Whining, scratching, and head shaking are common early warning signs of dog ear infection, and their owners have learned to recognize them. Dogs, especially those with floppy ears like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels, frequently suffer from ear infections. Canine otitis externa is a common problem affecting either ear and about 20% of dogs.
You can help shorten and lessen the intensity of these episodes for your dog by taking certain measures. Several treatments are available without a doctor’s prescription. Otitis externa, media, and interna are the three medical terms for ear infections. Otitis externa is the most frequent form and involves inflammation of the cells lining the outer ear canal. The terms “otitis medium” and “otitis interna” describe infections of the middle and inner ear, respectively.
An infection that begins in the outer ear will spread and cause this kind of infection. Deafness, facial paralysis, and vestibular symptoms are all possible complications of otitis media and interna. Because of this, it’s crucial to take precautions against infections and get help promptly if health issues emerge.
When a Dog has an Ear Infection, These are The Signs:
Wax and discharge in the ear canal are the only symptoms some dogs ear infections show. Ear infections may be painful for dogs and can manifest in various ways.
- The trembling of the head
- Picking at the infected ear
- Ear canal inflammation and redness
- Ears with crusts or sores
What Triggers Dog Ear Infection?
Dogs have an L-shaped ear canal that is more vertical than a human’s, hence more likely to trap fluid. This increases the likelihood of ear infections in canines. In most cases, bacteria, yeast, or a mix of the two is to blame for an ear infection. Puppies’ ear mites can potentially cause infections.
Consider the following risk factors for ear infections in your dog:
- Wetness can promote yeast and bacterial growth.
- Allergies cause ear problems in roughly 50% of dogs with allergic skin disease and 80% of dogs with food sensitivities.
- diseases of the endocrine system, such as hypothyroidism
- Disorders of the immune system
- The accumulation of wax
- Bodies from Outside
- Traumatic ear canal injury
- Extreme amounts of scrubbing are required.
Does Dog Ear Infections Require a Precise Diagnosis?
You should immediately take your dog to the dog care center if you see any of the symptoms of ear infections. Your dog’s comfort (both disorders can be painful!) and the prevention of infection spreading to the middle and inner ear depend on prompt treatment. Do not attempt home remedies for ear infections.
Provide your vet with as much background information as possible. This is crucial in cases of first-time infection or while attending a new vet. The following are items that your veterinarian will want to know:
Is Vet Care Important in Dog Ear Infection?
Your vet will physically assess your dog after learning its background. Your veterinarian may also advise sedating your dog for a thorough ear examination if the problem is serious. They’ll check out both ears when you take your pet to the vet.
- Examine the area for symptoms, including redness, swelling, and pus.
- In-depth inspection of the ear canal and eardrum using otoscope examination.
- You can gauge the intensity of the pain with gentle probing of the ear.
- Analysis of ear swab specimens under the microscope
- Isolate and grow cultures from ear tissue
- X-rays or biopsies for severe or persistent cases
How do Vets Deal with Dog’s Ear Infections?
The veterinarian will use an ear cleanser that contains medicine to clean your dog’s ears completely. You can also ask your vet for a home ear cleaning kit and topical medication if necessary. Your vet may recommend antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drugs for oral use if the condition is severe.
In most cases, once the proper therapy has begun for an ear infection, the infection will usually clear up within a week to two. Solving serious infections or those caused by underlying diseases may take months and, in some cases, may be persistent.
Surgery, such as Total Ear Canal Ablation, may be recommended by your veterinarian in cases of severe chronic disease after other treatments have failed. During a TECA procedure, the ear canal is surgically removed along with the infected tissue.
Also Read: Tips For Dog Wound Care
Can the Infections Recur Again?
Schedule follow-up appointments at the animal hospital as directed by your vet and bring your pet in for regular checkups. Your dog ear infection may return if you miss any steps in the treatment process. If your dogs health seems to be improving while taking medication, don’t stop giving it before the complete course is over. Not completing the prescribed course of therapy increases the risk of complications, such as developing drug-resistant infections.
Can Dogs Be Protected From Recurrent Ear Infections?
- Measures to prevent these can be taken: Preventative measures are preferable in the case of this disease as they are in the case of most others. You should always dry your dog’s ears completely after swimming or bathing to prevent ear infections, which are often brought on by excess moisture. To prevent future ear infections, it is important to determine the underlying reason, such as allergies, if your dog is prone to chronic or recurrent ear infections.
- Avoidance can be an option too: Ear infections in dogs: can be avoided in part by routinely cleaning their ears at home. AKC Family Dog columnist and veterinarian Jeff Grognet, DVM, suggests the following procedure for cleaning your dog’s ears “To begin, apply an external ear canal massage to the dog’s vertical ear canal using a dog ear cleaning solution. Use absorbent gauze to clean out the canal.
- Use soft material to clean ears: To avoid potential irritation, avoid using paper towels or cotton. You can use cotton swabs to clean your dog’s pinnae (the exterior ear flaps), but you shouldn’t stick them in its ear canal since you risk pushing debris further in.
Make sure you take care of your dog. Dog’s ear infection can be painful. Many dogs suffer from repeated ear infections, but with the help of your vet, you can keep your dog’s ears healthy and pleasant. Do not wait to get your dog checked out if you see any symptoms of an ear infection.