Skip to main content

Straight Talk About Ear Infections

Many dog owners have witnessed their pet excessively scratching their ears or rubbing their head on a hard surface. Some owners may even notice redness, swelling, or odor in their dog’s ear canal. Although we may do everything we can to keep our dogs clean, these common signs could be a result of a canine ear infection.

According to Dr. Alison Diesel, clinical assistant professor at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, canine ear infections are common and can be caused by multiple factors. 

“There are several contributing factors associated with the development of ear infections in dogs,” she said. “Some factors, such as excess hair in the ear canals, excess wax production, and increased moisture, can contribute to the development of ear infections; however, they do not solely cause the infection. There is generally an underlying cause, such as parasites, allergies, or foreign bodies. Other causes include hormone imbalances, benign or cancerous growths in the ear canal, or physical trauma.”

If you think your dog may have an ear infection, it is important to consult your veterinarian. Treatment for canine ear infections depends on the underlying cause of the infection as well as the specific type of infection involved. Ear cleaners or topical medications, such as ear drops or lotion, are common in soothing canine ear infections. Sometimes, additional medications may be necessary to decrease swelling in the ear canals or treat infections that have migrated into the deeper structures of the ear, such as the middle or even inner ear.

Although it may seem as simple as thoroughly cleaning your dog’s ears to relieve them of irritation, Diesel recommended avoiding home remedies for an ear infection. “Some medications can be harmful or painful when used in certain infections,” she explained. “For example, the use of a medication containing antibiotics may contribute to the development of bacterial resistance if used improperly. It is best to consult your pet’s veterinarian prior to treating the ear infection at home. If you have a cleaner your veterinarian has prescribed for ear infections in the past, this may be tried initially; however, a follow up examination should be pursued if clinical signs persist.”

You may bathe Fido regularly, but this does not protect him from developing an ear infection. To effectively prevent canine ear irritation, be sure to check your dog’s ears weekly for debris and wax build up. If your dog swims a lot or has a history of ear infections, you should talk with your dog’s veterinarian about using an ear cleaner periodically as maintenance.

“In some cases, long-term maintenance ear care, such as periodic ear cleaning, may be helpful to help prevent infections,” Diesel said. “To address this most effectively, it is important to have a conversation with your pet’s veterinarian to help develop a long-term plan. Discussing particular activities your pet likes and or concerns you have will help your veterinarian formulate a righteous preventative care plan. For example, if you frequently plan on taking your dog swimming, your veterinarian may recommend an ear cleaner that has some drying properties for use after swimming. A veterinary dermatologist can also be an additional helpful resource for long-term ear care in your dog.”

To prevent your dog from developing an ear infection, remember to clean their ears regularly. Ear infections are one of the most common health problems in dogs, but it is not a condition that should be treated at home without the guidance of a veterinarian. Be sure to seek professional help in treating your dog’s ear infection.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

10 Most Common Medical Conditions That Send Dogs to the Vet

No one likes going to the vet, especially our dogs. Like many others, my dogs can sense when they are going way before we get there. They get nervous and hyper. Some dogs whimper endlessly at the vet’s office while countless others have fear-induced accidents right in the office. While regular check-ups and vaccinations are a necessary evil, we can try our best to keep our pups in optimal health thus avoiding another dreaded trip. Veterinary Pet Insurance  compiled a list of the 10 most common medical conditions that send dogs to the vet. Some are unavoidable while others may be caught early on. Dr. Carol McConnell, DVM points out that many of the conditions that most regularly require vet visits “can be stopped early or successfully managed in partnership with a veterinarian. To prevent some of the discomfort that so many pets experience from common diseases, the place to start would be by checking them regularly for developing problems.” Check out the full list here at Babb

Keep Your Dog Safe With These Holiday Safety Tips!

    ‘Tis the season for putting up decorations and eating delicious holiday treats, but that also means pets could be getting into serious trouble! Trupanion , a leading provider of medical insurance for cats and dogs, sees a 10% increase in foreign body ingestion claims and a 24% increase in toxicity claims during the holiday months each year. But you can keep your pets safe this holiday season with the below tips from Dr. Sarah Nold:

10 Strangest Items Swallowed By Dogs

My mother’s Schnauzer mix, Sha Sha, eats just about anything.  I didn’t quite believe just how often she would quickly snap up everything in her sight until a few weeks ago when she swallowed a quarter and a nickel in the blink of an eye. The vet advised my mother to watch her for the next few days as the coins would likely pass. It’s a very common issue among dog owners and it doesn’t only happen with puppies. The majority of dogs do grow out of the need to eat inedible objects. It can be difficult to pinpoint exactly what a puppy would eat so it’s best to be vigilant about where you dog is allowed to freely roam. Many dogs and puppies have been known to swallow seemingly unsuitable items, which  you might not find in any way enticing or preferable, but they do. Check out this list of the strangest things swallowed by dogs as witnessed by the  ASPCA :