25 March 2016 ~ 0 Comments

Does Your Small Dog Have an Ear Infection?

Ear infections can be a common problem for dogs, but treated easily with medication. Photo courtesy Sorapin Pintusopon, Flickr Follow Me on Pinterest

Ear infections can be a common problem for dogs, but treated easily with medication. Photo courtesy Sorapin Pintusopon, Flickr

“My ear hurts. Woof!”

If your small dog has been scratching at their head lately this could be a serious medical issue. Does your small dog have an ear infection? Find out the causes, symptoms and treatments and remedy the bad bacteria for good.

Does Your Small Dog Have an Ear Infection?

Ear infections in dogs are common and most dogs suffer from this painful condition sometime in their life. Scratching and rubbing at the ear(s) and head shaking are common signs. You may also notice an abnormal odor from the ear or see redness or swelling. Most ear infections in adults are caused by bacteria and yeast, though ear mites are a common cause in puppies. Your veterinarian will take a sample from the affected ear(s) and examine it under the microscope to help identify what microorganisms are present.

 

Treatment for dog ear infection

For successful treatment you must clean the ear with a gentle cleanser as the ear will be painful. One product is Vetericyn Ear Rinse, which contains no antibiotics, steroids, alcohol, or toxic materials of any kind. An effective way to clean the ear is to fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution, place an appropriate-sized cotton ball in the ear canal opening, then gently massage the ear at the base. The cotton ball serves several functions. It acts as a lid to the allow the fluid to go back and forth in the canal, it absorbs the excess solution and it holds onto the debris as it comes up, letting you know what is down in the ear canal. As long as your dog tolerates it, you can clean the ear several times until the cotton ball comes out fairly clean. There are a few cautions when cleaning a dog’s ear. Do not use Q-Tip swabs as they may push debris deeper into the ear canal and rupture the eardrum. Do not use rubbing alcohol or other solutions that are irritating to inflamed skin (Think of the skin inside the ear of a dog with an ear infection as a rash), After the ear canal has been cleaned, allow it to dry for approximately 10 minutes. Then instill the medication(s) your veterinarian has prescribed (medicated ointment or drops). The length of treatment depends on the patient, severity of infection, and any changes to the ear (i.e., thickening of the tissue in the ear). In some cases oral medications are necessary (antibiotics, anti-yeast, anti-inflammatory). Your veterinarian will schedule rechecks to make sure the medications are working and the infection is cleared. Read more about Dog Infections in Ear infections in dogs: Symptoms, causes and treatments here.

Does your small dog have an ear infection? This common ailment is very treatable, and can be determined from a sample taken at your veterinarian’s office. Sometimes it’s allergies that can set this off, or the wrong diet. Thankfully you can help your dog get over this quickly and provide more comfort for them. Always practice frequent ear cleaning with the use of products that are safe for dogs.

What about you?

How did you treat your dog’s ear infection?

Tell us below!