Eliminate Ear Infections In Dogs And Cats
Recently, I have seen an exorbitant number of new clients with pets with chronic ear infections, called otitis. One new client brought her sheltie to see me with a six-month history of ear mite infestation. I asked this new client who diagnosed this problem. She said a pet store clerk told her that it was ear mites after she described dark, gritty debris in her shelties ears. Every week, for the last six months, this client has been cleaning her pets ears and treating with ear mite medication with no success.
After gathering her pets history and performing a complete physical examination, I took a swab of her pets ear debris, applied a special stain, and looked under the microscope for presence of yeast, bacteria and mites. As you may have guessed, there were no mites. This pet had a terrible yeast infection.
This client was upset and embarrassed. She could not believe that she allowed her pet to suffer six months. Good news, I told her, today we will begin a new treatment plan to resolve your pets yeast infection.
Why do ear infections happen?
Ear infections do not spontaneously occur. Some event or underlying disease must precipitate it. My top reason why pets get ear infections is allergies.
In the unlikely event that allergies are not the underlying cause for your pets ear infection, I would then suspect the following predisposing factors: high moisture , poor ventilation , suppressed immune system , mites, foreign bodies and poor conformation .
Ear Hematomas Are Common And Tricky To Cure There Are A Variety Of Treatment Options Including Choosing No Option At All
If eyes are the windows to the soul, then the ears are its curtains: Whether they are minimalist Roman shades or fringed swags that would make Scarlett OHara blush, a dogs ears frame her face and set off her expression. In other words, while they have a utilitarian function they have a cosmetic one, too. So imagine my dismay when I noticed that my handsome old Rhodesian Ridgeback, Blitz he of the two gorgeously symmetrical triangles held crisply and smartly against his graying face had what appeared to be a frankfurter growing on the edge of his right ear.
The purplish, sausage-like lump turned out to be an aural hematoma. An accumulation of blood in the ear flap resulting from a broken blood vessel, hematomas are common in drop-eared breeds like mine, though they occur in dogs of all ear types. They are believed to be caused by trauma to the relatively thin tissue of the ear flap, or pinna, often as a result of head-shaking.
The good news about hematomas is that, if left untreated, they are eventually reabsorbed. They will not burst even though by all appearance they look ready to pop and the dog is left no worse for wear, except for having to endure the discomfort of a large blood blister weighing down her ear.
What To Do When Your Dogs Ears Are Red And Hot
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Have you ever woken up to find that suddenly your dogs ears are red and hot? Hes probably shaking his head in response to the pain and feeling of fullness in his ears. When your dog has red and hot ears, you need to identify the underlying problem and use the appropriate short-term treatment.
Otitis externa is the most common diagnosis for dogs with red and hot ears. This is the medical term for ear inflammation involving the ear flap and ear canal, but not the inner or middle ear. People call it an ear infection, but allergies, not bacteria or yeast, are almost always the underlying cause of red ears in dogs.
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Are Some Dogs More Susceptible To Inner Ear Infection
Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that can ultimately lead to otitis interna. Spaniel breeds, such as the Cocker Spaniel, and hound breeds, such as the Bloodhound and Basset Hound, are the most commonly affected breeds. Regardless of breed, any dog with a chronic ear infection that is difficult to control may develop otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged, as a damaged ear drum allows bacteria to migrate down into the inner ear.
“Dogs with long, heavy ears seem to be predisposed to chronic ear infections that ultimately lead to otitis interna.”
Excessively vigorous cleaning of an infected external ear canal can sometimes cause otitis interna. Some ear cleansers are irritating to the middle and inner ear and can cause signs of otitis interna if the eardrum is damaged and allows some of the solution to penetrate too deeply.
Neosporin Side Effects In Dogs
If using Neosporin, it is important to look for potential side effects, such as allergic reactions or contact dermatitis. Signs of an allergic reaction may include red, scaly, or itchy skin. More severe side effects are rare but may include:
- Vomiting or diarrhea if ingested
- Irritation if used in the eyes
- Hearing loss, infection, and irritation if used in the ears
- Development of resistant infections
Neosporin should not be used in combination with other topical medications unless you are directed to do so by your veterinarian. Because Neosporin is only used externally, there is little risk of it interacting with any medications your pet takes by mouth.
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What To Do If Your Dog Is Suffering From Ear Problems
If you think your dog may be suffering from ear problems then the most important first step is to take a trip to your vet.
Ear conditions are very unlikely to clear up on their own and the longer it remains untreated then the harder it is to clear up the problem. Its true that some breeds of dogs – ones with long dangly ears such as Springer Spaniels – are more prone to ear problems than others.
Dogs which spend a lot of time in water may also suffer from regular ear problems, as well as dogs with allergies. If your dog is the kind of breed that is susceptible to ear problems or has long ears make it a part of your grooming routine to check their the ears regularly. Keep the ears clean and if you spot a problem contact your vet to see if they think you further investigation is needed.
If you have any questions or concerns about your pets health, contact your local Calder Vets branch.
What To Know Before Using Neosporin On Your Dog
With abrasions , you should first clean and flush the wound with soap and water, then rinse thoroughly and pat dry. Your veterinarian should see all puncture or penetrating wounds, including dog bites, as soon as possible.
Neosporin is comprised of three different antibiotics: bacitracin, neomycin, and polymyxin B. Together, they work to kill bacteria on the skin and prevent topical infection. Dr. Rachel Barrack, a licensed veterinarian, certified in both veterinary acupuncture and Chinese herbology with Animal Acupuncture in New York City, points out that Neosporin has been formulated for people and is not necessarily safe for use on dogs.
Bacitracin has been deemed safe for use on animals, as has polymyxin B. However, neomycin has been linked to loss of hearing, she says. This was primarily shown with intravenous use, but it is recommended that you do not administer neomycin topically to your dog without first consulting your vet.
Because Neosporin is topical and applied directly onto the skin, theres always a chance that your dog could have an allergic reaction. Its a good idea to administer a small patch test first. The best way to do this is by picking a small area of skin and applying a tiny dab of Neosporin, then monitor the area to see if your dog develops a mild rash, redness, or hives.
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Antibiotic Therapy For Ear Infections
- Any pet can develop an ear infection underlying allergies or other illnesses are often the cause.
- Bacterial infection generally occurs secondary to the inflammation and unhealthy environment in the ear.
- A typical course of antibiotics can be as brief as 5 to 7 days, or as long as several months. It is best to give all medications as directed for the full course of treatment, even if the ears look better right away.
What Is an Ear Infection?
The medical term for an ear infection is otitis. Ear infections generally begin as inflammation of the skin inside the outer ear canal . Once inflammation is present, discharge, redness, and other characteristics of an ear infection become established. Inflammation of the canal leads to the overgrowth of normal bacteria and yeast that live in the ear other opportunistic bacteria can also take advantage of the inflammation and unhealthy environment inside the ear to establish infection. The overgrowth of these organisms causes more inflammation and other unhealthy changes inside the ear. In some cases, ear infections that start in the outer ear canal can progress to involve the middle ear and inner ear. Deep infections can lead to deafness and other complications.
What Causes Ear Infections?
- Ear mites
- Polyps or other growths in the ear canal
- Systemic illnesses such as thyroid disease and adrenal gland disease
- Foreign material in the ears, including dirt, sand, or plant material
How Are Antibiotics Given?
Side Effects Of Dog Ear Drops
Most standard ear medications arent safe to apply in an ear with a ruptured eardrum. A ruptured eardrum exposes the neurological tissue responsible for hearing to anything dripped into the ear.
The biggest thing most people dont understand when it comes to red, hot dog ears?
Ear drops are not a miracle cure.
In fact, combination ear medications like Mometamax and Otomax can cause serious problems including permanent deafness . Actually, just about anything put into a diseased ear may cause hearing problems.
Chemicals and antibiotics present in ear drops can cause temporary or permanent damage to a dogs hearing. Aminoglycosides, like gentamicin, can cause deafness even if the ear drum is not ruptured.
Gentamicin can also cause symptoms of vestibular disease. Vestibular disease makes a dog dizzy and unsteady on her feet.
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What Is The Best Antibiotic For Dogs With Skin Infection
Common antibiotic medications for pets include: Enrofloxacin – respiratory, skin, and urinary tract infections.
Amoxicillin/Clavulanic acid – wounds, respiratory infections, skin infections.
Metronidazole – gastrointestinal upsets, periodontal disease.
9 other answers
Just put two drops of Marbodex ear drops in a dog infected ear thrice a day and see magical results. Betamethasone/Neomycin Ear Drops It’s the best example of off-label or extra-label antibacterial and antiallergic ear drops that can be used to treat a dog’s ear bacterial infection . Allergies in dogs may surely cause ear infections that can be fatal and disturbing.
Best Antibiotic for Dog Ear Infection. Single Ingredient Products Baytril Otic . Combination Products Gentocin Otic: gentamicin sulfate and betamethasone valerate. Panolog: nystatin, neomycin sulfate, thiostrepton, and triamcinolone acetonide.
Occasionally a dog requires additional antibiotics, particularly for more persistent, hardy forms of bacteria such as Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Oral antibiotics in the quinolone class, such as enroflaxin and orbiflaxcin are effective at taking on more resistant bacteria. Cephalexin can be useful for stubborn ear infections.
In many cases, antibiotic medication for an ear infection can be applied directly into your pets ear. Sometimes, oral antibiotics or antifungal medication may also be recommended.
What Antibiotic Will Treat Dog Mastitis
Veterinarians consider cloxacillin, dicloxacillin and oxacillin acceptable alternatives to Clavamox and cephalexin to treat mastitis. Particularly resistant to the B-lactamase enzyme produced by staphylococci bacteria, vets selectively will prescribe these antibiotics when dealing with a chronic or recurring mastitis infection or when previous antibiotics no longer seem to be working, according to Robert Bill.
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How To Tell What Type Of Ear Infection Your Dog Has
First, you need to know about the different types of ear infections. They can be in 3 different parts of your dogs ear.
Otitis externa: Inflammation or infection of the external part of your dogs ear .
Otitis media: This is inflammation or infection of the middle ear parts. In about a sixth of dogs with otitis external, the infection can spread into otitis media. This is a problem in more than half of dogs who have chronic otitis externa. It can also mean a foreign object has penetrated the ear drum.
Otitis interna: This is inflammation or infection of the inner ear. Unresolved otitis media can spread to become otitis interna. It can lead to loss of balance and deafness.
Understanding The Causes And Effects Of Otitis Externa Can Aid In Diagnosis And Treatment Of This Dermatologic Infection
Sandra Koch, DVM, MS, DACVDCollege of Veterinary Medicine, University of Minnesota
Canine chronic and recurrent otitis externa can be extremely challenging to treat and require multifactorial, step-by-step strategic plans. Understanding otitis and its associated causes and contributing factors is an important initial step toward successful diagnosis and treatment.
Rechecks Are Very Important
At the end of the treatment, it is very important that you make an appointment and bring your pet back for us to recheck the ears. Some cases may require a longer course of treatment for a complete cure, and you wont be able to tell this yourself. Most ear drops contain anti-inflammatory drugs that reduce the redness, swelling and soreness, but if the infection hasnt resolved, the problem may recur soon after you stop treatment. And when it comes back next time, its much harder to decide how best to treat the problem, if we dont know how well the medication worked the first time!
If everything seems to be going OK, we suggest you stop using the ear drops 2-3 days before you come in for the recheck. Give the ears a final clean the day after you finish the ear drops. But dont put anything in the ear on the day of your appointment, as wed like to examine the ear without any wet, oily ear drops in it.
If everythings fine, the recheck should be very quick, and there will often be no charge. However, if there is still a problem, we can continue or change the treatment and the consultation fee will be reduced. So please dont forget to bring your pet back for his/her recheck.
Client Education On Otitis Externa
It is very important to clearly and thoroughly discuss with clients the requirements for successfully managing chronic otitis. Discussions should address the primary causes , determine what the client is able to do at home , determine how cooperative the patient is, and ensure that the client understands the instructions and is willing to return for follow-up visits every 2 to 4 weeks. To increase client compliance, show them how to clean and treat the ears, provide detailed written instructions, and schedule follow-up calls, all of which can be done by skilled veterinary nurses. To increase patient compliance, provide pain control and ensure that ear cleaning and treatment are gently performed.
1. Paterson S, Matyskiewicz W. A study to evaluate the primary causes associated with Pseudomonas otitis in 60 dogs. J Small Anim Pract. 2018 59:238242.
2. Saridomichelakis MN, Farmaki R, Leontides LS, et al. Aetiology of canine otitis externa: a retrospective study of 100 cases. Vet Dermatol. 2007 18:341347.
3. Hall JA, Waisglass SE, Mathews KA, Tait JL. Oral cyclosporine in the treatment of end-stage ear disease: a pilot study. Vet Dermatol. 2003 14:212.
4. Nuttall T. Successful management of otitis externa. In Practice. 2016 38:1721.
5. Chen T, Hill PB. The biology of Malassezia organisms and their ability to induce immune responses and skin disease. Vet Dermatol.2005 16:426.
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How To Treat A Dogs Mild Ear Infection Without A Vet
For mild ear inflammation, home remedies can ease discomfort until you can see a veterinarian for more specific help.
If theres a lot of debris in the ears, you need to clean it out. Cleaning every two to three days is usually adequate.
When you clean your dogs ears, use soft cotton balls and stop if you see bleeding. He will shake his head after you apply liquid ear cleaner. Debris will be slung out without any help from you, so gentle wiping is all thats needed.
What Causes Ear Infections In Dogs
Any animal can develop otitis despite ear shape, direct exposure to water , or the amount of hair inside the ear canal. Ear infections in dogs and cats are frequently the result of a hidden problem. Numerous conditions can predispose a pet to establishing an ear infection, including the following:
- Allergic reactions .
- Ear termites.
- Polyps or other growths in the ear canal.
- Systemic health problems such as thyroid disease and adrenal gland disease .
- Foreign product in the ears, including dirt, sand, or plant material.
- Ear infections hurt. Some pets with this condition might even try to bite individuals who attempt to touch their ears or head .
The scientific signs of otitis can differ depending upon the severity of the inflammation however can consist of the following:
- Shaking the head or rubbing the head and ears on the floor or on furnishings.
- Scratching the ears.
- Release from the ears .
- Soreness of the ear canal and earflap the ears may also feel warm when touched.
Some pets with severe otitis might sob or groan as they rub and scratch their ears. Some animals scratch so badly that their nails create wounds on the skin around their face, neck, and ears. If the otitis is severe or chronic, the external ear canal can begin to thicken and end up being deformed. This thickening can make the ear opening extremely narrow, so cleaning the ears becomes more difficult. Ulcers on the within the ear canal can likewise result from infection and trauma.
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