Ear infections are hands down some of the most common medial issues we see at Los Banos Veterinary Clinic. We even tell pet owners that most dogs will have some sort of ear infection at some point in life. The good news is that when they are caught early and treated consistently, ear infections are not a big deal.
If you’ve never had a dog with an ear infection before, you likely won’t miss the symptoms. While some breeds are more prone to these infections, all dogs are eligible and pet owners should always be on the look out for the telltale signs, which are listed below:
How do dogs contract ear infections?
There are two main ways that we find pets contract ear infections. The first is that they are a result of a larger condition. For example, pets that have allergies are commonly diagnosed with ear infections. During allergy season, certain natural components irritate dog’s ears or the skin around the ears, causing scratching and discomfort, which can lead to infections. Foreign masses are another condition that will cause ear infections.
The most common way for your pet to get an ear infection, however, is exposure to eater. Dogs who are active swimmers or even those who recently visited a groomer for a bath are prone to infections in the ear as any leftover water can become stagnant and lead to infection. This is the result of microorganisms and will leave a yeasty smell that’s hard to miss.
How are ear infections treated?
If you see your pet showing the telltale signs of itching ears, scratching their ears along objects or seem to be in pain when you pet their ears, you should visit your veterinarian. Our staff can quickly diagnose ear infections and the first thing we do in our office is to clean the ear. We use a gentle cleanser and flush out the ear, avoiding Q-Tips as they oftentimes cause more damage than good and can permanently harm the ear canal.
After cleaning, most pets start to feel better already! Once the area is clean and dry, we administer a prescription medication to the area in the form of ointment or drops. Your doctor will write a prescription so that you can continue to regiment at home and your pet should be good as new in no time!
What if pet owners don’t seek treatment?
When diagnosed early, ear infections are simple to treat and won’t cause long-term damage. If they aren’t treated quickly, however, the ear infection can worsen and lead to severe, permanent damage such as deafness. In some cases, dogs have to undergo anesthesia and receive tubes to drain the access water from the ear while it heals. Until the ear infection is properly treated by a veterinarian, it will never go away and will continue to worsen over time.
Upon noticing ear infection symptoms, call our office and schedule an appointment. The quicker you can receive treatment, the better your dog will feel and the less likely any serious damage will occur. The Los Banos Veterinary Clinic staff can also share advice for healthy ears and care!