equipped for providing pet relief
Pet Ear Infection
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 pet’s ear infections here at St Louis Veterinary Center in St. Louis.
Symptoms of Ear Infections
Head shaking, difficulty chewing, pawing at the ears, and impairment of normal balance are the most common signs your pet may be dealing with an ear infection. In addition, you may notice an odor coming from your pet’s ears, the oozing of fluid, redness, and scaling of ear tissues. The animals may scratch at the ears constantly or vocalize in discomfort when their ears are touched.
What Causes Ear Infections?
Otitis media is a problem in the middle ear, while otitis interna is an inflammation of the inner ear. Long-eared breeds of dogs are often susceptible to these infections because of the poor circulation of air into the ear canal. Bacteria, viruses, fungus, mites, allergies, and injury to the ear can set the stage for infection. Some animals with metabolic disorders may be prone to ear infections. Excessive wax or foreign bodies stuck in the ear can also cause infection.
Treatment of Ear Infections
Your St. Louis vet will carefully examine the ear canal using an otoscope to determine the cause and extent of the problem. If the ears are highly sensitive, the animal may require sedation for a thorough investigation. A sample of matter inside the ear may be taken to look at under a microscope. Antibiotic drops or oral antibiotics are generally provided to eliminate the infection. In some cases, steroid medications or pain relievers are also prescribed. Common infections can take up to 30 days to completely eliminate. However, some animals have recurring infections that may require additional treatment. Your vet in St. Louis will provide advice and instructions on the best ways to keep your pet’s ears clean and healthy.
Spot the Signs of Dog Ear Infection
Causes & Symptoms
The human ear canal is much different from 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 prevent a recurrence.
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.