Dog ear infection has two characteristics – it is the most common among dog ear problems and the most common of all problems affecting dogs. Due to their floppy ears, poodles, golden retrievers, basset hounds and cocker spaniels are the most vulnerable breeds and include those breed that are allergy-prone.
These infections are usually caused by bacteria and yeast. Normally, these are present in your dog’s ears but some still unknown factors trigger them to over-multiply and cause infection. This overgrowth is not normally seen unless you inspect your dog’s ears.
Bacterial ear infection is characterized by a noticeable pungent odor. Sometimes, there is an unusual or excessive discharge, swelling, and redness that sometimes come with pain.
Yeast brings out the same symptoms but there is dryness, itching and scaling. The infection sometimes spreads over to the dog’s facial area.
Aside from these symptoms, there are other signs of dog ear infection. There is excessive scratching, hair loss around the ears, frequent head shaking or a head tilt to one side. Your pet also tends to wipe his ears on the floor and sometimes walk in circles for no reason.
Generally, the best prevention is ear cleanliness. Frequently check your dog’s ears for signs of physical symptoms and the build up of grime, wax and dirt. Regular cleaning of the ears will also wipe away ear mites that can cause infections with their bites.
Use a veterinarian-prescribed or approved solution and cotton balls for cleaning. (A homemade cleansing solution is a one-is-to-one mix of distilled water and hydrogen peroxide for bacteria. Cider vinegar controls the growth of yeast.) Don’t forget to dry your dog’s ears after a bath or a swim, including the accessible inner areas.
Your veterinarian may prescribe the appropriate medicines, including antifungal creams and pills. However, refrain from doing your own diagnosis of your pet’s dog ear infection, unless you’re a vet yourself.
For severe cases or those that keep coming back, anesthesia and ear flushing might be given to your pet. If your dog has a tendency to infections, ask your veterinarian for some ear-drying solution. Again, the first and last word against dog ear infection is cleanliness.