinted yellow or green, is a sign of an infection.  If your dog develops a runny nose with clear mucous, your pet might be experiencing a common cold or the flu.  Your pet should be examined by a veterinarian, particularly if there are other dogs in your household.

While bloody noses are common for humans, they are not common for dogs.  If you ever see that your dog has a bloody nose, seek a veterinarian’s opinion as soon as possible.

Finally, sneezing can be a sign that something is amiss in your pup.  If your dog suddenly develops sneezing fits, you should consult a veterinarian.

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Anna Weber

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