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Ear Infections in Dogs

Our Statesboro vets often see inner ear infections in dogs, particularly ones with adorable floppy ears. But there's good news, most bacterial ear infections in dogs are easy to treat when caught early. Here are some of the signs of a severe ear infection in dogs and what to do.

Your Dog's Ears

Dogs are more prone to ear infections than people are due to the shape of their ear canal. Because moisture will become trapped in the ear, your dog is more likely to develop ear infections if they frequently swim or have long, floppy ears. As a result, bacteria are given the perfect conditions to flourish.

But with a little care, you can help to prevent your dog from developing ear infections. And if your dog does get an infection seeing a vet early means it's likely to be cleared up quickly and easily.

When ear infections are not treated early on much more serious infections and symptoms can develop. These infections and symptoms include balance and coordination problems, severe pain, and, in some cases, facial paralysis.

Causes of Ear Infections

Although yeast, fungus, and ear mites can also infect and hurt your dog's ears, bacteria in the ear is the most frequent cause of infections. Dog ear infections can also result from trauma, tumors, polyps, or foreign objects stuck in the ear.

Ear Infection Symptoms in Dogs

Ear infections in dogs, both middle and inner, can be extremely uncomfortable and painful. If your dog exhibits any of the following symptoms of an ear infection, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination. Early treatment of ear infections can help to prevent the development of more severe symptoms.

Common symptoms of ear infections in dogs include:
  • Pawing or rubbing the ear
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Redness inside of the ear
  • Odor in the ear
  • Head shaking
  • Tilting head
  • Swelling of the ear
  • Crusts or scabs just inside the ear

If your dog's ear infection is more severe you may notice other symptoms like:

  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Signs of hearing loss
  • Walking in circles
  • Unusual eye movements

Treating Your Dog's Ear Infection

In order to treat an ear infection in your dog, your veterinarian will clean the ear with a medicated cleanser and may also prescribe any antibiotics or painkillers that are required. Another option is to prescribe a topical medication and provide your dog with at-home application instructions.

A simple ear infection treated early will usually clear up in a week or two. If your dog's ear infection is severe or caused by a medical condition, treatment may be more difficult and take months to resolve. More severe cases frequently result in chronic or recurring ear infections over the course of the dog's life.

It is critical to carefully follow your veterinarian's instructions to get your dog's ear infection under control as soon as possible. Failure to complete prescriptions or to discontinue treatment before the infection has completely resolved can result in a recurring infection that becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

It is strongly advised that you take your dog back to the vet for a follow-up appointment if they had an ear infection. While the infection may appear to be gone, there may still be traces of infection that pet parents are unable to detect.

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs

For ear infections, our veterinarians believe that prevention is always better than cure. It is critical to keep your dog's ears clean and dry to help prevent an ear infection.

Consult your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution for your dog's ears, and clean them gently once a week.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

Do you think your dog may have an ear infection? Contact our Statesboro vets right away to book an appointment for your canine companion.

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Statesboro Bulloch Regional Veterinary Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Statesboro companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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