Updated: Aug 16
Ear infections are prevalent in dogs, with symptoms including pain, redness, foul odor, head shaking, and dark-colored discharge at the ear. In some worst cases, dogs may experience a hematoma formation (collection of blood outside of blood vessels) in the ear itself.
Ear hematomas are most likely formed due to the animal scratching its ear after an ear infection, although there can be other causes. Some people like to put an e-collar on when the animals have an ear infection to prevent this outcome. Nevertheless, if interested in learning more about dog ear infections, below will highlight a few key points and a dog ear infections Edmonton vet option. Let’s take a look!
Are dog ear infections ear mites?
Ear mites are mites that live in the ears of animals and humans. Ear mite symptoms in dogs include the following:
● Violent head shaking and scratching at the ears.
● Redness in or around the ears, dry, and crumbly substance in the ears.
● Foul smell.
● Waxy debris in the ears.
● Raw areas and sores or hair loss around the ears from scratching.
Ear mites can also show similar signs to dog ear infections, and ear mites are generally seen in young kittens and puppies. Also, with ear mites, both ears are affected. The only way to rule out ear mites is by looking down the ear canal with an otoscope. This process can tell if there is an infection or not.
What kind of medication is needed to treat dog ear infections?
Antibiotics are almost always prescribed for a bacterial infection. These biotics can range from being a few days to several weeks. If the infection is fungal-oriented, an anti-fungal medication will then be prescribed. It's imperative for the vet to take a thorough look to see what the infection is.
Our team makes a quick slide smear to see under the microscope what kind of microorganisms are involved. They are usually bacteria (multiple kinds) or Malassezia yeast, or sometimes both, and then we treat them accordingly. The usual treatment course lasts 10 to 14 days but varies with severity.
What kind of treatment can I do at home to treat my dog’s ear infection?
As great as treating your dog at home, it’s recommended to bring them in for an examination. Ear cleaning is helpful and generally speaking required in most cases. Still, ear cleaning is usually inadequate on its own, especially if there is a lot of swelling or pain.
Some dogs require regular ear cleaning throughout their life, especially in summers when they are out swimming. They may also require frequent eat cleaning when there are many pollen or environmental challenges due to their underlying allergies. Regardless, always take your dog to an expert if an issue arises.
4 Powerful Tips for Keeping Your Dog’s Ear Squeaky Clean:
● Utilize a vet-approved ear-cleaning solution.
● Know what a healthy dog ear looks like.
● Contact your dog’s vet if an issue comes up.
● Don’t clean too often as this can irritate their ear.
What if my dog has allergies?
Besides ear mites, allergies are also a common ailment that can be mistaken for an ear infection. Antihistamines are generally safe for dogs to treat allergies, but they can make some dogs drowsy or hyperactive. Regardless, your dog’s vet will be able to tell the difference between allergies and ear infections.
Ear infections may share similar symptoms, but they tend to be more painful than allergies. Dog allergies can vary throughout the year, just like human allergies. Also, any dog with more than one to two ear infections per year should be checked for underlying allergies.
Symptoms of Dog Allergies:
● Runny nose
● Itchy, red, or watery eyes
● Nasal congestion
● Itchy nose, the roof of the mouth, or throat
● Postnasal drip
● Facial pressure and pain
● Frequent awakening
● Difficulty breathing
● Chest tightness or pain
● An audible whistling or wheezing sound when exhaling
● Trouble sleeping caused by shortness of breath, coughing, or wheezing
What should I look for with dog ear infections?
Any ear disease is painful, so it should be checked by a trained professional. Relying on Google and at-home treatments can potentially make your dog’s ear infection worse. Always put your trust in experts. As for what you should look out for with your dog’s ear, there are some points to consider:
● Head shaking
● Scratching at the affected ear
● Dark discharge
● Redness and swelling of the ear canal
● Crusting or scabs in the ears
More specifically, worst-case scenarios include hematoma formations, middle ear infections, chronic ear infections, ruptured eardrums, or some resistant bacterial infections, among many others. Many examples can fall under the dog ear infection umbrella, all of which vary with their severity.
Thankfully, the modern age of medicine has made it possible to treat just about any ear infection, no matter its severity. Still, no matter how cruel it may be, our dog ear infections Edmonton team can put your mind at ease with whatever issue your dog might have.
Dog Ear Infections Edmonton Vet Clinics?
If you think your dog might have an ear infection or shows signs be sure to visit Gateway Veterinary Centre, a locally owned veterinary clinic that provides the latest, independent, and fair advice regarding your pet’s needs. We are open seven days a week and are here for whatever your pet needs!