Dog ear infection is one of the most common disease in dogs and can cause severe. Being a bacteria, fungal, and allergy related dog disease, there are clear symptoms such as rubbing and scratching of the ear (initial stages) and head tilting and circular walking (in critical stages).
Dogs That Are Prone To Ear Infection
Dogs that have flaps covering their ear are at a high risk of coming up with ear infection than other kinds of dogs. The flap covering the ear reduces the airflow towards the external canal of the ear. This means that there is always a high possibility of the ear canal having a lot of debris which can accumulate and lead to ear infection.
Excessive hair growth in the ear canal can also lead your dog to being prone to ear infections. Limited airflow is again one of the main reasons as excessive hair covers the ear and prevents healthy air circulation.
There are a number of signs of ear infection in dogs.
Dog Ear Infection Symptoms
This is one of the very obvious and basic signs that are noticeable in dogs when they have an ear infection. The dog tends to scratch the outer region of the ear with its limbs. At the early stage of the ear infection your dog will try to minimize discomfort by scratching the outer ear.
Being a good observer at this point of the infection will definitely go a long way in determining the survival level and the estimated cost of taking care of the dog. Though this symptom might be related to other form of dog’s infection or disease, it is advisable that you fix an appointment with your vet doctor as soon as possible to avoid any more painful experience on the part of the dog.
The very moment your dog start having a yellow, brownish or traces of blood in his or her discharge, it is a clear warning that something is definitely wrong with the body structure and system of the dog.
A change in the odour of the dog – a sweet smell. The very moment you notice an odour emanating from the ear of your dog; it is a clear signal that there is an ear infection danger looming.
Though it might take a while for you to notice a typical hair loss from any part of your dog, creating a bond with the dog and creating time to check up on her on a regular interval is a sure way to get alerted when there is any loss of hair in any part of the dog body.
Just because ear infections are a function of bacterial and fungal, there is a chance of the dog having a swollen and reddish part in the region of the ear. Therefore, it is a symptom that can easily point to the fact that your dog is a victim of an infection.
Scabs on the ear
Because the infection is a fungal infection, crusts and scabs can be visible round the inner part of the outer ear. This signals an advanced stage of the ear infection and a vet visit is unavoidable.
The ear infection is taking a better part of the ear and the dog is feeling a very intense level of itching. Usually dogs will feel restless and you may notice that your dog is rubbing their ear against walls, floors, and any other surface that is available.
The major constituting factor to ear infection is accumulation of debris and lack of removal from the ear external canal which imperatively lead to the action of the bacteria and fungi on it. The debris is said to be in a molten state which means it does tickle the dog ear sporadically.
Once the ear is tickled, the dog will automatically respond to the stimuli by shaking its head profusely with the sincere hope that the debris will find its way out of its ear. Because that is not the case, the tickle comes at interval once the ear infection gets to the stage and the dog keep tilting its head as well.
A dog suffering from ear infection can develop an abnormal eye movement when the infection gets to a very severe stage. At the point, all of the aforementioned symptoms will have usually been displayed by the dog. The dog will be giving a troubled and victimized look which results into abnormal movement of the eyes.
This is the penultimate sign you will see before the dog get to the point where the ear infection will deny her the basic functions of the ear. The dog will start walking in around in circles a function of the diminishing prowess of the ear as a balancing organ.
Lose of vital functions of the ear
The dog may show signs of losing their hearing ability in conjunction with further loss of balance. This can be seen as the most severe stage of an ear infection and requires urgent treatment from a professional vet.
How To Treat Dog Ear Infections
Once you notice any of the dog ear infection symptoms in early stages as described above, you should take immediate action.
The importance of this part of the treatment stage cannot be overemphasized.
The first thing to do is to get the gentle and natural cleanser ready, get the cotton balls available, and a couple of towel in place. Make you dog comfortable by massaging the base of the ear around the cartilage. This is very important to help your dog stay calm and reduce anxiety. Once that is done, it is time to gently use the cotton balls to clean the flap covering the ear and other surrounding parts of the ear.
By now the ear canal is ready to be cleaned. Use the cotton ball to clean the ear canal for as long as the finger can go, do not force it once you noticed that the dog is no longer feeling comfortable with the process. Use the cotton balls to carefully clean the dirt.
You can repeat the cleaning process for as long as you feel it is necessary to get the desired result – a thoroughly clean ear.
Caution while cleansing
During the cleaning process, it is very important that you do not make use of alcohol or cleansers that are alcoholic. This causes intense pains in the dog ear, which can lead to discomfort and on the long run lead to sore ears.
Another thing to take note of when you are cleaning the dog ear is to make sure that you do not reach too deep with the cotton balls to avoid damaging the inner ear and eardrum. This is the powerhouse that helps the ear retain its ability to hear and balance. Severe damage to the eardrum can lead to permanent deafness and loss of balance.
Once the cleansing process is successfully completed, the next thing that comes to mind is to dry the damp ear region.
- Heating: A fan or hairdryer can be used to accelerate the drying process, but you should be careful not to overheat. Monitor your dog carefully to ensure they are comfortable.
- Natural airflow: An average of 15 minutes airflow is enough to dry all the vital parts of the dog ear.
If you are following the process raptly, you will agree that all the aforementioned stages of treatment are in a way priming the infected dog ear for this last stage of the treatment. It is at this point that the expertise of the veterinarian is actually needed.
There are ranges of prescriptions that can make by the veterinarian. These include
- Oral medications: anti-yeast, antibiotics, etc.
The vet is responsible for prescribing the needed drops or ointments that will heal the infection. Once the vet prescription is ready, application is the next thing to do. The effectiveness of the prescribed ointments or drops is a function of two things; the expertise of the veterinarian and the severity of the infection.
Length of Treatment
To grab the right understanding surrounding the length of the treatment, it is very important to know the vital factors that sum up the treatment procedure:
- The Patient: The treatment length might be short or long depending on how fast the dog ear heals and how willing they are to undergo all the treatment process. The length of treatment will definitely be longer than required if the dog is not interested in cooperating with the veterinarian in going through the treatment procedures.
- Infection Severity: This will determine the length of the treatment, with longer treatment required for more severe cases. If caught early the infection might be healed fast.
By now you should know that are quite a simple and straightforward procedures to follow when it comes to treating your dog for ear infection. Natural substances are preferred over its processed counterparts due to many health reasons.
Most importantly, regular ear hygiene maintenance will help prevent ear infections and allow you to keep a close eye on their ear health and overall behavior. Good dieting is also a proven way to avoid chronic ear disease.