20% of all dogs have some form of ear disease. Dogs happen to be more prone to ear infections than humans because of the way their ear canals are shaped. While prevention is key, if your dog shows any of the common signs of ear infection, it is time to visit our team for veterinary care. We are equipped to treat your dog's ear infections here at St Louis Veterinary Center in St. Louis.
Causes & Symptoms
The human ear canal is much different than that of dogs. Dogs happen to be more vertical and hold in a lot more fluid. This alone is what makes dogs more prone to ear infections. Yeast, bacteria, or both are usually the cause of dog ear infections. Ear mites may be the cause of infections in puppies. Factors that may contribute to your dog's ear infections include:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Buildup of wax
- Excessive cleaning
- Ear canal injury
- Endocrine disorders
- Moisture that causes the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow
Symptoms of an ear infection in dogs include:
- Dark-colored discharge
- Scratching the affected ear
- Constant head shaking
- Swelling and redness
- Scabs or crusting inside of the ears
Diagnosis & Treatment
Our veterinarian will need to make a precise diagnosis for an ear infection, so it is important to get there as soon as you can. A delay in treatment can result in the spread of the infection to the middle and inner ear and cause more discomfort. We recommend that ear infections should not be treated at home. Our vet will perform a physical exam on your dog and may need to sedate your dog if his or her case is more severe. A visual assessment will be completed as well as biopsies, cultures, and swabbing of the ear.
Treatment includes a thorough clean of your dog's ear using a medicated ear cleanser. An ear cleanser may also be prescribed for use at home. Oral medication and anti-inflammatory meds may be prescribed for more severe cases. It may take between 1-2 weeks for an uncomplicated ear infection to clear. However, more severe cases may take months to clear up or result in chronic problems. Severe and chronic cases may require surgery to remove the tissue that is affected and to prevent the recurrence of another.
Contact Us for Veterinary Care at Our Animal Hospital in St. Louis
If you notice any symptoms of an eye infection in your dog, give us a call here at St Louis Veterinary Center to schedule an appointment. Prompt treatment is necessary for ear infections. Contact us to find out how we can help your dog's ear health.