Dog Ear Infections – What You Need to Know!
6 January, 2016
If your dog has an ear infection, don’t fret! Ear infections are very common in dogs, particularly those with floppy ears. If your don’t clean your dogs ears properly or bathe them frequently and/or your pups are big swimmers, they can easily get an infection. If you can catch the infection early on, it’s much easier to treat and cure.
Ear infections are usually caused by an excess of bacteria
Ear infections ing dogs are usually caused by bacteria or yeast. Ear mites, excessive hair, moisture or wax, foreign bodies, allergies, and hypothyroidism can all be other factors that contribute to the beginning of an ear infection. Because the ear canal in dogs is mostly vertical (unlike a human ear canal that is horizontal), it is easy for debris and moisture to be retained in the ear canal.
You can tell if your dog has the start of an ear infection, if you notice the following symptoms:
- Ear scratching
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Odor in the ear
- Crusted or scabby skin on the near ear flap
- Hair loss around the ear
- Wiping the ear area on the floor or furniture
- Head shaking or head tilt
- Loss of balance
If you see your dog experiencing any of the above symptoms, take your dog to your veterinarian right away.
Ear infections can sometimes be treated at home, depending on the severity
Many ear infections can be treated with a professional cleaning followed by regular cleaning and medication given at home. Your veterinarian may prescribe topical and/or oral medicine. For severe or chronic cases, anesthesia and ear flushing may be necessary. But, if you get right on top of it, a cleaning just might do the trick.
You can prevent ear infections from occurring by following the below steps:
1. Check your dog’s ears regularly for discharge, odor, swelling and other symptoms of infection.
2. If your dog’s ear canal appears dirty, clean with a cotton ball dampened with a solution suggested by your vet—but don’t clean so often or deeply that you cause irritation.
3. After baths and swimming, be sure to dry your dog’s ears as thoroughly and carefully as you can. Check for any of the above symptoms.
4. If your dog is prone to infections, ask your vet if canine ear-drying solution would be beneficial.
5. If your dog grows hair in or around the opening of his ear canals, periodically tweeze it away or ask your groomer to do so. Inner-ear skin is delicate, so make sure to have your vet show you the proper method for doing so.
Winter is here and rain and moisture can cause more ear infections in your pups
As winter has approached and there is a lot of moisture in the air and rain, it’s always best to pay attention to your check your dog’s ears more frequently. If you get on top of an ear infection on your pup from the onset, it is much easier to cure. And then if it happens again, you know exactly what to do.