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How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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Ear infections are painful for pups. You`ll likely see your dog scratching at his ears or shaking his head. Other symptoms include red, irritated skin inside the ears and brown, yellow, or green discharge. Ear infections can also be super stinky.
If that was not enough, the probiotics found in yogurts can help your dog to fight yeast infections, which can result in ear and skin problems. Furthermore, probiotics may help your dog`s body to absorb nutrients and boost immunity.
The longer your dog`s ear infection goes on untreated, the more likely you will be to see swelling and redness of the ear. This is a sign that the infection is worsening and needs to be treated right away, so go to the vet immediately if you notice this symptom crop up.
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For plain dirty ears that do not have any odor, redness or leakage of discharge/debris, a simple over the counter canine ear cleaner can be used. Gently soak some cotton balls or a washcloth with the cleaner, and then use these to wipe out the flap of the ear and opening to the ear. Do NOT use Q-tips as these can become stuck or lodged in the curve of the ear canal and may cause injury to the ear drum.
If the ear is bright red or itchy without any dirt or debris in it, it may indicate an allergy. Sometimes an allergy medication can help provide relief in this situation. Your vet can give you the correct dosages of an over the counter allergy medication to use, or may recommend one specifically for dogs.
For infections and mites, changes to the ear such as bad smell or lots of debris and discharge, flecks of black or brown debris, or scabs and sores in the ear may be present. In these cases, it is best to have your vet take a sample of the ear debris to test for mites or infection. Your vet can then give you an ointment that is placed and left in the ear between ear cleanings. Most vets will then recommend cleaning the ears twice daily and then leaving in the ointment after for a period of ten days.
Ear mites ARE contagious to other pets, so if your dog does have them, it is best to treat any other pets in the house at the same time to prevent the mites from spreading around continuously.
Then I would recommend having a bacterial culture of the ear debris to ensure the appropriate antibiotic is chosen to completely rid the bacteria in there. If there is resistant bacteria, the ear will appear to get better at first but then once ear meds are stopped they will thrive again and cause a re-emergency of the ear infection. Also longer treatment may be needed, for example instead of 7-10 days, perhaps 14 days continuously.
If all else fails, I would recommend a skull radiographs to look for signs of a narrow ear canal and/or an inner ear infection which will require not only topical antibiotic ointments put into the ear, but also oral antibiotics.
Most ear infections are caused by moisture in the ears, narrow ear canals, hypothyroidism or skin allergies. Each one has to be gone through systematically.
For ear aches, it is best to have your vet examine the ear as many things including allergies, ear infections, mites and more can cause ear problems. If the ear is just dirty, then cleaning the ear gently with cotton balls or a clean washcloth and a dog ear cleaning solution can help. Do not use Q-tips as a dog’s ear has a 90-degree turn in it and placing Q-tips in the ear can cause damage to the canal or inner ear. However if the problem persists or cleaning does not help, it is best to seek care.
I would address any possible skin allergies, if they do not have any other skin issues, then looking inside the ears and cleaning with a good ear cleaner (should be alcohol free—because alcohol is very drying) If the ear scratching continues regularly then bring him/her into the vet to have a proper ear exam.
If she’s not under a veterinarian’s care for this, I’d strongly encourage you to get her there. The ear problems can become chronic and recurrent, and can cause hearing loss. Allergies can be frustrating to treat, but a good vet will work with you to figure out how to help your dog. Good luck, let us know if you’d like to consult about this problem.
If the redness is happening just when outside, it may also be that your dog is digging or nosing around in something that is irritating. It may be a good idea to watch your dog a few times while he is outside to see if there is anything he enjoys exploring. The redness could just be irritation from that.
However, if you are concerned about the redness, it is always a good idea to bring it up with your veterinarian to make sure there is not a more serious cause behind it.