Our veterinarians at North Providence encounter inner ear infections in dogs, especially dogs with floppy ears. Fortunately, the majority of bacterial ear infections in dogs can be easily treated if detected early. Here are some indications of serious ear infections in dogs and the necessary steps to take.
Your Dog's Ears
Dogs are more prone to ear infections than humans due to the shape of their ear canal. If your furry friend loves to swim or has long floppy ears, moisture can get trapped inside the ear, providing a favorable environment for bacteria to grow.
However, you can reduce the risk of your dog developing ear infections with proper care. In the event of an infection, it's best to seek veterinary care promptly to ensure a quick and easy resolution.
If left untreated, ear infections in dogs can lead to more serious infections and symptoms. These can include problems with balance and coordination, intense pain, and in some cases, facial paralysis.
Causes of Ear Infections
Bacteria typically cause ear infections in dogs, although yeast, fungus, and ear mites can also lead to painful ear infections. Additionally, foreign objects, trauma, tumors, or polyps may also be contributing factors to ear infections in dogs.
Ear Infection Symptoms in Dogs
If your furry friend is displaying any of the following symptoms of an ear infection, it's important to seek veterinary care promptly. Ear infections can be incredibly uncomfortable and painful for dogs. Taking early action can prevent more severe symptoms from developing.
Looking for common symptoms of ear infections in dogs include:
- Pawing or rubbing the ear
- Discharge that is brown, yellow, or bloody
- Redness inside of the ear
- Unpleasant odor from the ear
- Shaking of the head
- Tilting head
- Swelling of the ear
- Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
In severe cases, your dog's ear infection is more severe you may notice other symptoms like:
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Signs of hearing loss
- Walking in circles
- Unusual eye movements
Treating Your Dog's Ear Infection
If your furry friend is suffering from an ear infection, your trusted veterinarian will clean it with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any necessary antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications to treat the infection. You may be provided with topical medication and instructions on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.
If caught early, a simple ear infection can usually clear up within a week or two. However, if the infection is severe or caused by a medical condition, treatment may be more challenging and could take months to resolve. In severe cases, it is not uncommon for dogs to experience chronic or recurring ear infections throughout their lifetime.
To ensure your dog's ear infection is controlled, following your veterinarian's instructions carefully is critical. Failing to complete the prescribed medications or stopping treatment before the infection has fully resolved could result in a recurring infection that becomes increasingly difficult to treat.
It is highly recommended that you schedule a follow-up appointment with your veterinarian even if your dog's ear infection appears to be gone. There may still be traces of infection that can only be detected by a professional. Remember, the health and well-being of your furry companion are of utmost importance.
Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs
When it comes to ear infections in dogs, our veterinarians strongly advise taking preventative measures. Keeping your furry friend's ears clean and dry is crucial in reducing the risk of an ear infection. We recommend consulting with your veterinarian to determine the ideal cleaning solution for your dog's ears and cleaning them gently once a week.
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.