There has been a steady influx of problem pigs and ears in my e-mail lately. Inner ear infections, yeast infections, liquids in the ear, etc. I am going to try and address this problem the best way I know how.
IF YOU NEVER PUT ANYTHING DOWN IN THAT EAR, YOUR CHANCE OF PROBLEMS ARE A LOT LESS!!!!
We found this by trial and error over the years and the pigs that go into vets yearly for checkups and teeth and feet seem to be the ones that are having a problem because people want their ears cleaned while they are there. This is not a dog, it is a pig, who has many means of protecting itself from its environment without our help.
Most of the problems we hear from are pigs that have liquids squirted in the ear canal. This can lead to a yeast infection that is hard to clear up. It can also lead to inner ear infections that can cause major problems for the pig and its owner. Both of these problems show symptoms of tilted head and lack of coordination.
My vet and I agree that putting any liquid in a pigs ear for cleaning purposes may not be a good thing so we just DO NOT DO IT. You may have to ask your vet to please NOT clean the ears when you take the pig in for his checkups. Or you can say NO liquids in the ear itself just a damp cloth as far as the finger will go into the ear.
Note: For those of you that like to hose your pig down to cool them off during hot days, make sure you do not allow the stream of water near their ears or face as they are jumping around.