Ear infections are very common in dogs. Among all dog breeds, Poodles and Cocker Spaniels are the ones most prone to this type of health concern. Yeasts or bacteria are the common causes of these infections. And this condition could make your pets uncomfortable and very irritable.
Symptoms of Ear Infection in Dogs
You’ll know if your dog is suffering from ear infections if its ear canals seem to be very sensitive.
Normally, your dog will shake his head frequently in the attempt to get rid of the fluid or debris present in its ear. You will also see your dog scratching his ears habitually or tilting it to one side. As a result, its ears would get red and even seem swollen. You may also notice that your pet’s ears are slowly developing a foul odor. Yellowish or black discharge could also appear from time to time.
Causes of Ear Infection in Dogs
Ear mites can possibly cause ear infection in dogs. However, mites are more common to puppies than adult dogs. Adult dogs would only develop ear mites if it gets associated to puppies that have them. Ear mites could trigger the infection because they become carriers of fungi and bacteria.
Aside from ear mites, the accumulation of wax in the dog’s ear could also be the reason why dogs develop ear infection. This only goes to show that regular cleaning of the dog’s ear is very important. Proper hygiene is still the best way to preventing ear infections.
Aside from these two causes, a foreign body finding its way into the dog’s ear may also be the culprit. Any debris in the dog’s ear, such as matted hair or tumor, could possibly lead to this health concern. Impaired ear drainage is also one reason why dogs develop ear infections.
Diagnosis for Ear Infection in Dogs
Diagnosing the severity of the disease and the reasons why your dog had developed ear infection is very important so that the veterinarian can administer the right cure. To check the dog’s ears, an otoscope is used. The otoscope is a medical instrument equipped with both light and magnification powers for proper viewing of the ear canals. With the otoscope, the vet can easily see if there’s any foreign object or debris present in the dog’s ear. Some dogs would find this procedure painful. For them, sedation may be required.
The vet could also get a sample taken from the ear canal to check what it is made of. He would analyze it using a microscope, following the basic cytology process. Here, the vet tries to determine which organism had caused the infection. It could help him prescribe the right medicines to counter the disease-causing elements. Further lab tests and x-rays may also be required, depending upon the severity of the infection.
Treatment of Ear Infection in Dogs
To treat ear infection in dogs, the vet may prescribe medicines designed to counter attack bacteria or fungi, depending upon which organism triggered the infection. If one or more of them are present, several drugs may be given. Regular cleaning of the ears will also be advised. If your pet’s ears are infected, it should be cleaned everyday for two weeks. If you can’t clean the dog’s ear yourself, you can ask the veterinarian to do it for you. However, for more severe cases of ear infection, surgery might be required.
Prevention of Ear Infection in Dogs
Proper hygiene is your first step to keeping your pet healthy. If your dog has pendulous ears or if they tend to grow too much hair in these areas, you have to be specifically observant of their ear’s hygiene. Make sure that you inspect them everyday after their baths. Clean them as per your vet’s instructions. Have your pet’s hairs cut and plucked regularly, especially on the ear part.
Dogs that have allergies and those with other health problems could also be prone to ear infections. Try to take your pet to the vet weekly for ear cleaning. You might also need to apply some ear cleaning solution so that infections would be prevented.