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Shih-Tzu Recovers from Ear Infection

My Shih-Tzu, Sandy, recently got over a severe ear infection. Sandy and I like to visit the beach and play fetch into the water. One night while Sandy and I were at home, I noticed she was walking a little funny and would stop to shake her head. I didn’t understand what this meant, and I honestly thought she was just being silly. I watched her for a few more minutes, and she seemed to be back to normal. I brushed it off, and we went to bed.

The next morning Sandy was in fine spirits, but a few hours later, she started doing the head shaking and this time, she would stop every few minutes to scratch at her ears. I didn’t think this was normal, so I lifted her ears and immediately a horrible smell emitted from the inside. As soon as I smelled this, I knew it had to have been an ear infection.

I took Sandy to the vet and sure enough, she was diagnosed with a bacterial ear infection. Because her ears are floppy, the vet told me she likely had some ocean water trapped in her ear canal and couldn’t dry on its own. I was given medical drops and told to clean her ears every day until the medication was finished. I looked up a few ways to clean a dog’s ear, and decided that a warm vinegar compress would do the trick. After about two days of treatment, Sandy’s ears stopped smelling and she didn’t itch as much.

Her treatment time was a total of two weeks, but no symptoms ever showed up after the first 4 days of treatment. I believe this is because her infection wasn’t severe and I paid special attention to keep her ears clean every day. I’m glad I picked up on her odd behavior, or else it could have gotten much worse than it did!

- Harriette and Sandy