Dogs are more prone to ear infections than other pets. This can be due to their floppy ears but might also be caused by environmental challenges or the grooming of other dogs. Many people are not aware that it is quite easy for dogs to get ear infections.
If your dog has been scratching at their ears, tilting their head, or being lethargic, there is the chance that they have an ear infection. Ear infections can be caused by other dogs licking their ears, can be related to ear mite infestation, or might be caused by moisture in the ears from repeated contact with water. Treating ear infections is easy with antibiotics and ear cleaning each day.
If you are ready to learn more about dog ear infections, read on!
What Are the Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections?
Dog ear infections have some very clear symptoms. You will probably not miss these symptoms but you will still need to take your pet to the veterinarian for treatment of this condition. Ear infections do not get better on their own without intervention from the vet.
- Aggressive scratching at the ears
- Rubbing against hard objects
- Redness, bad odor, bloody discharge
- Excessive licking or chewing on the skin
- Swollen ears that are hot to the touch
- Reduced appetite
- Strange eye movements
- Loss of balance
- Hair loss and crusts around the ears and eyes
Dogs with long and floppy ears might show much more severe symptoms than dogs with cropped ears or ears that do not have a floppy exterior. You will want to take all of these symptoms seriously early on before they brew bad secondary symptoms. Ear infections that have not been treated can cause lasting problems for your pet.
What Are the Causes of Dog Ear Infections?
Dog ear infections can be caused by various things. You will want to be sure that you consider any of these possible causes when you are talking to your vet about what might have led to the condition.
Licking from Other Dogs
If your other pets in the home are licking your dog’s ears excessively, the bacteria from their mouth combined with the moisture can lead to ear infections quite quickly. You should always discourage your dogs from licking one another’s ears.
Allergies can cause ear infections because your dog’s ears might be itchy and they might be picking at their ears. Scratching can cause breaks in the skin that can be open to bacteria. This can eventually lead to an infection.
Parasites can also cause issues with the health of your dog’s ears and these might lead to scratching that can cause infections. This kind of problem can be a two-fold issue, and your vet will want you to treat the ears for the parasites as well as the bacterial infection.
Foreign bodies can cause infection as well. If there is something that has gotten into your dog’s ear, they might scratch at it and cause an infection or the item itself might bring bacteria with it and create the condition.
Tumors can also cause infections in the ears. The tumor might have to be removed so that the infection can clear up, but your veterinarian will be able to advise about the best way to handle this condition.
Treatments for Ear Infections
If your pet has been diagnosed with an ear infection, you will need to make sure that you follow the advice of the vet perfectly to help treat the condition. Skipping steps during the treatment or missing doses of medication can lead to lingering problems that are hard to correct. Your vet will give you a specific protocol for the needs of your pet and you should follow it to the letter.
Antibiotics are the most common form of treatment for this condition and they will be used in almost every case. Antibiotics can make sure that your pet’s ears have a chance to heal and improve and they also protect your pet’s hearing.
Ear cleanings are important to treat the condition and you will need to clean your dog’s ears each day unless they have had to undergo surgery for their condition. This cleaning process can be done with an ear washing product and Q-Tips.
Surgery might be required if your dog has a tumor or other problem that has caused the infection. Your vet will be able to advise about the treatment for this condition and they will be able to tell you how to care for your pet’s needs after their surgery. Each surgery is unique and there might be different requirements for the aftercare related to your pet’s recovery.
Ear infection treatments must be done correctly and they must be done daily. Your vet can advise you about the proper ways to care for your dog’s ears if they are prone to ear infections and they can help you to treat an ear infection that has happened due to a unique circumstance.
Dog Ear Infections Require a Visit to the Vet
When your dog is showing the symptoms of an ear infection, you should make sure to take them to the vet. You will want to be sure that you are not ignoring a more significant problem and your pet will likely need to receive antibiotics to help heal their ears. Ear infections will not resolve on their own, so you will need to get the right medications to treat them.
If your dog has a tumor or some other item that must be removed from their ears to return them to their healthy condition, your vet can help with this as well. Taking care of an ear infection is much easier with the right medications on hand and your vet can help you with this part of the care of your pet. Ear infections can happen to any dog and you need to be sure that you take care of this condition before it turns into something more serious.
To talk with a Country Club Animal Hospital veterinarian about your dog’s ears call (305) 663-3300 or book an appointment online!