Beagles have ears that are relatively long to help waft scent up as they hunt. This does mean they can get traumatised as they are out and about. The ear flap or pinna does also help to protect the ear from too many things going inside such as seeds but reduces airflow compared to an upright ear. It is important to check your beagle’s ears regularly for Infection and damage. Any beagle with skin allergies may also get ear problems as the lining of the ear canals is part of the skin. Cleaning out wax and debris from the ears on a regular basis is part of the “maintenance” of owning your hound and helps keep infections at bay. A build-up of wax can lead to irritation and infection as the normal bacteria and yeasts on the skin start to multiply. Any signs of redness down the ear, beagles showing pain around the head or shaking it should be checked out.
There are several infections that can be found down a beagle ear, ear mites are quite a common contagious condition that is very itchy and lead to large amounts of brown wax being produced, easily treated with the correct ear drops or certain insecticidal spot-on solutions.
Most other ear infections are not contagious from one dog to another. They include bacterial and yeast infections and often a mixed culture is found in the ear is swabbed. They should be checked out by a vet as if the eardrum is ruptured advice is needed on the best way to tackle the infection. Drops may cause intense irritation if they go through a ruptured eardrum to the middle ear.
Remember to always continue treatment for as long as advised since the ear may look better to the naked eye before the infection is completely cleared and partial treatment leads to recurrence and resistance to the drugs.
Keep a regular check on your beagle’s ears!