How to Tell If Your Dog Has an Ear Infection
Ear infections can occur in any breed of dog, and they can affect your pooch at any time. Generally, doggies who have certain allergies or certain medical conditions are at a higher risk of developing an infection. Furthermore, the shape of your dog’s pinnae can play a role in how frequently it will develop an infection. Long floppy ears and excessive hair in the ear canal can be conducive to an infection.
What are the Symptoms of Ear Infection
The first symptom is decreased hearing, which is one of the most common signs of an ear infection in dogs. A more serious infection can also cause a lopsided gait, which can make it difficult to walk up and down stairs. As the infection worsens, a dog may also begin to tilt his head to one side or shake its head excessively. If this occurs, you should consult a veterinarian.
Another symptom is an abnormally strong odor coming from the dog’s ear. This odor is caused by the buildup of bacteria in the ear, which will get worse as the infection advances. A dog’s ears can also become crusty and thick. This can make the canals more narrow, and the dog may begin to scratch excessively.
If an ear infection is caught early, it can be treated by cleaning the affected ear and flushing the ear with saline solution. Depending on the severity of the infection, some veterinarians may clean both ears. The ear may need to be numbed so the veterinarian can see the tympanic membrane.
Once the veterinarian has a sample of the affected ear, they can diagnose the infection. In severe cases, a veterinarian may use a culture and susceptibility test to determine the exact cause of the infection. In more severe cases, a veterinarian may decide to use a different medication.
In addition to hearing loss, an ear infection in dogs can also affect balance and appetite. An ear infection can also be painful. While most dog ear infections are not contagious, yeast and bacteria can grow unchecked in the ear. Therefore, it’s important to treat it as soon as possible.
How to Diagnose Ear Infection in Dog
A dog with an ear infection should be treated immediately. If left untreated, it could lead to recurrence. A vet can recommend the proper treatment for your dog’s specific case. You should always follow your veterinarian’s advice when it comes to treating an ear infection. Failing to complete the course of medication can lead to a recurrence of the infection, or worse, a disease that becomes resistant to the treatment.
One of the first signs of an ear infection is a dog tilting its head to one side or shaking its head constantly. If this is happening in moderation, don’t worry, but if these symptoms persist, it’s best to see a vet.
Usually, a veterinarian can determine the cause of an ear infection by performing an otoscopic exam and microscopic examination. A vet may also prescribe a medicated ear wash or topical ointment to ease discomfort. In more serious cases, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics. Antibiotics can help soothe the discomfort and stop the spread of the infection.
A dog with an ear infection will typically have a red, swollen ear. It may also have a foul odor and be in pain. A dog with an infection will scratch to relieve the discomfort. His ears may also have a yellow or black discharge. If it’s a chronic infection, the discharge may be crusty or thickened. Additionally, the ear canal may become narrow.
How to Treat Ear Infection in Dog
There are several different types of medications used for treatment of ear infections in dogs. These medications can be applied directly to the external ear canal, given orally, or both. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections, and topical antifungal medications are used for fungal infections. Itraconazole is the most common antifungal medication prescribed for fungal infections.
If you suspect your dog has a severe ear infection, visit a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. Your veterinarian can perform microscopic examinations or culture a sample of the ear canal. He or she can also perform blood tests to rule out other medical conditions. In some severe cases, x-rays and CT scans may be necessary.
In the case of otitis interna, your dog’s ears may become so inflamed and painful that it makes it impossible to hear. It may also develop a foul-smelling discharge. A black or yellow discharge may come from the ears. In severe cases, your dog may tilt its head to the affected ear. This is an indication that the infection is severe. Other symptoms of otitis interna include hearing loss and balance problems.
If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, your vet may recommend antibiotics to clear it up. These medications can take up to six weeks to clear the infection. You should be aware that you should never stop the medication before your vet confirms that the infection has been cleared. If the infection persists, it can become resistant to the medication.
Prevention is the best cure when it comes to dog ear infections. The first step to prevention is to clean your dog’s ears regularly. By doing so, you will catch the infection early and prevent it from progressing. Clipping your dog’s ear hair will also improve the circulation of air inside the ear. Keeping the ear clean will also prevent bacteria and yeast from growing
The symptoms of an ear infection are varied and can be subtle or severe. Some of the most common signs include excessive scratching or head shaking. Additionally, the ear often has a distinct odor. Your dog may even whimper or yell in pain. A vet will be able to diagnose an infection after performing a physical exam and taking a sample of the affected ear.
A cleaning solution should be applied once or twice weekly to your dog’s ear. Make sure you clean the inside of the ear as well as the outside. The solution should be poured into both ear canals thoroughly and massaged for about two minutes. Remember not to scrub the ear too hard – this can be painful if the ear is inflamed. To wipe out any excess solution, you should use cotton pads or cotton balls.
Dog ear infections are very common and are caused by a variety of factors. Some dogs are genetically predisposed to them, while others are susceptible due to environmental factors. Moisture and heat are the main culprits, but other factors also contribute to the spread of infection. Fortunately, prevention is the best cure for dog ear infections. It’s important to keep your dog clean and dry all the time, and you can try several natural treatments.