Pet Tips

Ear Infections and Dogs – Treating Canine Ear Infections – Pet tip 188

Dogs get the occasional ear infection just like humans do. Ear infections or otitis can occur in any of the three sections (outer/middle/inner) of the ear, but most canine ear infections happen in the outer ear. Canine ear infections occur for different reasons but common reasons include; fleas, mites, other skin parasites, water in the ear, foreign objects getting into the ear, too much wax buildup and auto-immune disease.

If your dog is suffering from an ear infection it will certainly let you know through its body language. If the infection is more severe, the dog may even vocalize its pain. A dog with an ear infection will likely be shaking its head much more than usual and will almost certainly be scratching or pawing at its ear more often than usual. If only one ear is infected, the dog will often point that ear toward the ground. Some dogs will even roll around on their ears or lean their infected ear against something. The outer ear itself will likely be quite red and if you try to touch a dog’s infected ear it will normally be very sensitive to touch and your dog will react. Another symptom of an ear infection is a foul smell that comes from inside the ear. Ear infections are painful so as the infection progresses you are likely to see these symptoms intensify. If left untreated the infection can spread to the dog’s ear drum and perforate the ear drum. This is serious stuff and can lead to partial or full deafness. When infections make their way to the inner ear, you may also notice the dog stumbling or circling to one side as the inner ear controls a dog’s sense of balance.

Treating canine ear infections is usually not that difficult and the most common treatment will be antibiotics. It’s important to know that ear infections usually spread and get worse (and more painful) if left untreated. If this is the case for your dog, the treatment may be more extensive as well as expensive. Surgery is often needed to repair the ear when the infection is severe. It is important to figure out why the dog developed the ear-infection in the first place to reduce the frequency of future ear infections. Frequently ear infections are the result of wax buildup and your veterinarian should be able to give you an ear-cleaning demonstration in order to prevent this common problem from reoccurring. At the same time you should ask the vet for a demo on how to give your dog ear drops as this is a common treatment along with antibiotics. As a final note, you should know that the prognosis for canine ear infections is good. Even bad inner ear infections are usually successfully treated. Due to the pain and discomfort involved with any ear infection however, seek veterinary care at the first indication of any canine ear problem.

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