Your springer spaniel's long drooping ears allow him to collect scent while hunting. But those adorably floppy hangers-on also trap water and bacteria, leading to painful ear infections. Routine preventative care will reduce your springer spaniel's chance of infection and improve the overall health of his ears.
Trim the hair around your springer spaniel's ears. Long fur becomes matted with debris, oil and dirt. It also keeps moisture and bacteria near his ear canal, which increases his chance of infection and irritation. Trimming the wavy hair on his floppy ears to an inch or less in length will prevent painful matting and tangles from occurring. The most problematic fur for ear infections, however, grows underneath his ear flap.
Flip his ear inside out and trim the fur growing at the base of his outer ear. A groomer will typically shave the area under his ear flap completely. To avoid poking your pup by accident, always use a small pair of grooming scissors when trimming anywhere near his ears.
Rinse your springer spaniel's ears at least once a week with an ear cleansing solution that will dry up any excess moisture hiding inside his ears. Squeeze a few drops of cleanser into his ear canal, hold the flap down, and distribute the solution by massaging the base of his ear for 15 seconds before allowing him to shake. Fold open his ear flap to inspect the inside. If you don't find any wax or buildup, leave his ear folded open until it dries. Repeat the process one week later. Visible wax or discharge requires a more thorough cleaning.
Remove wax buildup by wiping a clean cotton ball over the grooved cartilage of your springer spaniel's outer ear. Replace and discard the cotton balls as necessary to avoid spreading the wax around his ear. Never insert a cotton ball or cotton swab inside your springer spaniel's ear canal. Doing so can puncture his ear drum and permanently damage his hearing.
- Clean your springer spaniel's ears whenever he goes swimming or even runs through swampy land. His long ears attract moisture and dirt, and leaving them dirty increases his risk of infection.
- To block out water, place a large cotton ball inside your dog's outer ears before giving him a bath.
- Improve air circulation for your springer spaniel's inner ears by flipping his ear flaps over his head after every cleaning or bath.
- Seek veterinary attention immediately if your springer spaniel displays any of the following signs of an ear infection: foul-smelling ears, red, swollen cartilage, constant scratching, or yelping when you touch his ears.
Christina Bednarz Schnell began writing full-time in 2010. Her areas of expertise include child development and behavior, medical conditions and pet health. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international relations.