A common issue with french bulldogs is their big ears, they are prone to dirt, mites and it’s usually where Stella’s allergies first manifest. She will scratch them like crazy if she’s having an allergy attack. It’s a recurrent issue and I just wanted to talk about some of the products we use and how we manage it.
Wax, allergies or infection?
Stella has always had issues with her ears, luckily they are less frequent now we know she has allergies and we put her on a regular prescription of Apoquel (doggy antihistamines) for those allergies.
They fixed a lot of the itching she would do at the night time. But with her ears being big, sensitive and facing upward she still gets regular issues with them unrelated to her allergies.
The issues tend to have three levels, for which we have three products, two are over the counter, and one is prescription only. I’ll go through them and how we use them
The first thing we notice when Stella gets agitated with her ears is wax buildup, not surprisingly, it happens a lot, and for that we use the Pro Pooch ear cleaner product. It’s a little pricy at £10-£15 a bottle, but it lasts us a few months.
It’s a gentle cleaner which mostly works to soften wax and remove dirt from her ears. It’s more of a wash than a single drop product, so we have to give each ear a squirt, massage it in, and then let her shake it off. Finally we clean the ear with a cotton ball, it usually removes a good amount of wax.
Dry, sore, redness
This is basically level 2 in Stella ear issues. It usually happens when we haven’t caught the initial itching phase early enough, we will use the Pro Pooch stuff to clean her ears, but the itching doesn’t stop because she’s already scratched them sore and will continue to make them worse.
Sometimes we can distract her enough for the redness to go down and she will feel better, but we have found another product which works well for this situation.
Wilko sells Beaphar ear drops, only £3 a bottle, this product can kill ear mite, soften wax and importantly, it soothes irritation and helps ears heal.
This product is similar to drops we’ve been given by the vets before, you only apply a couple of drops to each ear and let it soak in and absorb. The texture of Stella’s ear will change for a bit with this, it becomes softer and… as if we’ve poured oil in her ear? It’s a little weird but it works wonders when she’s made her ears sore.
Having done my research, I am constantly on the lookout for signs of ear infection in Stella. Ear infection in Frenchies can be very serious and lead to permanent damage, hematomas and worse. So any time we think Stella might have one we send her straight to the vet for a checkup.
Only once has she actually had a minor ear infection, which is surprising if you take in to account how often she has trouble with her ears. That time the vet prescribed us Surolan. Surolan works very similarly to the Beaphar product, but it also has drugs to heal infection, so if we do get to this point only this product will do, the others would not fight the infection.
This is administered the same way as Beaphar, but the number of drops depends on the size of your dog, Stella has five drops in each ear, then we massage it in and leave them. It clears her ears right up of wax, redness and infection. It’s a great product, I believe our last prescription was around £25.
The vast majority of the time Stella gets along fine with a pro pooch ear wash every few days, we also use their eye drops on her and it’s a bit of a pamper routine.
I’m not sure if other people have this three step method for ear troubles, but it works well for us, obviously other dogs might need different treatments but I’d be curious to know if anyone else has an ear routine and thoughts on these products.