Ear Infections in Dogs
You notice that your dog is constantly shaking or tilting his head and using his hind leg to scratch his ear. You open the flap of his ear and you notice a reddish-brown discharge coming out of the ear. Not to mention, you smell a strong, unpleasant odor exuding from the ear.
With the symptoms above, your dog most likely has an ear infection. These infections can be caused by many reasons such as allergens, bacteria, foreign bodies, rupture in the eardrum, overgrowth of yeast or ear mites. This condition is easy to treat, but should be treated immediately when you notice signs of the infection. If it becomes more severe, it can cause serious pain or deafness.
Make a trip to the vet
Please consult your veterinarian if you notice symptoms of an ear infection. Your veterinarian will tell you the underlying cause by identifying what microorganisms are present in the ear by collecting a sample. Depending on the severity of the infection, your veterinarian will recommend the next steps to solving this issue. If it is a minor infection, this can be treated at home with a topical antifungal ointment and/ or a cleaning solution for ears.
If your veterinarian prescribes ear medication for your dog, be sure to continuously apply the medication until the it has completely healed. This process may take time for your dog to adjust to the application.
When using the ear cleaning solution, use cotton pads and clean the surface of your dog’s ear. Squirt the drops inside the ear, then close the flap of the ear down and massage gently so the solution can be evenly distributed. Please refrain from using q-tips; this can damage the eardrum and push any excess dirt or wax down the ear.
The best way to prevent ear infections is to regularly clean and flush out any debris or wax build up in the ear. Dogs with floppy, long ears will have a higher chance of having an ear infection than those of shorter ears. When moisture is built up in the ear, it is more susceptible for yeast to develop inside the eardrum which can result in an infection. If your dog frequently goes swimming or is bathed often, be sure to dry out the ears after each session.