Long, floppy ears definitely add to canine cuteness, but they are partially responsible for chronic ear infections in dogs. Without adequate air flow and drainage, the dark, moist, warm inner ears become vulnerable to bacteria. In addition to breeds predisposed to ear infections, pups that suffer allergies and those that swim are at higher risk.
Getting the Right Attention
Ear infections in dogs can range from mildly irritating to utterly painful. Common symptoms include head shaking, pawing at the ear, and whining. A closer inspection of the ears may reveal crusty skin, scabbing, discharge, odor, and redness. Left alone, ear infections in dogs can cause hearing loss, balance/coordination issues, facial paralysis, and uncharacteristic eye movements.
If any of the above symptoms are noticeable, please reach out to us at (951) 461-4100. The sooner your dog receives treatment, the better they’ll feel and behave.
Yeast and bacteria can be present in canine ears, but the addition of moisture to the unique structure of your dog’s ears created the perfect storm for an infection. If your dog’s ears cover the opening to their ear, or they happen to swim a lot or play in water, you could be looking at an ongoing challenge to their immune system.
Bacteria is the leading cause of ear infections in dogs, but the following are not uncommon:
- Food triggers and environmental allergens, such as pollen, mold, dust mites, and more
- Ear mites
- Foreign objects
- Traumatic injury
Treating Ear Infections in Dogs
Once symptoms are reported, we will complete a thorough physical examination before landing on diagnosis.
Cleaning the ear(s) with a medicated cleanser will help us view the problem in greater detail and remove excessive bacteria. Antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications are appropriate treatments for ear infections in dogs. We may also prescribe topical creams to ease itching and pain.
Depending on the length of your dog’s infection, treatment will vary. It may take several weeks for symptoms to subside.
Unfortunately, many dogs experience chronic ear infections due to their anatomy, lifestyle, or allergies. A proactive approach to diet may alleviate some of their allergies, and we can help you find the right food for their needs. If their ear infections are related to environmental triggers, we can help with allergy testing and treatment.
Ear infections in dogs are no laughing matter. They hurt, cause discomfort and confusion, and just generally ruin a good day. We can help you assess your dog’s ears on a regular basis with careful, quick cleaning and, most importantly, drying. Routine follow-ups may be necessary to prevent bacteria from gaining a foothold inside your dog’s ears.
If you have questions about your dog’s potential for this type of health condition, please call us at (951) 461-4100. Our staff is always happy to help at Sky Canyon Animal Hospital.