Ear infections are most often due to an over growth of bacteria or yeast in the ear canal. This can be caused by mites, trapped water, growing hair or a foreign body in the ear. Ear infections are often secondary complications to other problems such as environmental or food allergies, hypothyroidism or excessive amounts of ear wax. Due to the shape of the ear canal frequent bathing, swimming or incorrect cleaning can lead to infections as it is hard for debris and water to escape the canal. Dogs with long or floppy ears are especially prone to ear infections for this reason.
• Itchy ears
• Brown, red or bloody discharge
• Redness and swelling
• Head shaking/Head tilt
• Hearing loss
A veterinarian can often diagnose an ear infection by examining the ear canal and ear drum with the help of an otoscope. After a thorough examination the veterinarian will take a sample of the discharge coming from the ears and look at it under a microscope. The microscope enables your vet to whether its bacteria, yeast or parasites that are causing the infection. It is important not to self-diagnose an ear infection as the different causes have different treatments and if treated improperly they may lead to other problems.
Ear infections can be treated at home. During your appointment the Veterinary Technician will clean your pet’s ears for you and give you instructions on how to keep them clean. It is important to never use a Q-Tip as they can puncture the ear drum if inserted too deep. Your veterinarian may then prescribe either an oral or topical medication.
This blog post was written by McQueen Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic in Brampton providing quality affordable veterinary care