Our veterinary team sees a lot of ear infections in dogs, they're quite common. Most ear infections in our canine companions are simple to treat if diagnosed early though. Here, our Avon vets explain some of the signs that your dog may have an ear infection and what you should do if they are suffering from one.
Your Pup's Ears
Because the shape of dogs' ear canals tend to be a bit more susceptible to ear infections than people's it's not uncommon for your pup to have an infection at all. This goes doubly if they spend lots of time in the water or have long, floppy ears since moisture can get trapped in the ear, creating a great environment for bacteria to thrive.
By taking some extra time with your dog's ears, you may be able to prevent your pup from developing an infection in their ears in the first place. And if your dog does get an infection there's a good chance that by seeing a vet early, their health issues will be cleared up quickly and easily. If left untreated, however, ear infections in dogs can develop into serious issues, affecting their balance, causing them severe problems with coordination and facial paralysis, all on top of severe pain.
Causes of Dog Ear Infections
Bacteria are most often the root cause of an ear infection in your dog. However, fungus, yeast or ear mites can all cause infection and pain in your canine companion's ears as well. Some other causes of ear infections in your dog include: foreign objects lodged into their ears, physical trauma, polyps and tumors.
Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs
Ear infections can be quite painful for your pooch. If your dog shows any of the following signs of ear infections, contact your vet as soon as you can and book an appointment for your pet:
- Pawing or rubbing at the ear
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Odor in the ear
- Redness inside of the ear
- Unusual eye movements
- Walking in circles
- Head shaking
- Tilting head
- Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
- Swelling of the ear
- Indications of hearing loss
- Loss coordination or balance
Treatment for Ear Infections in Dogs
If your dog has been diagnosed with an ear infection, your vet will take some time to clean out their ear with a medicated products as well as prescribe appropriate antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications. If your dog is prescribed a topical medication, you will receive instructions on how to apply it at home.
With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within just a week or two. If your dog as a more severe ear infection or their health issue is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve. In many cases, more severe cases result in chronic ear infections in dogs or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet's lifetime.
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.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting an Ear Infection
At Animal General, we believe that prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to ear infections in Avon dogs. To help prevent your pup from developing an ear infection it is important to keep your pet's ears clean and dry.
Speak to your primary care veterinarian about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog's ears, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears every week, and always dry your dog's ears 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.