Can Dogs Get Ear Infections in Pasadena, CA?
Dog ownership can be a dance between caring for their needs and sorting out when they are actually okay and don’t need any further care. You will find that there are many conditions that dogs can get that might remind you of the health issues that children are prone to. One of these health conditions is an ear infection.
Dogs Can Get Ear Infections
Yes, dogs can get ear infections. This might happen due to them scratching at other injuries or skin conditions on their face. They might also get ear infections because of an irritant that has gotten into their ear canals. Floppy-eared dogs are more prone to ear infections than dogs without ear flaps because floppy ears tend to hold in moisture and irritants.
Types of Dog Ear Infections
There are three common types of dog ear infections. These three kinds of infections can show different symptoms so that you can tell which kind of infection is causing your dog’s discomfort.
Otitis externa infections impact the outside of the ear. These are not as common as other kinds of infection and might be related to injury to the ear or to years of infections and other conditions that can cause widespread skin irritation.
Otitis media infections impact the middle ear and might be caused by scratching at irritants or by an item that has gotten into the ear and caused discomfort or infection on its own.
Otitis interna is an infection of your pet’s inner ear. This is not as common as the other types of infections but might be related to ear mites and other kinds of irritation that have impacted the deepest part of the ear canal.
How Do I Know My Dog Has an Ear Infection?
Ear infections in dogs can be hard to detect in the early stages. Your dog can’t tell you what is wrong with them but they might show symptoms that will make it clear that an ear infection is the reason for their discomfort. Owners who know what to look for will be able to tell that an ear infection is a reason for their dog’s discomfort.
Symptoms to Watch For
There are some symptoms that are classically related to ear infections in dogs. Once you know what the symptoms of ear infections are, you will be able to see them right away and take action to get your dog the medications and help that it needs to get handle the ear infection.
- Scratching or pawing at the ear
- Yellow, brown, or bloody discharge from the ear
- Puffy or inflamed ear flaps
- Redness in the ear
- A bad odor coming from the ear
- Head shaking or head tile
- Crusting and scabbing inside or near the ear
- Rubbing of the ear on furniture and other items
- Large balloon-like ears that are filled with blood
When ear infections advance to later stages, your dog might show signs of hearing loss, or they might walk in circles. They also might show unusual eye movements that are rapid and disjointed. You might also see a loss of balance or coordination that can indicate a middle ear infection.
Treatment for Ear Infections in Dogs
Dogs with ear infections will need to see their veterinarian sooner rather than later. Most ear infections are not going to go away on their own and you will need your pet to get on a treatment plan in order to deal with the infection before it gets ingrained and starts to cause permanent damage to the inner ear.
Antibiotics and Ear Cleaning
Dogs that are diagnosed with ear infections will need to be put on a course of antibiotics to remove lingering infections after the original treatment. Your dog might need to have a thorough ear cleaning at the vet to remove debris, mites, and infection debris that is causing ongoing inflammation. If mites are the reason for your pet’s ear infection, you will need to make sure that you get the right medication to remove the mites as well.
Ears that have hematomas will need to be drained to remove the excess fluid and blood that is making the ear swollen. When there is a bleeder in the ear that is causing ongoing swelling in the ear flap, your dog might need to have a small surgery to tie off the open blood vessel that is causing the swelling and hematoma issue.
Follow-Up Vet Visit
Your vet will want to see your dog for a follow-up to make sure that the infection and the reasons that led to it are being cared for appropriately. Dogs with ear infections that are caused by mites or other problems will need to be seen again to make sure that the condition that led to the infection has been cleared up. In most cases, the ear infection that your dog has contracted can be resolved with antibiotics and some weeks of care for their exterior ear health.
Ear Infections in Dogs Can Lead to Lots of Discomfort
Dogs with ear infections are prone to many secondary problems. Swelling, hematomas, and excessive scratching are all secondary issues that can be related to ear infections. Dogs with ear infections can cause great damage to their ears and the sides of their face trying to alleviate the discomfort in their inner ear. If you have a dog with an ear infection, you might not even know that they have one until their ears start to swell or bleed.
Talk to Your Veterinarian
Ear infections in dogs can come on slowly and you might not know that your dog has one until the situation is dire. If you are suspicious that your dog has an ear infection, you need to take your dog to the vet right away. Getting your pet on antibiotics can make all the difference in treating this condition and preventing secondary issues that might cause larger procedures to be needed for your pet’s health.
To talk with your Altadena Pet Hospital veterinarian about your dog’s ear infection call (626) 798-0738 or book an appointment online!