Your Dog's Ears
When compared to cat's ears, a dog's ears are more susceptible to ear infections due to the shape of their ear canals. If your dog swims a lot, or has long, floppy ears, they will be at even higher risk of ear infections. This is because moisture can become trapped in the ear and create an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.
If your pooch does develop an ear infection, you can likely get it cleared up quickly and easily by bringing them in to see a veterinarian. That said, if early symptoms of ear infections are not effectively treated, this can cause much more severe ear infections to develop, often leading to symptoms such as loss of balance and coordination, pain, and in severe cases, facial paralysis.
Causes of Ear Infection in Dogs
While bacteria is by far the number one cause of ear infections in dogs, ear mites, yeast, and fungus can all cause your four-legged friend's ears to become infected and painful. Other causes of dog ear infections include foreign objects lodged in the ear, tumors, polyps, or trauma.
Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs
As you might imagine, ear infections can be very painful for your pooch. If you see any of the following signs of ear infection, contact your vet immediately to schedule an examination for your pet.
Early treatment for ear infections in dogs can help to prevent severe pain and other serious symptoms from developing. Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:
- Odor in the ear
- Swelling of the ear
- Tilting head
- Head shaking
- Pawing or rubbing at the ear
- Redness inside the ear
- Crusts or scabs inside the ear
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
Severe ear infections in dogs can lead to more serious symptoms such as:
- Unusual eye movements
- Walking in circles
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Hearing loss
Treating Ear Infections in Dogs
If your pup has an ear infection, 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 vet may also prescribe a topical solution and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.
With early treatment, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up 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 could take months to resolve. More severe cases often result in chronic or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet's lifetime.
Carefully following your veterinarian's instructions will be essential to clearing up 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 Tucson vets believe that prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to ear infections. To help prevent your furry friend from developing an ear infection it is important to keep your pet's ears clean and dry.
Speak to your vet about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears every week, and always dry your dog's ears whenever your pooch comes out of the water.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding people or pets. If you are concerned about your pet's health, contact your veterinarian right away for diagnosis and treatment.