Ear infections are a condition we see on a frequent basis at Affordable Pet Vet Clinic, especially in dogs with long and floppy ears. Luckily, if ear infections are found early they can be easy to treat. Today our vets in Tracy discuss the signs and symptoms of ear infections in dogs and the ways they are treated.
A Dog's Ears
Dogs tend to be at a higher risk of developing ear infections than humans because of the way their ear canals are shaped. Other factors that could put your dog at a higher risk is if they swim a lot or have long floppy ears, due to the bacteria that can get trapped and thrive there.
However, there are some precautions you can take to help protect your adorable pup from ear infections.
In the case your pooch does develop an ear infection, bring them to a vet early when its quicker and easier to treat. On the other hand, if you don't have the infection treated it can lead to more serious symptoms such as pain, coordination, and balances issues and in more severe situations facial paralysis.
What Causes of Ear Infections?
The leading cause of ear infections in dogs is bacteria, however, yeast, fungus, and ear mites can all lead to your dog's ears becoming painful and infected. Some other causes of dog ear infections include foreign objects lodged in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.
What are the Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs?
Ear infections can be very painful or uncomfortable for your pup. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms of an ear infection contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination for your companion. Early treatment of ear infections can help to prevent more severe symptoms from developing and reduce the chances of complications.
Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:
- Odor in the ear
- Redness inside of the ear
- Pawing or rubbing at the ear
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Swelling of the ear
- Tilting head
- Head shaking
- Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
If your dog's ear infection is more severe you might notice other symptoms such as:
- Indications of hearing loss
- Unusual eye movements
- Loss coordination or balance
- Walking in circles
How are Dog Ear Infections Treated?
If your dog is diagnosed with an ear infection your veterinarian will clean your dog's ear with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications needed to treat your pet's ear infection. Your veterinarian could also prescribe a topical medication and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.
With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within one or two weeks. If your dog's ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment could be more challenging and might take months to resolve. Often, more severe cases result in chronic or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet's lifetime.
Carefully following your veterinarian's instructions will be essential in clearing up your dog's ear infection as quickly as possible. Not finishing prescriptions, or stopping treatment before the infection has completely cleared can lead to a recurring infection that becomes harder to treat.
Follow-up appointments with your vet are highly recommended for dog ear infections. While it can look as if the infection has cleared there might still be traces of infection that are difficult for owners to spot. Finishing treatment before the infection has fully healed can lead to recurring symptoms that are difficult to treat.
How can I Prevent My Dog From Getting an Ear Infection?
Our Tracy vets believe that prevention is best when it comes to ear infections. To help prevent your dog from developing an ear infection it's important to keep your pet's ears clean and dry.
Talk to your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog's ears, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears every week, and always dry your dog's ears whenever they come out of the water.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.