n I do?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. If you are in financial difficulty, there are ways of still getting your pet treated by a veterinarian. Ask if they take Care Credit and apply online. This is a credit card specifically for medical, dental, and veterinary expenses.

Call a local animal shelter and ask if they have a low-cost pet clinic that works with people with limited incomes or call a college of veterinary medicine in your area and ask about a low- or no-cost veterinary care program.

GiveForward and Youcaring.com are crowd funding websites that help you raise money to help take care of your pets

Harley’s Hope Foundation is an organization that ensures low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise.

Many breed rescues and groups have specials funds available for owners who need financial assistance, such as the Special Needs Dobermans, Labrador Lifeline, and Pitbull Rescue Central.

Banfield Pet Hospital has its own programs for owners that can’t afford their pet’s care.

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has many programs including helping people with medical bills. They are a good resource for information.

Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to families with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to circumstances, there is not enough money immediately available to pay.

Some groups help with specific disease, such as Canine Cancer Awareness, The Magic Bullet Fund, Helping Harley Fund, and Muffin Diabetes Fund.

The Pet Fund and Redrover.org are great sources for help to care for your pet.

The Humane Society website has many links to other organizations that help with veterinary expenses.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

The treatment of ear dermatitis in cats is dependent on the underlying condition causing the red, itchy ear. In most ear dermatitis conditions, the veterinarian will attend to the cat`s signs with pain medications and anti-inflammatory drugs. The ear will be cleaned, with medicated drops following, if applicable.
If your cat`s ears are red and swollen and they spend a lot of time scratching and rubbing, it could be ear dermatitis. Dermatitis is the general term for skin inflammation and is commonly caused by allergies, parasites, trauma, and fungal and bacterial infections. It`s a common health issue for cats.
Ear discharge resembling coffee grounds. Yellowish or black discharge. Head tilting. Swelling or redness in the ear canal.
Antibiotics, anti-parasitics, antifungals, and corticosteroids are the most common treatments. What`s essential is that you get your cat in for treatment as soon as you notice signs of ear discomfort. Ear infections can become chronic and lead to deafness and facial paralysis.
If your cat allows it, you can use a moistened cotton ball to gently wipe debris out of the ears. If the backs of your cat`s ears are irritated and missing hair, you can gently apply some over the counter triple antibiotic ointment such as Neosporin®.
As we`ve explored, hot and red ears are usually a symptom of increased blood flow related to an emotion, change in temperature or a hormonal change. If any of the above is the cause for your red and hot ears, symptoms will disappear in a few minutes or hours, and no specific treatment is needed.
Medications may be administered directly in the ear, orally, or both. Antibiotics, such as amoxicillin-clavulanate (Clavamox®), enrofloxacin (Baytril®), clindamycin (various trade names), or cefpodoxime (Simplicef), will be prescribed for a bacterial infection for a minimum of six to eight weeks.
Outside of some normal wax, then, you shouldn`t see much in your cat`s ears. Any sort of inflammation, raw skin or crustiness is a tip that something`s amiss. Debris in a cat`s ear — it usually looks like dirt or coffee grounds — is an indication of ear mites, tiny insects that live and breed in the ear canal.
One of the most common causes of swollen ears in cats are ear infections; these ear infections can be classified as bacterial infections (either cocci or rods), yeast, ear mites, or even a combination of all three.
Use a cotton ball to clean, wipe, and dry the inside of your cat`s ears. You can pick up cotton ball squares at most human pharmacies. You can also use cotton balls, cotton makeup rounds, or even a tissue. Just don`t use cotton swabs to clean out your cat`s ears, as you could damage their eardrums.
It`s important that cats` ears are kept clean in order to avoid ear infections and other possible problems, but many cat owners don`t know how to do it.
Outside of your cat`s diet, pet owners can use olive oil to prevent ear infections, according to VetInfo.com. To clean a cat`s ears with olive oil, use a plastic ear dropper or a syringe, cotton balls, towel and bowl of warm water.
Take your pet to the vet if his ears are red, have a bad odor or he is scratching his ears or shaking his head for proper care. Olive oil, mineral oil or coconut oil—oils are relatively safe to use, and olive oil can kill ear mites by smothering them though it takes many weeks to clear ear mites with this method.
Vaseline can help reduce redness, swelling, and itching, making it a great addition to your cat`s treatment plan. Here`s how it works: First, clean out your cat`s ears. Then, massage a small amount of Vaseline into your cat`s ears.
Red ears do not always require medical care, but a person should speak to a doctor if they are experiencing frequent and bothersome red ears, or if they have significant pain or hearing changes. It is important to seek medical care to rule out a bacterial infection, such as cellulitis, especially if a fever is present.
Antibiotics are not usually offered because infections inside the ear often clear up on their own and antibiotics make little difference to symptoms, including pain. Antibiotics might be prescribed if: an ear infection does not start to get better after 3 days. you or your child has any fluid coming out of the ear.
When your feline friend has ear problems, you may notice a much different kitty. Symptoms of ear problems in cats include pawing at the ears, sensitivity to touch, a large amount of cream colored, orange, dark brown, or black wax; hearing loss; head tilting or shaking; and loss of balance.
If your cat`s ears are healthy, they should be a light pink, with minimal earwax and no obvious signs of inflammation. If you smell an unusual odor or see a lot of earwax, you`ll want to have your cat examined by a vet.
Most ear infections in cats can be treated with medical management in 1-2 weeks. While complications such as ruptured ear drums and middle and inner ear involvement can lead to hearing loss, most ear infection symptoms resolve with treatment.
Bacterial Infections

If your cat`s ears are hot and red and you notice these additional symptoms, consult your veterinarian immediately. Prompt action is needed to treat bacterial infections, or they can become serious quickly.

A cat ear infection should be treated as a serious medical condition. Never leave one untreated. If left untreated, it can lead to permanent hearing loss and balance problems. Untreated ear mites spread fast and can infect many other animals.
You can purchase an ear cleaner at the veterinarian`s office Water should not be used as an ear cleaner because it can sit in the ear and allow yeast to grow. Place a few drops of ear cleaner into the cat`s ears. Use the proper dosage as recommended on the label instructions.
But you may be wondering: can I clean my cat`s ear with wipes? The answer is simply:NO. Human wet wipes and baby wipes, typically the ones we have on hand, are not suitable for use on pets. In fact, Human wipes can be up to 200 times too acidic for your pet`s skin.
Healthy ears should be clean and free of any debris and any abnormal lumps or discolorations. If you see ear debris, check with your veterinarian. He/she may suggest that you clean your cat`s ears with a cotton ball moistened with warm water or a few drops of mineral oil or baby oil.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. One of my pet’s ears seems very irritated. What I can use to clean it with?
ANSWER : A. Ear Irritation can be caused by a number of things ranging from allergies, ear infections or even mites. Dirty ears can also cause irritation and problems. Knowing the type of problem is best for figuring out how to treat it.

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.

Q. I have two problems with my 16 yrs old dog: he’s constipated and has a ear ache. What can I use to relieve these?
ANSWER : A. Constipation is a common problem in dogs that can be due to a number of things. However it is a good idea to make sure the constipation is not actually diarrhea, as some dogs can strain after a bowel movement, making it look like such. If constipation is present, adding a little pumpkin puree or plain yogurt to the diet can help make digestion easier and make stools easier to pass. However if symptoms do not resolve after a few days, it is best to speak with your vet.

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.

Q. I have a kitten (about 3 months old) who’s ear is red and squishy sounding today (just started today) I can’t afford to go to a vet, what can I do?
ANSWER : A. If you are in financial difficulty, there are ways of still getting your pet treated by a veterinarian. Ask if they take Care Credit and apply online. This is a credit card specifically for medical, dental, and veterinary expenses.

Call a local animal shelter and ask if they have a low-cost pet clinic that works with people with limited incomes or call a college of veterinary medicine in your area and ask about a low- or no-cost veterinary care program.

GiveForward and Youcaring.com are crowd funding websites that help you raise money to help take care of your pets

Harley’s Hope Foundation is an organization that ensures low income pet parents and their companion or service animals remain together when issues arise.

Many breed rescues and groups have specials funds available for owners who need financial assistance, such as the Special Needs Dobermans, Labrador Lifeline, and Pitbull Rescue Central.

Banfield Pet Hospital has its own programs for owners that can’t afford their pet’s care.

The Onyx & Breezy Foundation has many programs including helping people with medical bills. They are a good resource for information.

Brown Dog Foundation provides funding to families with a sick pet that would likely respond to treatment, but due to circumstances, there is not enough money immediately available to pay.

Some groups help with specific disease, such as Canine Cancer Awareness, The Magic Bullet Fund, Helping Harley Fund, and Muffin Diabetes Fund.

The Pet Fund and Redrover.org are great sources for help to care for your pet.

The Humane Society website has many links to other organizations that help with veterinary expenses.

Q. My dog is having ear problems. I have had her at two vets and they can not seem to find the cause. Can you help?
ANSWER : A. For a pet with chronic ear issues I would recommend checking her thyroid levels. Hypothyroidism can be a cause of chronic ear infections.

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.

Q. I have two 3 week old kittens that I am bottle feeding. The kittens both have diareaa and there buts are red. Is there anything I can do ?
ANSWER : A. Diarrhea in kittens can be caused by many things, including intestinal parasites (very common in kittens), wrong formula, recent changes in diet (from queen’s milk to formula or from one formula to another), and other gastrointestinal upsets. Their bottoms are likely red and irritated from the diarrhea soiling the fur and skin, trapping moisture against the skin and serving as a breeding ground for bacteria. First, stop feeding the formula. Second, collect a fecal sample to be analyzed by your veterinarian for intestinal parasites. Third, call your vet and make an appointment as soon as possible, ideally the same day. Diarrhea in kittens is serious business and can lead to death from dehydration and loss of nutrients. Finally, in place of formula give an electrolyte replacement solution (like Pedialyte for infants/children) – plain, no flavors, no colors – for at least the next 1-2 feedings. This is not the same as a sports drink. After the 1st or 2nd feeding of straight electrolyte replacement solution, start to add formula back into diet at 1/4 strength ( 1 part formula to 3 parts water), The following feeding mix 2 parts formula to 2 parts water. Then, 3 parts formula to 1 part water. Finally, offer full-strength formula. If the diarrhea continues or worsens with increasing amounts of formula, go back to just electrolyte solution and repeat the process.

Q. My dog keeps shaking his head at night and is very anxious acting? We’ve cleaned his ears and putting ear drops in hasn’t helped?
ANSWER : A. It sounds like ear canal infection. I am not sure if you used ear drops to clean ears (they do not contain antibiotics) or ear drops from your vets to treat ear infection. In case you used ear cleaner only you should take your dog to your vets to get antibiotics. If you are using antibiotics drops and there is no improvement your vet may recommend taking a swab from the ear to check what bacteria, fungus or parasite is responsible for the infection and then pick the most effective medication.

Q. Can you use Floxin Otic for ear infections on dogs?
ANSWER : A. Floxin Otic is an ear cleaning solution designed for the clearing of ear infections in people. While it may be similar to dog products used for ear infections, it is best to bring it to your vet’s attention first so he or she can compare it to dog-safe products. It may be that it is in the same concentration and can be safely used, or your vet can instead recommend a product that is in the right formulation.

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.

Q. I have a 3 year old female Shihtzu she has started doing alot of reverse sneezing at the minute she has a sore ear at the moment is it coming from it.
ANSWER : A. Is your dog being treated for the sore ear? Because the only way I could imagine an ear infection causing reverse sneezing would be that the ear drum had been ruptured, which can definitely happen in chronic, serious ear infections. More likely, probably, is that both conditions (the ear infection and the reverse sneezing) are caused by allergies. So they’re not really related from the standpoint that the ear problem is causing the sneezing, but they’re both coming from the same cause. Make sense?

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.