How Can You Tell if Your Dog Has An Ear Infection?
31 January, 2018
Ear infections in dogs are usually caused by bacteria or yeast. Ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies, and hypothyroidism can all contribute to getting an ear infection. Because the ear canal in dogs is mostly vertical, it is very easy for dirt and moisture to get and stay in the ear canal. So, how can you tell if your dog has an ear infection?
The following symptoms may indicate that your dog needs to have his ears checked by a veterinarian:
Scratching of the ear or area around the ear, Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge, odor in the ear, redness, swelling, crusts or scabs on inside of the outer ear, head shaking or head tilt, wiping the ear area on the floor or furniture loss of balance and even walking in circles.
Dogs with allergies or those with floppy ears are more likely to developing ear infections. Dogs that have excessive hair growth in the ear canal may also be more susceptible to ear infections. Frequent bathing, swimming or too much cleaning (yes, too much is bad!) can also lead to ear infections.
Make sure to see your veterinarian is you think your dog has an ear infection
A veterinarian can usually diagnose an ear infection by examining the ear canal and ear drum with a magnifying ear cone similar to devices used on people. If a bacterial infection is suspected your veterinarian may send a sample of the ear discharge to a laboratory to see what bacteria is causing the infection. Other diagnostics may be done (such as checking for an underactive thyroid) if your veterinarian feels they are indicated.
Treatment of ear infections
Ear infections can usually be treated with a professional cleaning followed by medication given at home. Your veterinarian may prescribe topical and/or oral medicine. It is not uncommon for some dogs to have recurrent ear infections.
Below are some ways you can prevent ear infections in your dogs:
1. Check your dog’s ears regularly for discharge, odor, swelling and other symptoms of infection.
2, After baths and swimming, make sure to dry your dog’s ears thoroughly – dampness leads to infection.
3. If your dog grows hair in or around the opening of his ear canals, periodically tweeze it away (if your dog tolerates it) or ask your groomer to do so. Inner-ear skin is delicate so be careful.
4. Dogs’ ears need to be clean, but don’t clean them too much or too deep as over-cleaning can lead to infection.
It is important to treat an ear infection or problem as soon as your realize your dog has one. Even if your dog’s ears look better after a few days after a few days of treatment, be sure to finish all the medication or recommendations by your vet.
The best way to prevent ear infections in your pups is to keep their ears dry, clean and check them readily!
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