There are many different types of ears in the canine world, but none so troublesome as the lop eared dog. Maltese have a drop, lop or sometimes called a pendant ear, which means the ear leather drops down on the sides of its head. This type of ear carriage is beautiful but must be kept free from moisture for optimal ear health. Maltese are known for their gorgeous flowing long coat, but the inside of a Maltese puppy’s ear can grow some long ear hairs as well! These hairs need to be removed by gently plucking or pulling them out. It sounds awful, but try pulling only a few hairs at a time for the most comfortable way to remove them. Ear powder is helpful for gripping the fine hairs.
As the owner of a Maltese puppy, you want to be sure that the inside of your dogs ears are always dry. Any residual moisture from a bath or playing outside, combined with the heat of their natural body temperature, is a breeding ground for 2 very common canine ear problems. Ear infections and Yeast Infections. You should inspect your Maltese puppy’s ears on a weekly basis to maintain optimal Maltese ear health! The inside of your Maltese puppy’s ear should be a healthy pink & free from debris and dirt.
Some of the problems with a Maltese’ drop ears that you might encounter is ear infections or yeast infections. An ear infection will be warm or tender to touch, have redness, odor, swelling or discharge. Your Maltese may shake its head, rub or scratch the affected ear, whimper or have trouble with balance.
A yeast infection in your dog’s ear may produce odor, as well as a brown, waxy or sticky discharge. Often times, it sounds like there is water in the ear when you manipulate their ear leather. Yeast infections can be common when moisture remains in the ear canal after grooming or when Maltese live in moist climates.
One method for Maltese ear care revolves around a natural cleaner that I have made at home. It has worked wonders for my Maltese as well as my neighbors dogs that have had problematic ears.
Maltese Natural Ear Wash
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 1/8 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 tsp. boric acid powder
- 2 drops of tea tree oil
- 2 drops of DAWN liquid dish soap. (Blue or original formula ).
Shake the ingredients in a jar or container. To apply, saturate a cotton square that has been folded. Place the saturated cotton square in the ear, fold the ear flap down and and gently rub it in a circular motion for about 30 seconds. Use once a day for a week and once a week from this point on to prevent. I usually take a clean cotton square to wipe out any remaining moisture or ear gunk.
Always dry your dogs ears thoroughly before allowing the ear leather to drop down. Never use a hot dryer, always keep the dryer temperature on a lightly warmed temperature.
Another wonderful product for the Maltese Ear care is Zymox. The Zymox Otic HC is an exceptional product for problematic Maltese ears. The Zymox brand also has a line of products that are highly suited for maintaining healthy ears in your Maltese baby.