What is that smell? Fido has a smelly odor coming from his ears, better take him to the vet. At Eagle Animal Hospital, about twenty percent of our doggy patients are treated annually for ear infections. On the other hand, our kitty patients are more commonly treated for ear mites and rarely treated for ear infections.
How do you know if your dog or cat has an ear infection and should be seen by our Chester Springs veterinarians? The common signs associated with ear infections may be one or more of the following.
- The ear or ears are red, swollen, and painful to the touch
- There is a large amount of dark brown, black, or yellow substance present inside of the ear(s)
- Your pet may shake their head often or scratch their ears
Many breeds are predisposed to having chronic ear infections, due to the positioning of their ears. Breeds with floppy ears more commonly have ear infection, than those with upright ears. Floppy ears trap in moisture, creating a humid environment within the ear canal, which is great for yeast and bacteria to grow. Furthermore, breeds that have hair growing in the ear canal are subject to ear infections. The hair traps in moisture and possible foreign bodies that cause ear infections. Dogs that have hairy ear canals don't always have ear infections. If the ears remain healthy, then plucking hair from the ear is not recommended.
Our doctors will examine the body of your pet and both ears. They will take note of your pet's hair coat and any abnormalities within or around the ears. Our doctors will treat secondary issues, such as yeast and bacteria, with a cleaning regimen and oral/topical antibiotics, antifungals and/or antiinflammatories. Yeast, bacteria, and wax may cause your pet discomfort, our veterinarians will determine the primary cause of your pet's ear infection(s) and propose a treatment plan. Chronic ear infections are primarily caused by one or more of the following:
- Seasonal allergies
- Food allergies
- Foreign debris-swimming in the ocean or in ponds/streams may allow tiny foreign debris to enter the ear canal
- Chronic skin infections
- Other underlying disease that cause your pet to have poor hair coat/ear infection(s) such as: hypothyroidism, hormone imbalances, autoimmune diseases, or viral diseases
If your pet has one or more of the signs listed above, you pet may have an ear infection. Please, call to make an appointment as soon as possible. If left untreated, ear infections can lead to other issues. The Eagle Animal Hospital doctors and staff will help you determine the best treatment plan for your pet.
We serve Chester Springs, Downingtown, Exton, and Glenmoore and surrounding areas.
Written by Jennifer Styer