Ear infections are a common reason for dogs to visit our Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach. If you want to keep your furry friend's ears healthy. Look out for the telltale signs of an ear infection. Fortunately, most can be quickly and easily treated if caught soon enough. Here are some of the signs of dog ear infections and what to do if your dog's ears aren't as healthy as they should be.
Your Dog's Ears
Dogs may be more prone to ear infections than you due to the shape of their ear canal. If adventurous dogs love swimming or have naturally floppy ears, they will be more susceptible since trapped moisture can create a bacterai-freindly environment in their ears!
Thankfully, with extra care and regular checkups at your vet's office, you can help prevent your pup from developing ear infections. If your dog does develop an infection, there's a good chance that it can be cleared up quickly if you head to the vet right away. Case of untreated ear infections in dogs can develop quickly and result in problems with balance & coordination or even pain.
Causes of Dog Ear Infections
Ear infections can be especially uncomfortable and painful for our four-legged friends. It turns out ear issues are among the top ailments that veterinarians diagnosed in dogs: Bacteria is the leading cause of ear infections in dogs; however, yeast, fungus, ear mites, and even foreign objects lodged within their ears may irritate as well.
There are three types of ear infections seen in dogs depending upon where the infection has occurred;
- Otitis externa infections affect the outside of the ear. (Outer ear infection).
- Otitis media indicates an infection in the dog's middle ear. (Middle ear infection)
- Otitis internal, which are infection of your pet's inner ear. (Inner ear infection)
Signs That Your Dog May Have an Ear Infection
If your pup is in pain or discomfort, it could be an ear infection. If you notice any of these symptoms, book an appointment with your vet immediately! 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:
- Pawing or rubbing at the ear
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Odor in the ear
- Redness inside of the ear
- Head shaking
- Tilting head
- Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
- Swelling of the ear
If the ear infection is severe, you may notice that your pooch displays other symptoms, such as:
- Indications of hearing loss
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Unusual eye movements
- Walking in circles
How Dog Ear Infections are Treated
Suppose your dog is diagnosed with an ear infection. In that case, your vet will take the time to clean your dog's ear with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications appropriate for treating your pet's ear infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a topical medication and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.
An uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up with a treatment in the early stages within a week or two. If your dog's ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve. More severe cases result in chronic ear infections in dogs or repeated ear infections throughout the pet's lifetime.
Carefully following your veterinarian's instructions will be essential to healing 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 increasingly difficult to treat.
Follow-up appointments with your vet are highly recommended for dog ear infections. While it may look as if the infection has cleared, there may 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.
Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs
Our Animal Hospital of Redondo Beach vets believe that prevention is always better than treatment regarding ear infections. To help prevent your pup from developing an ear infection, keep your pet's ears clean and dry.
Please speak to your primary care veterinarian about the best cleaning solution for your dog's ears. Take the time to gently clean your dog's ears every week, and always dry them 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.