Most dogs will experience an ear infection at one point in their lives. It is by far one of the most common ailments when it comes to health conditions in dogs. The bad news is – it can cause discomfort and pain for your dog. But the good news is – it’s very treatable. Read on for more information.
There are very common signs and symptoms when recognizing an ear infection in your dog. You will often see them scratching and rubbing at their ears incessantly – often shaking their heads as well.
Another sign might be redness, swelling or an abnormal, unpleasant odor coming from their ear/ears.
If you notice any or all of these symptoms – chances are your dog might have an ear infection.
Causes & How To Prevent This Condition
Ear infections are most commonly caused by bacteria or yeast growing within the ear. They may also be caused by ear mites.
A dog’s ear can become moist from bathing, grooming or swimming; a moist environment is a perfect breeding ground for bacteria and microorganisms. Sometimes, however, ear infections can be caused by allergies to mold or pollens.
Prevention can be as simple as routine ear cleaning to remove the moisture from your dog’s ears after bathing, grooming or swimming. However, if you suspect your dog has allergies – your vet will need to run some tests to find out the direct cause.
After visiting the vet to acquire the proper medication, follow the steps below.
Treatment of an ear infection in your dog will require a gentle cleanser as their ears will be tender and painful. Fill your dog’s ear canal with the cleanser and place a cotton ball at the opening of the ear massaging the cleanser into the infected area.
The purpose of the cotton ball is to act as a stopper to the opening of the ear to make sure the cleanser stays in the infected area. The cotton ball also absorbs the liquid and any debris that might be in the ear allowing you to identify what is in the ear canal.
If your dog is not in too much pain – continue cleaning the ear a few times until the cotton ball comes out clean. After cleaning your dog’s ear or ears – allow the ear to dry. Once dry – instill the medication prescribed by the veterinarian
A Few Tips & Precautions
- Do not use a Q-Tip as they can push anything inside the ear even further into the canal. You can also run the risk of puncturing the eardrum.
- Do not use rubbing alcohol as it can further irritate their sensitive skin. Use gentle cleaners that you would on a rash.
- Length of treatment will depend on the severity of the infection or any changes that might occur during the treatment process.
Make sure to schedule regular check-ups with your veterinarian to ensure that your dog is on the correct treatment path. They will also make sure that the medications are working properly or if any changes are needed.
Keep your dog’s ears healthy and feeling good by performing routine and regular ear cleanings!