russian river

Buster’s Vision Education Tool

Battle of the Dog Ear Infection

By Bobbi Evenson, Founder for Buster’s Vision & Proud to be an Animal Advocate

Dog Ear Infection

Share this Post

Spoiler alert. Dog ear infection on Russian River trip.

Don’t spoil your vacation. Always be prepared for the unexpected.

Book peak season reservation for canoe rental or campground or you will be “Up the Creek Without a Paddle.” No pun intended.

The Russian River is very wide at the mouth and shallow around the villages. Most people inner tube down the river or rent canoes or kayaks where the river water is shallow and with no motorboats. It’s absolutely stunning to see the beautiful vistas.  There are flocks of Golden or Bald Eagles, among other wildlife. Kepler and Galileo (my fur-babies) are in awe of the amazing birds. 

If you are an over-protective dog parent, like me. It may be a good opportunity to invest in a life jacket for your fur-buddy. Especially if they tire easily from swimming a long distance. I would ONLY use a life jacket for a dog when the river is low and NO rapids. You can do your research on dog drownings in river rapids and oceans. This is serious business. Do NOT put your pet at risk.

Down The River, We Go

Imagine two active water dogs seated in a canoe. Good luck with that notion. Good news. There are numerous beautiful beaches along the Russian River. The beaches give easy access for dogs to get in and out of the canoe. You can also take breaks, enjoy the natural scenery, and have a wonderful picnic lunch. The Russian River peak season weather can be extreme heat for a pet and a canoe trip is NOT advisable. Many rivers can have deadly algae to a pet. Always do your research prior to booking a vacation on the river to protect your fur-baby.

Paw-Some Vacation Goes Bad On Last Day

My dog Kepler is crazy about the water; you can’t keep him out. He absolutely loves to swim and he’s a real show off with people and kids. Sometimes I think my dogs are more human than canine. They prefer to be around people than other animals. Kepler literally swims circles around the people and children. It’s ridiculously fun to watch. He blends in so well.  People and kids don’t seem to notice Kepler until they bump into each other. It really is some funny stuff.

I noticed the last day of our vacation, Kepler ears were totally infected. The glands behind his ears were swollen and his fur was chaffed with globs of dried blood behind and under his ears. We packed our bags and prepared to set off to our family vet. It was unbelievable.  Kepler crawled under the car. He was not the least bit bothered with his ear infections. I naturally was freaking out. I couldn’t even coax his with yummy dog treats. He made a mad dash to the water. With great effort we eventually we got him into the car.

Otitis (Swimmer’s Ear)

Otitis is a general term for inflammation or infection of the ear, in both humans and animals. It is subdivided into the following: Otitis externa, external otitis, or “swimmer’s ear” involves the outer ear and ear canal.

Symptoms for Pet Ear Infection
  • Smelly and/or itchy pet ears.
  • Pets will constantly paw at their ears or shake their head for relief.
  • Visible yucky, black and yellow substance inside of the ear.
  • Scaly skin inside the ear. Severe cases: Dried blood on fur and skin under and around the ear. (The dried blood on dark colored dog’s fur coat is not totally visible unless you are up close or notice the swelling first. So don’t feel bad or panic if you don’t see right away.)
  • Painful to the touch.
Prevention and Treatment for Pet Ear Infection

Invest in an ear cleaning solution prescribed by a vet. Follow instructions on the bottle of solution to clean out pet ears. Use regularly as prescribe to prevent ear infections. (Always travel with pet ear cleaning solution for beach and river trips.) The healing process will take due course. Follow your vet’s instructions for aftercare. Do a follow up vet visit if needed for chronic pet ear infection.

Always be mindful of your fur-buddy’s behavior. They can’t talk to you like a child. If you are in tune with your pet, you will know immediately when something is wrong.