Ear Infections: A Common Ailment for Many DogsBy
Ear Infections: A Common Ailment for Many Dogs
Ear infections are very common among dogs. In fact, most dogs will suffer from an ear infection at least once in their life. So, how can a concerned dog owner recognize the signs of an ear infection, prevent them from occurring, and treat their pet’s ear infection when it does occur? Cesar Milan recently posted a great article written by Henry Cerny, DVM MS on his website addressing this very topic.
What causes ear infections in dogs?
Most ear infections found in adult canines are caused by bacteria and/or yeast. More commonly in puppies, ear mites are found to be the source of ear infections. Having your veterinarian take a sample and look under the microscope will help them to identify the root of the problem.
What are the signs of an ear infection?
Becoming aware of the signs that your pet may have an ear infection will help you to address the infection before it gets out of hand. Typical signs of ear infection are: scratching, rubbing, shaking of the ears, unusual odor coming from the ears, and/or pain and sensitivity in the ear area.
How can I prevent my dog from contracting an ear infection?
Ear infections commonly occur as a result of too much moisture in the ear canal. This may be from bathing, swimming, or grooming. The excess moisture creates an environment ideal for bacterial and yeast growth. One way to prevent ear infections would be to routinely clean and dry your pet’s ears after bathing, swimming, or grooming.
Ear infections may also occur as a side effect of your pet’s allergies. These allergies may come from pollens, dust, mold, or food. When a dog suffers from an allergic reaction, the skin inside the ear becomes inflamed and promotes the growth of bacteria and/or yeast already living inside the ear. To prevent ear infections from occurring as a result of allergies, you must first identify the source of the allergy and then try to reduce your pet’s exposure to the particular allergen. Also, routinely cleaning and drying the ear with ear cleaner made specifically for dogs will help to prevent bacterial and yeast growth.
How do I treat my dog’s ear infections?
If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, the best thing to do is take him to see your veterinarian. Special medication is usually prescribed for treating the ear infection. First, you will need to gently clean the infected area with a mild dog ear cleaning solution. Fill a small amount into the ear and carefully cover it with a cotton ball. Then, rub the cotton ball softly in a circular motion. Repeat the process for as long as your dog will allow until the cotton ball comes out fairly clean after rubbing inside the ear. Once cleaned, the ear is ready for the medication that your vet has prescribed. Dr. Cerny warns to never use Q-tips, as they may push the debris further into the ear canal, and never use harsh cleansers such as rubbing alcohol. In most cases, topical ointment is all that is needed to effectively treat a dog’s ear infection. However, in severe cases, oral antibiotics may be prescribed as well.
Considering the likelihood that your dog will eventually encounter an ear infection at some time in their life, and also considering how much pain and discomfort they may go through, it is wise to be aware of the signs of ear infections, ways to prevent them, as well as ways to treat them. Your perky-eared pet will be very thankful!
Information provided by: http://www.cesarsway.com/dogcare/health/Ear-Infections-in-Dogs-Symptoms-Causes-and-Treatments