Our Denver veterinarians frequently encounter ear infections in dogs. Timely detection allows for straightforward treatment of most dog ear infections. Here are some signs indicating that your dog may have an ear infection and the necessary steps to take if your dog is affected.
Your Pup's Ears
Your dog's ear canals are more susceptible to infections than people's, especially if they spend a lot of time in water or have floppy ears. These issues can become recurring. Trapped moisture in their ears creates an ideal environment for bacterial infections.
Take extra care with your pup's ears to prevent infections. If your dog does get an infection, seeing a vet early increases the chance of quick and easy clearance.
Untreated infections in dogs can quickly lead to symptoms like balance and coordination issues, pain, and, in severe cases, facial paralysis.
Causes of Dog Ear Infections
Bacteria frequently cause ear infections in dogs, but yeast, fungus, and ear mites can also lead to painful infections. Other culprits for your pup's ear troubles include foreign objects, physical trauma, and polyps.
Ear infections in dogs come in three types, depending on the location of the infection:
- Otitis interna is an infection of your pet's inner ear. (Inner ear infection in dogs)
- Otitis media indicates an infection in the dog's middle ear. (Middle ear infection in dogs)
- Otitis externa infections affect the outside of the ear. (Outer ear infection in dogs).
Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs
Your pup might experience intense pain from ear infections. If you observe signs of an ear infection, such as those listed below, promptly contact your veterinarian to schedule an examination for your pet. Taking swift action in treating ear infections can prevent the progression of more severe symptoms and minimize the risk of complications.
Keep an eye out for these symptoms if your pup is dealing with an ear infection:
- Tilting head
- Odor in the ear
- Pawing or rubbing at the ear
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
- Redness inside of the ear
- Swelling of the ear
- Head shaking
- Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
If your dog has a severe ear infection, you may notice other symptoms, such as:
- Walking in circles
- Indications of hearing loss
- Loss of coordination or balance
- Unusual eye movements
Treatment for Ear Infections in Dogs
If your dog gets diagnosed with an ear infection, our vets will clean out your dog's ears using a medical cleanser and prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications tailored to treat the specific type of ear infection. Your vet may also prescribe a topical medication and provide clear instructions on how to apply it at home.
Early-stage treatment usually resolves a straightforward ear infection within a week or two. However, if the infection is more severe or stems from an underlying health issue, the treatment may be more challenging and extend over several months. Severe cases can lead to chronic or recurring ear infections throughout your pet's life.
To ensure swift recovery, diligently follow your veterinarian's instructions. Failing to complete your dog's prescription or discontinuing treatment prematurely may result in recurring infections that become increasingly difficult to address.
It's crucial to schedule follow-up appointments with your vet for dog ear infections. Even if it seems like the infection has cleared, there might still be traces that are challenging for owners to detect. Completing the treatment before the infection fully heals can lead to recurring symptoms that are hard to treat.
How to Prevent Your Dog From Getting an Ear Infection
At Pets on Broadway Animal Hospital, we believe prevention is always better than treatment regarding ear infections. Keeping your pet's ears clean and dry is important to help prevent your pup from developing an ear infection.
Ask your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog's ears, take some time to gently clean their ears each week, and always dry their ears when they come out of water.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.