How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?
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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.
While bacterial infections are the most common cause of ear infections in dogs, yeast, ear mites, and fungus can all cause your dog`s ears to become infected and uncomfortable. Other causes of dog ear infections include foreign objects lodged in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.
A chronic ear infection may cause permanent changes to the ear and nearby bones, including: Infection of the mastoid bone behind the ear (mastoiditis) Ongoing drainage from a hole in the eardrum that does not heal, or after ear tubes are inserted. Cyst in the middle ear (cholesteatoma)
They may also shake their head frequently in an attempt to loosen the pressure in the ear that is causing their pain. Head tilt and head shaking may also be signs of neurological problems in dogs. If this is the only symptom you notice, you should take your dog to the vet for a full checkup.
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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.
If you are seeing an ear infection in your dog’s ears, your vet can provide you with a dog-safe medication to use. Ear infections are usually treated over a period of ten days and involve cleaning the ear 2x daily and then placing the otic ointment in the ear to stay in place until the next cleaning.
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.
Do not use penicillin to treat your dog unless instructed by your veterinarian to do so. Penicillin is a general antibiotic and may not be the right choice for treating this particular infection. The wrong dosage can also cause your dog to become very ill.