Ear infections are painful and irritating, and it’s no different for dogs. Dog’s ear canals are the perfect breeding ground for infection-causing bacteria and other microorganisms, especially if your dog has long, floppy ears or likes to swim.
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons pet owners bring their dog to the vet, but luckily, preventing and treating ear infections in pets is easier than you think. With the right preventative measures and knowing what signs to look for, you can help your dog’s ears stay healthy and free of infections.
Most Common Infections in Dogs
The type of ear infection your dog gets depends on what part of the ear it occurs in. The most common form of ear infections in canines is otitis externa, an inflammation of the exterior of the ear canal. Left untreated these infections can spread to the middle or inner ear, which can result in deafness or even facial paralysis.
While some breeds so no signs of ear infections beyond waxy build-up in the ear, most dogs will react to painful swelling and redness inside their ear canal. If you frequently see your pet shaking his head and or rubbing her ears on the ground or furniture, they likely have an ear infection. Other symptoms include a yeast-like odor coming from their ears, yellow or dark discharge, and reduced appetite, balance or hearing.
Treating and Preventing Ear Infections
Ear infections can be rooted in a number of causes including allergies, bacteria or yeast, foreign objects, ear mites or hormonal diseases. Identifying the cause is the first step in treating the infection. Once your vet has identified the cause of the infection, they’ll recommend the best treatment for your dog, often either oral antibiotics or a cream, sprays or ear drops. Once the recommended medication regimen is finished, regular inspections along with prevention and care can help your dog’s ears stay healthy.
Moisture is one of the leading causes of canine ear infections. Thoroughly drying your dog’s ears with a towel or cotton ball after baths and swims is one of the easiest ways to prevent recurring infections. Regular cleanings can also help prevent infections from developing. Using a vet-approved cleaning solution, insert it into the ear canal and massage the ear from the outside to break up any debris. Since paper towels or cotton swabs can leave irritating fibers in the ear canal, make sure to use only gauze to clean the inside of your dog’s ears. Your vet can show you how far to go in the ear and which areas to avoid to eliminate the risk of harm.
Having trouble cleaning your dog’s ears or think he may have an ear infection? At PetWow, our veterinarians are ready to help with preventative care, diagnostics and more to keep your pup happy and healthy. Contact us today or call us at 513-738-9691 to set up your appointment either in our office or for us to come to your home. For more pet care tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn!