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Dog Ear Infections: Types, Causes and Treatment Options

Dog ear infections can be unpleasant for both you and your dog. They are a common occurrence, but f…

Dog ear infections can be unpleasant for both you and your dog. They are a common occurrence, but fortunately, there are many treatment options available. In this article, we will discuss some of the most common types of dog ear infections, what causes them, how they are treated and ways to prevent them from happening in the first place.

A pet groomer cleans the ear of a small mixed breed dog with cotton buds. At a dog salon.

Types of Dog Ear Infections:

There are a variety of types of canine ear infections, including otitis externa (outer ear), otitis media (middle-ear inflammation), and otitis interna (inner or middle). Otitis externa is an external ear infection, otitis media is an inflammatory condition of the middle ear, and otitis interna can be either internal or middle.

Otitis externa:

This is the most common type of ear infection in dogs and it occurs when bacteria or fungi grow inside your dog’s ears. It usually affects a small area at first but can spread to affect other areas if not treated quickly enough.

Otitis media:

This condition happens when there is an inflammatory reaction within the middle ear cavity, such as swelling or fluid build-up. Dog’s with long floppy ears are more likely to develop this kind of ear infection due to gravity pulling down on their auditory bullae (the part which contains parts of the inner ear). If left untreated otitis media may cause complications that could lead to deafness so you should visit your vet immediately if you suspect your dog has this form of canine ear infection.

Otitis interna:

This is more common in older dogs and can affect a number of different parts inside the ear. It basically means that there has been an infection somewhere within your dog’s inner ear, such as the cochlea or tympanic membrane (the part that contains three bones connected to the auditory canal).

What Causes Dog Ear Infections?

There are several possible causes for canine ear infections but we will focus on some of the most likely ones below:

Fungal Infection – Dogs with diabetes mellitus may have yeast overgrowth in their ears due to changes in blood sugar levels. Yeast growth may also be caused by antibiotic use or poor grooming habits too so make sure you keep your dog’s ears clean and dry at all times.

Bacteria – Usually, there is a secondary bacterial infection in dogs who have an ear mite infestation or are not cleaning their ears properly which leads to the buildup of wax and debris inside the dog’s ear canal.

Tumours – These can grow within your dog’s inner-ear system due to cancerous cells that develop over time too so you should never ignore symptoms such as hearing loss, balance issues, scratching/rubbing at the ears, etc.

Foreign Objects – Anything from grass seeds to twigs may become stuck on long floppy-eared breeds if they do not keep them clean enough but these objects must be removed by a veterinarian immediately since it could lead to further complications like trauma (if something sharp gets stuck inside the ear canal), or infection (if a plant seed causes inflammation of your dog’s skin).

Dog Ear Infections Can Be Prevented:

There are several things you can do to prevent canine ear infections by taking some simple steps at home. You should check for excessive wax build-up, foreign objects and mites in your dog’s ears on a regular basis which means that it helps to have them checked every time they visit their veterinarian too. If your dog swims often make sure they always dry their ears properly after going into the water since excess moisture may cause yeast overgrowth and bacterial development if not treated quickly enough. Lastly, never ignore symptoms such as scratching/rubbing at the ears, hearing loss, balance issues etc because this could be a sign of serious damage or disease within your dog’s ears which is why you should never delay seeing your veterinarian if you suspect something isn’t right.

Treatments for dog ear infections:

Since there are many different types of ear infections in dogs, your veterinarian will need to perform a thorough examination and diagnosis first before prescribing any medication. However, the most common treatments include:

Antibiotics – These should only be used if bacteria is causing your dog’s canine ear infection since they often have side effects such as vomiting or diarrhea too which means that you may want to look into homeopathic alternatives instead.

Corticosteroids – Corticosteroid drugs reduce inflammation within the middle ear but again these can cause other complications so it’s best not to use them unless absolutely necessary.

Homeopathy – There are several popular remedies for treating chronic yeast overgrowth including Sabadilla (helps treat bacterial allergies), Sulphur (treats ear infections), and Berberis Vulgaris (used for chronic ear inflammation).

Prescription Medications – There are also some prescription medications that your veterinarian may prescribe to help treat canine inner-ear problems such as Otomax, which contains a combination of antibiotics and steroids. However, this is only used if the infection has spread throughout the entire dog’s body too so should be used with caution under veterinary supervision. If you notice any signs of outer or middle ear disease in dogs then you need to get them treated by a professional immediately since it can lead to permanent damage over time including deafness! Dog ears have many nerve endings inside which means they are very sensitive even when compared to ours so it’s important to take extra care of them.

Conclusion

Dog ear infections are unpleasant and inconvenient, but if identified early, they’re simple to cure. Our specialists have covered the three most prevalent types of dog ear infection in this blog post so you may detect signs before it’s too late! Let us know what additional dog or pet care topics you’d want to read more about by leaving a remark below. We enjoy getting comments from our readers, and we aim to give useful information whenever possible.

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