Ear infections are a common disease seen in dogs. Infections can be caused by parasites, bacteria, yeast, trauma and even allergies. When the humidity is up or when your dog goes swimming the potential for ear infection increases. Bacteria and yeast love a moist dark environment, the inside of the ear.
The common signs include head shaking, head tilt, scratching, rubbing ear or carpet and pain when ears are massaged. Ear infections can be very painful.
A visit to Eagle Animal Hospital can determine the cause of the infection. We serve the chester county area including Chester Springs, Exton, Downingtown and Glenmoore. Usually a swab is taken and a slide is made to look for parasites, bacteria, or yeast.
The ears are then cleaned to allow any medication to reach the skin. The doctor will then look at the ears with the otoscope to check for redness, swelling and to be sure the ear drum is intact.
Medication is prescribed if it is indeed an infection. Medication is usually once or twice a day for at least one week. It is important to use medication as directed and for the proper length of time. Stopping the medication early can cause a rapid recurrence of the infection and may even cause the bacteria to become resistant to that antibiotic. Certain dogs are prone to ear infections and over time,with subsequent infections, may need different antibiotics due to resistance.
If an infection does not improve or if it returns quickly our veterinarian may choose to switch antibiotics or even do a bacterial culture. The culture is sent to the lab and usually takes 48-72 hrs for results.
Allergic cause of ear infections can be more difficult to diagnose. Allergies can be seasonal, environmental or food related.
Regardless of the cause of the infection, it is a good call to always have veterinary ear cleaner on hand. If your dog has recurrent infection, cleaning the ears once or twice a week may help.
Remember, ear infections are painful. Please, be sure to contact us if you think your dog has an ear infection.
Jill Luscombe, DVM Our relief veterinarian