written by Sarina Chiu
4 mins read
Most of us would agree our dachshunds are more than just pets. They are beloved members of our families and their well-being is paramount.
That’s why it has always been my mission to design and create products that are not only stylish but practical for our dachshunds.
Small Dogs, Big Ears
Roughly a year ago, as I navigated the Canadian winter, I noticed Cooper’s big ears were always exposed to the chilling cold weather.
Many people talk about dachshund’s elongated bodies and their short legs. So when it comes to clothing, that’s one thing we pay most attention to.
However, another distinct feature that makes dachshunds super charming, is their endearing floppy ears.
Their ears make them extremely adorable, but on the flip side, they can also be a source of vulnerability, especially when winter arrives.
My first horror
It wasn’t obvious in the beginning.
But as I petted Cooper one day, I noticed the tip of his ear was a little harder than normal.
I didn’t pay too much attention, thinking it was just dry skin.
However, things didn’t seem to improve. Slowly I noticed crusty lesions started to form at the tip of his ears.
It started on the left side of his ear, and then slowly appeared on the right side.
I am a big believer in natural remedies. Since I thought it was just dry skin, I applied coconut oil and massage his ear tips two times a day.
I kept doing that for a week, and was able to rub off some of the residues off the dry skin. I was hopeful, thinking his ears would be back to normal soon.
But it didn't.
One day after our walk, I saw blood.
His ear was bleeding!
I immediately booked him into a visit to the vet.
While the vet cannot tell what caused the lesions, she believed Cooper has ear tip vasculitis.
What is Ear Tip Vasculitis
Ear tip vasculitis, also known as "ear margin vasculitis," is a medical condition that affects a dog's ear flaps or pinnae. It is characterized by inflammation and damage to the blood vessels in the ear tips.
This condition is common in certain breeds with floppy ears, like dachshunds, Basset Hounds and Beagles.
The exact cause of ear tip vasculitis is not always clear, but it is often associated with environmental change (can be hot or cold weather), allergies (including food or even vaccinations), or underlying immune system issues.
Some symptoms of ear tip vasculitis included:
1. Inflammation: When this happens, your dog will display visible redness, swelling and discomfort in their ear margins, particularly at the tips.
2. Ulceration: In severe cases, the condition can lead to ulcerations or sores on their ear tips. This can be really painful and may even lead to tissue loss. This is exactly what happened to Cooper.
3. Pain and discomfort: Dogs with ear tip vasculitis may exhibit signs of pain, such as severe head shake, constant scratching at their ears, or a reluctance to have their ears touched.
4. Cauliflower ear: In chronic or severe cases, the ear tips may become thickened and deformed, resembling a "cauliflower" appearance.
Cooper's ear tip vasculitis (early symptom)
Cure for vasculitis
After the initial diagnostic, the vet prescribed a topical cream for Cooper to help with alleviating inflammation. It was a tiny 20g tube costs $75. Unfortunately it did not work.
I decided to book in an appointment with a dermatologist but was told it will likely be a 3 to 4 months wait.
As I got desperate, I decided to ask "Google" for help.
I did a lot of research and tried to find ways to help reduce the swelling and redness on his ear.
After consulting friends and other dachshund owners in a number of Facebook dachshund groups, I decided to try Manuka Honey.