One of the commonest reasons pets are brought to vet is ear infections. Research suggests that proportion of ear problems in dogs can be as large as 20%. So, ear problems can become a major reason of discomfort for your furry friends and therefore it’s important for you to learn to prevent them and treat them if they occur. Visit https://gordonvet.com.au/lindfield-vet/ to find solutions to various diseases in pets. Here we’ll learn about ear problems and their solutions.
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Symptoms of Ear Problems
You can easily find if your dog has discomfort due to an ear problem. You can see him digging and scratching his sore ear and also he may whine or groan while doing so. The inner side of his ear may appear redder than usual and usually smelling bad. Discharge may or may not be present. If your dog goes on scratching his ear, a blood vessel in the ear flap may burst causing a big blood blister (aural hematoma) which will have to be drained surgically.
Some of the common causes of ear problems in dogs are:
Anatomy: Anatomy of ears of some dog breeds is such that they are more prone to infections, for example dogs having big pendulous ear flaps that restrict circulation of air in their ear canals. Some dogs of any breed may be born with very hairy or narrow canals which too don’t get much air circulation. Due to this the canal remains damp and warm providing ideal conditions for growth of bacteria.
Ear Mites:Ear mites are extremely contagious parasites living in the dogs’ ear canals. They give rise to severe itching and can even prompt to secondary fungal or bacterial infection. Due to scratching, even an aural hematoma may be caused.
Allergies: Allergies to food, pollens and dust can also cause redness and itching in your dog’s ears. The allergic inflammation in the ear canal can even invite fungi and bacteria to flourish which makes the dog feel even worse.
Infections: It’s rare in dogs to have an ear infection without some underlying cause which can be any of the above-mentioned conditions.
Management of ear problems in dogs has three parts.
- Treating Infection: First you can clean your dog’s ears with a soft ear cleaner to remove any excess wax or discharge. Then ear drops with antifungal and antibiotic ingredients are applied to the canal once or twice in a day. The drops often contain anti-inflammatory products too which ease the pain. It’s essential to complete the full course of treatment in order to avoid recurrence of infection.
- Treating the Cause: The ear problems are likely to recur unless you treat the underlying cause. This includes tests for allergies and clipping hair around the ear canal. In breeds with an anatomical defect, surgical procedure can be effective for opening up ear canal allowing better air flow and drainage.
- Aural Hematomas: These require a surgery to drain the blood out from the ear. To prevent the recurrence of hematoma, the ear flaps are held together with sutures.
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- Some dog breeds are quite easy to take care of their ears. Short-coated breeds having erect ears like Australian Cattle Dog or even German Shepherd hardly need any maintenance, except they have an allergy giving rise to problems. In that case, allergy management leads to elimination of the ear problem.
- If the dog’s ear canal is hairy, you may feel like pulling the hair out. However, most vets advise not to pluck unless there is a problem in the dog’s ears. However, in case of an infection, hair removal will let the ear drops reach the ear canal’s skin better.
- A cleanser that dries out dampness in the ear canal should be used in dogs that swim a lot to eliminate the chances of infection.
- Dogs with pendulous ear flaps or narrow canals should be treated with a surgical procedure to rectify the ear’s anatomy and lessen the risk of recurring infections.
Take your dog to a good andlicensed North Ryde vet like Gordon Vet Hospital in an emergency situation and also for a regular checkup to eliminate the possibility of ear infections in your dog.