Jindo Info & Dog Tips

Everything You Never Wanted to Know about Ticks and Your Dog

by Nahnhy (volunteer/supporter/owner of 2 Jindos: Bada, and Bomi)

(April 2021)

I found a total of 3 ticks on Bomi in one week (found one, she had a complete bath and multiple fur checks and 2 days later, found two more). Here is what I learned:Save the tick in rubbing alcohol and take it to your vet. My vet found a tick vector test (mine cost $176) where you send the tick in and it tests for all the diseases immediately. You don’t have to wait the 4 weeks, or have the dog give blood. If the tick is positive for anything, you can start treatment right away.

Doxycycline basically treats most if not all tick borne diseases. So b/c I sent the first tick in, it was negative for everything except lyme, we didn’t send need the other 2 ticks in …. b/c we started treatment immediately for the lyme. And doxy should kill everything else as well.

IDEXX was willing to let my vet send in the other 2 ticks and test them both at the same time for a total of $176. I don’t know if this is because they like my vet or because they are doing the same tests, so might as well do it on both vs one. So if you find multiple ticks, save them all (I kept them in all different containers) and turn them in and if you send them all in at once, see if they are willing to let do multiple tick vector test for the price of one.

“Back in the old days” (when I had my first Jindo), we always started all preventatives in May. Now with global warming (this is my biggest lesson learned), as soon as the weather gets warmer, you have to start immediately, even if it’s in February. Many vets are prescribing year round preventative. I won’t make the same mistake again of waiting.

Even though Bada and Bomi went to the same forest preserve, Bada had 0 ticks. I confirmed w/ the vet tech that ticks don’t like bright/white things….so they avoided Bada. If you hike in the summer, wear white and long sleeves.

IDEXX offers a # of tests. I worked w/ my vet to find the vector one but depending on your location, the types of diseases will vary. The one that tested for the diseases specific to the Midwest was $250 (blood from dog), so the vector one was a better deal financially. (Again, I was only able to opt into this one because I saved the tick in alcohol)
The vet wasn’t even aware the vector test was an option until they started digging around so having a great relationship w/ your vet or a vet tech is a huge help.

The tech told me ticks have a head like a corkscrew, so when you remove it, be careful to get all the bits out, otherwise an infection can start. For me, this is the most worrying part, and I had her checked at the vet the next day to ensure the wound was clean.

10 years and I NEVER had any tick bites on any dog! I adopt Bomi and she has 4 bites in 2 years!!! The first bite occurred while she was wearing the Seresto collar (I do NOT recommend that thing)! Ugh. Always learning.

Sharing this info for any of our colleagues that live in tick infested areas so you can save your money and stress!!

Mental stimulation and enrichment: what is it anyway, and why?

We often talk about ensuring a dog has both sufficient mental and physical stimulation.
Understandably, that can sometimes be a bit confusing.
Here’s an article that goes into more detail about what exactly that can be.

Mental stimulation and enrichment

How we can help if you need to surrender a Jindo

If you have already spent some time reading our website, you will see that we do not have a physical location – we do not have a sanctuary nor a dedicated kennels; we simply cannot take all and every Jindo that is ‘offered’ to us.

We are always full, and rely on the generosity of the general public to open their homes to act as foster families – finding suitable foster homes for Jindos is not an easy process, as I’m sure you’ll understand. And one that has behavioural issues may take longer still. As we are constantly networking a list of Jindos already facing euthanisation in high-kill West Coast shelters, (US bred, born and abandoned – of which the number is staggering), there is no guarantee that we can help you find a new home for your Jindo quickly, but we will certainly try should you need us to. 

What we can do to help, then, is network your Jindo for a new forever home or a foster, (on petfinder, adopt-a-pet, our own website, and facebook), but this may take time, and is of course dependent on your answers to the questions below – please also supply us with at least 3 good quality photos of your Jindo: 

1. Age and weight

2. Spayed/Neutered or not

3. Vaccination status (rabies, DHLPP etc)

4. Being wormed/flea/tick treated monthly?

5. Any medical issues (when did he/she last have a vet check up?)

6. How does he/she behave around men/women/children/strangers/people on the street/other animals

7. Normal daily routine (food/exercise)

8. Indoor or outdoor dog? (or both)

9. Level of training (what commands does he/she know/how does he/she walk on leash/reaction to seeing other dogs when on leash)

10. Any particular likes/dislikes (how is he/she about being handled/petted – any sensitive areas, like ears, feet etc.)

11. How does he/she react to riding in the car/going to the vet/can he/she be lifted 

12. Has he/she ever bitten any other animals/people? If so, what was the severity and was medical action needed?

13. Any separation anxiety issues or other behavioural issues?

14. Where did you obtain the dog from and why are you attempting to rehome the dog now? How long have you owned the dog?

15. Have you contacted any other rescues for assistance?

16. What are the best methods of contact for people interested in either fostering or adopting your dog?

17. Address and zip code of location of dog? (to enable us to list on Petfinder.com)

There is also a new service provided through Adopt-a-pet that you can try which may be helpful in trying to rehome your dog – there is a link to this at the bottom of our Adoption page:


Thank you.

Do you have pet allergies?

Don’t Let Pet Allergies Get You Down

If someone in your home has been diagnosed with allergies by an allergist, carefully consider if you can live with or manage the symptoms. Children may outgrow pet allergies while others are able to manage their symptoms and keep their pet in their home.

The Following Have Proven Effective In Managing Pet Allergies:

  • Minimize contact with the animal and create an area free of pets, such as the bedroom.
  • Vacuum and clean floors, walls, ceilings, and furniture on a weekly basis.
  • Place a high efficiency particulate air purifier (HEPA) in the home, in addition to filters on vents.
  • Enlist the help of non-allergy suffering family members to clean the litterbox and pick up after the pet.
  • Frequently wash clothing and bedding materials, including the pet’s bed.
  • Frequently bathe and groom the family pet.
  • Consider removing dander attracting materials such as upholstered furniture and draperies; replace wall-to-wall carpeting with wood, tile, linoleum, or vinyl flooring that won’t harbor hair and allergen causing molecules.

Additional Treatments For Pet Allergies Include:

  • Immunotherapy (allergy shots)
  • Steroidal and antihistamine nose sprays or medication
  • Or a combination of both approaches

Consult with your physician and/or allergist to determine the best course of action for your family to live happily with your family pet.

Renting successfully with pets

You’ve found a home that accepts pets. Now what? Here are a few tips that can help you be a successful pet tenant that your landlord will love. 

  • · Offer your new landlord the opportunity to visit you after you’ve moved in so they can meet your pet and see how well you keep your current rental unit. 
  • · Try to take a few days off when you move into a new place to help your pet adjust. It’s new for your pet too, and sometimes even the most quiet and calm pets will get anxious in new surroundings and make excessive noise, disturbing the neighbors. It often helps if you can be there to help your pet adjust to the new home. 
  • · Be a good neighbor. Make sure your pets don’t disturb your neighbors, whether it’s with noise, wandering loose or unsightly messes. Remember that your landlord has to deal with complaints and won’t be happy if it keeps happening! 
  • · Be diligent about addressing any concerns your landlord may have. If an issue arises about your pet, make sure you understand what the problem is and take immediate steps to address it. For example, your dog may bark excessively when you first move in as a result of being unsure of the new surroundings. Try another temporary solution (put your dog in a comfy covered crate with bedding, toys, and water; take your dog to a doggy daycare; take a few days off to help your dog adjust…) 

Finding pet friendly housing

Conducting a Successful Housing Search 

As a pet owner, you want to show a prospective landlord that you are a responsible tenant and a responsible pet owner. You want to convince the landlord that it would be a good thing to have you as a tenant! Here are a few things to consider when renting with pets: 

  • Give yourself enough time. No one likes moving, much less finding rental housing that accepts pets. If possible, start your search at least six weeks before you plan to move. 
  • Focus on places that allow most pets. You’re more likely to be successful if you focus on places that allow most pets, allow certain pets (for example, cats or dogs weighing less than 20 pounds), or that don’t say, “Sorry, no pets.” Individual home and condominium owners may be easiest to persuade. 
  • Be prepared with temporary housing plans. You might not be able to find pet-friendly housing right away so have a backup plan in place. Ask a good friend or a family member if they would be willing to care for your pet temporarily until you can find rental housing that allows pets. If you can’t bear the thought of being away from your pet, then stay at short-term pet-friendly accommodations like hotels or even a B&B or a cottage. 
  • Show an interest in cleanliness. Point out that your pet is housetrained or litter-box trained. Emphasize that you properly dispose of your pet’s waste. 
  • Promote yourself. Responsible pet owners make excellent residents. Because they must search harder for a place to live, pet caregivers are more likely to stay put. Lower vacancy rates mean lower costs and fewer headaches for landlords and real estate agents. 
  • Promote your pet. Offer to bring your pet to meet the owner or property manager, or invite the landlord to visit you and your pet in your current home. A freshly groomed, well-behaved pet will speak volumes. 
  • Be willing to pay a little extra. Tell your prospective landlord or resident manager that you are willing to pay an extra security deposit to cover any damages your pet might make to the property. 
  • Get it in writing. Once you have been given permission by a landlord, manager, or condominium committee to have a pet, be sure to get it in writing. Sign a pet addendum to your rental agreement. 
  • Get permission for all types of pets, not just dogs. Sometimes tenants assume that indoor cats or caged pets will automatically be okay because no one else ever sees them. Trouble (and heartache) arises when they’re found to have pets without permission. 
  • Be honest. Don’t try to sneak your pet in to any rental property. If you do so, you may be subject to possible eviction or other legal action. 


When to consider adopting another dog after one has passed

(From Victoria Stilwell’s “Positively”) by Jennifer Kachnic

If you are like most people, you will eventually decide to get another dog after yours has died. This is a personal decision and one that should be made very carefully. The entire family should be involved in deciding the best time to commit to a new relationship. The time frame for this is different for everyone. Bringing a new dog home to the family before everyone is ready can hurt someone by implying that the dog’s death is insignificant. You may feel that you loved your passing dog so much that you can’t bear the thought of bringing another dog into your life and going through the loss again. Give yourself time. Try not to rush into making a decision until you have sorted out your feelings and grieved.

Well-meaning friends and family may encourage you to adopt another dog before you are ready. Resist this. When you see a new pair of yearning eyes looking into yours, you will know when you are ready.

During your time of grief, remember to pay attention to the other animals in the home. They also will be affected by the loss of your senior, as well as by your own grief and stress. They may react in various ways, including exhibiting personality or behavioral changes. This is usually temporary. If you have another dog that is suffering from the loss of his senior friend, try to keep his routine as normal as possible and lavish him with attention at this time.

My experience has shown me that one of the greatest legacies you can give your passing dog is to provide your love and compassion to another dog that so desperately needs it. Some people eventually find comfort in going to a local animal shelter and adopting a homeless senior dog. This should be done with some care. Often, people feel that adopting another dog of the same breed and coloring as the dog that has passed will help them deal with their grief. This is usually a mistake. The second dog is not the first dog, and it is unfair to expect him to be. By choosing another dog that is physically different from your passing dog, you will learn to love and appreciate his unique qualities. If you are not quite sure you are ready for another dog in your life, try fostering an animal through a local animal rescue group.

You will not only provide housing and love to a homeless dog while he is waiting for a permanent home, you will be able to test your own readiness without a long-term commitment. Every dog, especially a senior animal, has so much to offer and will surely enhance and bring joy to your life. If you feel you have grieved and your heart is telling you to open yourself up to another relationship, you are probably ready. For some, there is no better medicine for a hurting heart than the love of another dog, while for others, the best medicine is time.


Jennifer Kachnic, President of The Grey Muzzle Organization and author of Your Dogs Golden Years –Manual for Senior Dog Care

Heartworm basics

Click above to read more from the American Heartworm Society.

Dogs and diarrhea (causes and remedies)

A common problem – here’s a good (long) read for you:
(From The Whole Dog Journal, Sep 2018)

Dog Diarrhea Causes and Remedies
The messy truth about dog diarrhea: diagnosing the cause of s dog’s diarrhea and firming things up can be complicated!
By Catherine Ashe, DVM

All dog owners know the feeling of coming home after a work day and smelling that smell. Uh-oh. Your dog has diarrhea. It’s a pretty common affliction of our canine friends. Now comes the inevitable question: “Should we go to the veterinarian?”
The truth is, much like people, sometimes dogs just get diarrhea. Much as we do not see the doctor for every bout of diarrhea, similarly, dogs do not always need medical attention for a short-lived enteritis (inflammation of the intestines). Often, diarrhea can be managed with at-home therapy and convalescent care.

Why Do Dogs Get Diarrhea?

The causes for acute diarrhea in the absence of other signs are varied and include dietary indiscretion (for example: getting into the garbage), gastrointestinal bacteria including Campylobacter, and GI parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, and protozoal infections. In most cases of acute, self-limiting diarrhea, a cause is never identified.

If your dog seems otherwise normal, and he is currently on monthly parasite preventative medication, then symptomatic treatment at home is appropriate. Usually most diarrhea will run its course within two to four days, although in some cases, it can last longer. If there are any other signs of illness like vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, or pain, a veterinary trip is in order.

At-home treatment for acute diarrhea can include the following: a bland diet such as boiled hamburger or chicken with broth and rice for a few days, a probiotic such as Fortiflora (available only through veterinarians) or an over-the-counter probiotic and frequent walks. Avoid using human remedies such as loperamide, also called Immodium. This medication has an opioid in it, and it is easy to overdose a dog unintentionally.
If your dog continues to do well other than diarrhea, three to four days of at-home treatment is appropriate.

Diarrhea can make anyone sad and miserable, but if your puppy doesn’t respond to symptomatic treatment in a couple of days, or your dog fails to respond within three or four days, it’s time to head to the vet for an examination and testing.

If Your Dog’s Diarrhea Doesn’t Go Away:

If diarrhea doesn’t resolve with treatment, or your dog develops other signs, it is time to seek a veterinarian’s opinion. Diarrhea is considered chronic when it persists for more than three weeks despite treatment.

Diarrhea may seem like a simple problem, but it can actually be very complicated. Your veterinarian will proceed in a stepwise fashion (outlined below) to find the cause:

Thorough Questioning

Your veterinarian will ask a series of questions about your dog’s overall health, diet, vaccine history, and preventive care strategy. He will then ask more in-depth questions about the diarrhea itself. This will help determine what kind of diarrhea is occurring.
Diarrhea can be characterized as small bowel, large bowel, or mixed. In the case of small bowel diarrhea, you may see a normal to increased frequency, small volumes of loose, watery stool that can be tarry or black (representing digested blood). Often, your dog can “hold it” until going outside.

In the case of large bowel diarrhea, there will be an urgency to go. Your dog may not make it outside unless you are paying close attention. There is often mucus covering the stool, and there may be bright red blood as well. Your dog will usually strain for quite some time during or after having a bowel movement.

In some cases, the diarrhea can be mixed small and large, and this can be more difficult to sort out. Your veterinarian will likely ask many questions during this part of the visit.

Head-to-Toe Physical Examination

Next comes a thorough physical examination. Initially, your pet should be weighed. Weight loss is always a concerning sign. The exam will include checking the eyes, mouth, ears, palpating the lymph nodes, listening to the heart and lungs, deep palpation of the abdomen, and a rectal exam.

The rectal exam is the most important part! This will help the veterinarian see what the diarrhea looks like, as well as feel for any problems in the rectal area and descending colon. A temperature should also be checked. If a fever is present, this can help focus your veterinarian’s attention to certain areas such as viruses and bacteria.
Once this is completed, your veterinarian should have a good sense of what type of diarrhea your pet is having, possible causes, diagnostics, and treatment options.

Small Bowel Diarrhea

Generally, veterinarians will start out with conservative diagnostics and treatment for this type of diarrhea. The causes for small bowel diarrhea can be incredibly varied and run the gamut from fairly benign and treatable (parasites) to more serious (Addison’s disease).

Initially, a fecal examination may be the only test conducted. This requires a small sample of stool from your dog. The veterinarian will check this to rule out parasites such as hookworms, roundworms, whipworms, protozoal organisms, and bacterial overgrowth.
Even if your dog is up-to-date on monthly prevention, it is still possible to find breakthrough parasitic infection. This is why a fecal is done. If parasites are found, your veterinarian will treat with an anti-parasiticide like fenbendazole, pyrantel, and/or Albon. He will also discuss environmental control, as these parasites can persist in the soil for long periods of time.

If nothing is found on the fecal, your veterinarian will likely still prescribe a course of the dewormer fenbendazole in case of a false negative fecal. Other treatments at this stage should include a novel protein diet, as your pet may have a dietary sensitivity or allergy. This means switching your dog to a protein and carbohydrate source to which he has no previous exposure. Examples include bison, venison, duck, and kangaroo usually paired with potato, rice, or pea.

At this stage, many veterinarians also prescribe metronidazole (also known as Flagyl). Metronidazole is an antibiotic, but it is also thought to have immunomodulating properties that help calm an inflamed GI tract. Many dogs will have an “antibiotic-responsive” diarrhea that will clear up with this treatment.

With this initial approach, your dog should be back to normal within three to 10 days. If within a week, you are not seeing improvement in your dog’s signs, then your veterinarian will move on to further diagnostics and treatments.

A complete blood count and chemistry analysis should also be run (see “Physical Exams for Senior Dogs”). This will give a global picture of your dog’s health. Significant dehydration, a decrease in protein levels, or changes in your dog’s condition (loss of appetite and/or weight loss) can indicate a more systemic health problem.
If metronidazole is not helping, then Tylosin may be used. Tylosin is another immunomodulating antibiotic that can help with GI inflammation. It may also have a probiotic effect in the gut by increasing the numbers of enterococci bacteria in the small intestine. It is very unpalatable to dogs and cats, and your veterinarian will have this medication compounded, in most cases (or have you place it in their food).
Again, your veterinarian will monitor for around a week. If symptoms do not improve, more advanced testing will be recommended.

A gastrointestinal panel (blood test) must be submitted to an outside laboratory. The veterinarian will likely recommend fasting your dog beforehand. This evaluates levels of vitamins found in the body – particularly cobalamin (vitamin B12) and folate (vitamin B9). Dogs with gastrointestinal disease often display impaired absorption of these critical vitamins. This diagnostic also evaluates trypsin-like immunoreactivity. These tests can indicate whether there is a bacterial overgrowth or a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency.

In the case of bacterial overgrowth, antibiotic therapy may be needed.
Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency is a common disorder of German Shepherd Dogs, as well as other breeds. With this disease, the pancreas does not secrete appropriate digestive enzymes. Treatment is supplementing the diet with enzymes to help break down food and assist your pet in absorbing nutrients.

Another test that may be done concurrently is a resting cortisol test. Cortisol is a steroid made by the adrenal glands. In Addison’s disease (also called hypoadrenocorticism), the body does not produce enough cortisol or water-regulating hormones (called mineralocorticoids).

Addison’s can be difficult to diagnose, as symptoms can present in many ways including weight loss, shivering, decreased appetite, lethargy, chronic diarrhea, intermittent vomiting, and electrolyte imbalances.

Treatment for Addison’s involves replacing the cortisol and mineralocorticoids that the adrenal glands are not making. There is also a form of Addison’s called atypical. This occurs when only cortisol production is reduced. Replacing this lack with oral steroids can manage this condition.

If all of these tests are normal, and no obvious cause is found for the ongoing diarrhea, your veterinarian may offer referral to a veterinary internal medicine specialist (DACVIM). At that time, more extensive testing such as abdominal ultrasound, exploratory surgery, and biopsy may be recommended. These will rule out invasive fungal infection such as histoplasmosis and pythiosis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer.

Large Bowel Diarrhea

Large bowel diarrhea presents a diagnostic dilemma. Frequently, the causes are difficult to fully diagnose. In many cases, a response to treatment rather than extensive testing is used to make a presumptive diagnosis.

Like small bowel diarrhea, large bowel diarrhea can be caused by parasites, particularly whipworms. An initial diagnostic test will be a fecal examination. Keep in mind, however, that whipworm eggs are very heavy and are not always found on a fecal examination.
If your veterinarian does not find parasites, as with small bowel diarrhea, he will likely still recommend a course of fenbendazole, an effective anti-parasiticide that kills whipworms. They persist for long periods of time in the soil, so managing the environment is critical to preventing re-infection. Further, not all preventives cover against whipworm infection. Check with your veterinarian regarding your monthly treatment to ensure that your dog is protected against whipworms.

An antibiotic trial may be the next step. Clostridial colitis is a possible cause of large bowel diarrhea. It is poorly understood, as some dogs can have Clostridium bacteria but not be ill, while others can become very sick. Diagnosis is very tricky and recommendations change continually. Generally, clostridial infections respond very well to amoxicillin or Tylosin, so your veterinarian may try a course of antibiotics to both diagnose and treat the diarrhea.

A fiber trial – a dietary trial with a fiber-enriched food – may also help diagnose and resolve the problem. In some cases, the addition of a fiber-enriched food may be all that your dog needs to get back to normal. Your veterinarian can help select a fiber diet appropriate for your dog.

Many dogs are allergic to certain components in food (the immune system responds and causes the diarrhea), while other dogs are just “sensitive to” to specific dietary items (immune system is not involved). Again, diagnosis might be tricky. As a result, your veterinarian will likely prescribe a dietary trial. In this case, your dog will be placed on a hypoallergenic diet. There are several on the market that are made from hydrolyzed protein. This is when the protein is broken down into such small units that the immune system does not recognize the initial protein. This type of diet must be rigorously followed if it is to be successful. Treats, flavored heartworm medications, and table food will render the trial useless.

At this point, more blood tests will likely be called for. If your dog has evidence of bloodwork changes and weight loss, concerns for more serious systemic illnesses such as fungal disease and cancer come to the forefront. At that time, you should consider that referral to a veterinary internal medicine specialist (DACVIM) is likely best for your dog.

A Note About Boxers

About 30 years ago, Boxers were noted to have a severe, progressive disease of the colon (histiocytic ulcerative colitis) that caused very bloody, mucoid, large bowel diarrhea and resultant weight loss.

It was recently found that this is highly responsive to a common antibiotic called enrofloxacin (also known as Baytril). If empirical treatment is attempted, it must be continued for several weeks to ensure that all the bacteria are killed; if the bacterial population is not completely eliminated, the most resistant bacteria can come back with a vengeance.

If enrofloxacin doesn’t work, a biopsy of tissue from the colon is the best way to diagnose or rule out other possibly treatable diseases such as fungal infections.

Dog Diarrhea: Not A Simple Matter

As you can see, diarrhea can be a complicated problem to solve. Keeping a thorough history on your dog, documenting his diet and parasite prevention strategy in particular, as well as monitoring bowel movements closely, can help your veterinarian tremendously.
When diarrhea becomes chronic, it can take weeks to months to sort out the underlying cause and find an effective treatment. Be patient and work closely with your veterinarian. Follow recommendations and do not try random remedies recommended by random sources! With time, patience, and a good veterinarian, a solution can generally be found.

Catherine Ashe graduated the University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine in 2008. After a small-animal intensive emergency internship, she practiced ER medicine for nine years. She now works as a relief veterinarian in Asheville, North Carolina, and loves the GP side of medicine. In her spare time, she spends time with her family, reads voraciously, and enjoys the mountain lifestyle.

Disorders of the outer ear

Disorders of the Outer Ear in Dogs
By T. Mark Neer, DVM, DACVIM, Professor and Hospital Director, Center for Veterinary Health Sciences, Oklahoma State University ; Michele R. Rosenbaum, VMD, DACVD ; Patricia D. White, DVM, MS, DACVD

A variety of skin conditions affect the outside part of the ear, called the pinna. Most conditions cause tissue changes elsewhere as well. Rarely, a disease affects the outer ear alone or affects it first. As with all skin conditions, a diagnosis is best made when combined with the results of a thorough history, a complete physical and skin examination, and carefully selected diagnostic tests.

Insects and parasites commonly cause inflammation of the pinna—resulting in redness, swelling, itching or blistering—either through direct damage from the bite of the parasite or as a result of hypersensitivity. Tiny skin mites burrow under a dog’s skin, often on the edges of the ears. Because they are so hard to see and find, a veterinarian might take several skin scrapings before making a diagnosis.

Canine Juvenile Cellulitis
Canine juvenile cellulitis is an infection and inflammation of the tissues beneath the skin of young dogs. It is an uncommon disorder of puppies and is characterized by masses of small, round raised areas of inflamed skin filled with pus on the face and ears. The lymph nodes below the lower jaw are usually noticeably enlarged. It occurs in puppies 3 weeks to 4 months of age and rarely in older animals. Golden Retrievers, Gordon Setters, and Dachshunds appear to be at greater risk than other breeds. An inflamed, pus-filled, raised area of the skin of the ear canal is common, along with swollen, thickened pinnae. Early treatment is recommended to avoid scarring. Careful observation of the condition of your puppies will help you detect any masses or lumps on their faces or ears. Any lumps or masses, even small ones, are a good reason to take your puppy in for a checkup as soon as possible.

Ear Hematomas
Ear hematomas are fluid-filled swellings that develop on the inward curving surface of the outer ears in dogs. The cause for their development is unknown. Signs include head shaking or ear scratching due to itchiness. In dogs, the condition is seen with hereditary environmental allergies and food allergies in which the ear canals are the primary sites of allergic inflammation and itching. Treatment usually involves surgery to drain and flush the swellings. Frequently, the veterinarian will place a drain made out of a soft tube in the area to help prevent fluid from building up again.

Fly strike (irritation of the ears caused by biting flies) is a worldwide problem caused by the stable fly and typically affects dogs and horses. The fly bite causes small, hard, round bumps and raised, reddened areas with central bloody crusts that itch. Tissue changes are found on the tips or on the folded surface of the outer ears of dogs with flopped ears. Treatment includes fly repellents, controlling the fly population with environmental clean up (such as removing manure), and insecticides.

Frostbite may occur in dogs poorly adapted to cold climates and is more likely in wet or windy conditions. It typically affects body regions that are poorly insulated, including the tips of the ears. The skin may be pale or red, swollen, and painful. In severe cases, tissue death and shedding of the tips of the outer ears may follow. Treatment consists of rapid, gentle warming and supportive care. Amputation of affected regions may be required but should be delayed until the extent of living tissue is determined.

Hair Loss
Several ear edge skin disorders characterized by hair loss occur in dogs. Periodic loss of hair on the outer ear in Miniature Poodles involves the loss of hair on the outward curving surfaces of the ear. The hair loss starts suddenly and progresses over several months, but hair may spontaneously regrow. There are no other signs. Treatment is unnecessary.

Hair loss on the outer ear has been reported in Dachshunds, Chihuahuas, Italian Greyhounds, and Whippets and is thought to have a tendency to be hereditary. The age of onset is 1 year or more, when the hair coat begins to thin. Complete hair loss on the outer ear may occur by 8 to 9 years of age. Other commonly affected areas are the lower neck and chest and the back to the middle of the thighs. There are no other signs. No effective treatment has been reported, but certain drugs have been described as helpful.

Immune-mediated Diseases
Several immune-mediated diseases may affect the outer ear and the ear canal. Other areas of the body are typically affected and may include footpads, mucous membranes, skin and mucous membrane junctions, nails and nail beds, and the tip of the tail. Immune-mediated diseases are confirmed using biopsies of primary lesions.

Sarcoptic mange is an infectious skin disease caused by a parasitic mite that burrows into the top layers of the skin. It is common in dogs throughout the world. The condition begins with small, red, round bumps on the skin. These bumps progress to scaling, crusting, and raw, irritated open sores on the ear edges and other parts of the body as a result of scratching; however, in some cases only the red bumps and itching are seen. Itching is severe. Transmission of the mite is by direct contact with infected animals.

Diagnosis is based on signs, history of exposure, and discovery of mites on multiple skin scrapings. Treatment options include dips and injections. Your veterinarian will be able to prescribe the best therapy for your pet. Because mites can survive off the host for a variable amount of time, all bedding, brushes, and objects in your pet’s environment should be thoroughly cleaned.

Seborrhea and Dermatosis
Overly oily skin at the edge of the ear (seborrhea) or ear edge skin disease (dermatosis) is common in Dachshunds, although other breeds with ears that hang loose may be affected. The tips of the ears on both sides are usually affected, but the condition can progress to involve the whole ear edge. The cause is unknown. Signs include waxy gray to yellow scale sticking to the base of hair shafts. Plugs of hair can be easily pulled out, leaving behind skin with a shiny surface. In severe cases the ear edges are swollen and cracked. Treatments are available and can be prescribed by your veterinarian.

Ticks can cause irritation at the site of attachment and may be found on the pinna or in the ear canal. The ear tick, found in the southwestern United States, South and Central America, southern Africa, and India, is a soft-shelled tick whose younger, immature forms infest and live on the external ear canal of dogs and other animals. Signs of infestation include head shaking, head rubbing, or drooped ears. Both the animal and the environment should be treated. Your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate treatment for your pet and your local area.