What is Dog Ear Infections?
Whining, scratching, and head shaking are often the first symptoms of Dog Ear Infections, it is a common condition in dogs that can affect one or both ears and is especially common to a dog who has floppy ears such as Spaniels. Most ear infections in adults are caused by bacteria and yeast, though ear mites are a common cause in puppies. You may also notice an abnormal odor from the ear or see redness or swelling.
There are three types of ear infections:
- Otitis Externa – Which is a chronic inflammation of a dog’s external ear canal.
- Otitis Media – Which is an inflammation of the dog’s middle ear.
- Otitis Interna – Which is inflammation of the inner ear.
Otitis Media and Otitis Interna can be very serious and may result in deafness, facial paralysis, and vestibular signs. It is recommended to see your dog Vet for early treatment when the symptoms show to prevent it to happen.
Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections
- Redness and swelling of the ear canal
- Head shaking
- Scratching at the affected ear
- Dark discharge
- Bad odor
- Crusting or scabs in the ears
Not all dogs that have ear infection will show symptoms but some have a buildup of wax and discharge in the ear canal. The signs such as tilting the head, anorexia and occasional vomiting may indicate the development of otitis media, or otitis interna, which might result in a serious problem if the infection and inflammation spread to the inner ear.
Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs
Dogs is more prone to ear infection than human because of their ear canal it is more vertical and forming an L-shape that tends to hold a fluid.
- Moisture – it can create a prime growing environment for bacteria and yeast
- Allergies – it leads to ear disease in about 50% of dogs with allergic skin disease and 80% of dogs with food sensitivities
- Endocrine disorders
- Autoimmune disorders
- Wax buildup
- Injury to the ear canal
- Excessive cleaning
- Foreign bodies
Dog Ear Infections Treatment
The treatment of ear infection depends on its status, Your veterinarian will thoroughly clean your dog’s ears using a medicated cleanser to see the problem. For otitis externa and otitis media, it usually involves outpatient care, your vet will prescribe a cleaner and topical medication for you to use at home, but for severe cases like otitis externa, a topical therapy (Your vet prescribe oral antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications) following a complete cleansing of the external ear is an effective solution to the problem.
Most uncomplicated ear infections resolve within 1–2 weeks, once appropriate treatment begins. But severe infections or those due to underlying conditions may take months to resolve or may become chronic problems. It is very important to follow your veterinarian’s instructions closely and return to the veterinary hospital for any recommended check-up appointments. It is especially important that you finish the full course of your dog’s treatment, even if your dog appears to be getting better. Always clean your dog’s ear properly too to prevent any ear infection or complications.