Total Ear Canal Ablation
This is a surgical procedure that involves removing the ear canal with the diseased tissue to prevent the recurrence of ear infections. TECA surgery is a treatment option for severe ear infections and those that have become chronic problems and in which other treatments have failed.
Treating ear infections is not a one-time deal. Any lapses in treatment can increase the risk of recurrence. You should follow the advice of your vet concerning the following:
Recheck appointments – Your dog needs to be checked regularly to monitor his response to the medication and see if healing and repair are proceeding as they should. Sometimes, there is a need to change or add medication to address specific issues.
How To Prevent Ear Infections In Dogs And Puppies
Regular grooming, ear cleaning, and ear maintenance are important parts of pet care. Routine ear cleansing is especially important if your dog swims often.
Cleaning is best accomplished with a professional dog ear cleaning product. These typically have been specifically formulated for effective pH ranges for dogs and contain drying agents.
How Are Pet Ear Infections Diagnosed
A thorough clinical examination, including examining your pets skin, assessing the ear drum to ensure it is intact coupled with taking a small sample of the ear contents and looking under the microscope will allow your veterinarian to determine the cause of the disease. When a pet is in extreme pain and does not allow the examination, it may be necessary to sedate or anesthetise the pet for a more thorough examination and diagnosis.
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How Do I Know If My Dog Has An Ear Infection
If your dog has an ear infection, their ears will likely be itchy to some degree. Dogs will also have other signs you can look out for, including:
Shaking their head frequently throughout the day
Scratching at their head, neck, and ears with their back feet
Rubbing their ears on furniture or the floor
Having a bad smell coming from their ears
Noticing drainage or discharge in their ears that can be black, brown, white, green, or yellow in color
Having redness or swelling in their ear canals
Yelping out when their ears are touched, which indicates pain
Seeing blood coming from their ears in severe cases
You may notice that at times of rest or when your dog should be going to sleep, they spend time constantly shaking their head or scratching at their ears. For many dog owners, it can even mean youre losing out on rest, too.
How Can Future Ear Infections Be Prevented
When an infection has fixed, routine cleaning assists avoid reoccurrence by promoting a healthy environment inside the external ear canal. Never insert a cotton swab into your pets ear canal these swabs can burst the eardrum, which could result in additional complications. If you are uneasy cleaning your family pets ears, ask your veterinary team to evaluate ear cleaning procedures with you.
Underlying conditions, such as allergies, need to likewise be dealt with to help prevent reoccurrence of ear infections.
Returning for routine check-ups with your vet is also an important method to track your family pets progress and catch ear infections early before they have a chance to get securely reestablished.
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Follow Your Vets Directions For At
Your veterinarian will prescribe the most effective dog ear infection treatment for your dog. Dog ear infections that involve structures behind the eardrum will require more aggressive treatment.
If you veterinarian has prescribed medications for your dogs ear infection, follow the instructions exactly. You should never use products in your dogs infected ear that you have not discussed with your veterinarian beforehand. Certain topical medications can cause deafness when used on pets with ruptured eardrums.
If your veterinarian has recommended that you clean your dogs ears, use the product they have recommended. Do not dig down into your pets ear canal with cotton swabs or other objects, as this will simply push the material deeper and possibly lead to a rupture of the eardrum.
Follow these steps for cleaning your dogs ears:
Lift the earflap up to make the ear canal visible.
Completely fill the ear canal until it overflows with the cleaner prescribed by the veterinarian.
Fold the earflap over the ear canal.
Gently massage the earflap until you hear a squishy noise.
Then stand back and let your dog shake their head vigorously.
Allowing your dog to shake their head is important because it will bring deeper material to the surface where it can be wiped away.
Causes Of Dog Ear Infection: Whats Going On In That Ear Canal
Causes of dog ear infections can be related to bacteria, fungus, yeast, ear mites, allergies, tumors, polyps, physical trauma, and damage from foreign objects.
Some breeds of dogs are also more susceptible to ear infections because of their type of ear flaps.
Floppy ears are undoubtedly adorable, just like upright pointy ears are perky and alert. But either type of anatomy has its advantages and disadvantages. Floppy ears that cover your dogs ear canal can act as a barrier for foreign objects, but they make it especially dark and damp inside your dogs ear.
Upright ears have the advantage of more natural air circulation, but flying insects and other small objects can make their way inside your dogs ear.
Unlike humans, the shape of a dog ear canal is more vertical than horizontal. Thats right their ear canal is more straight up and down than at an angle that has natural drainage.
Because your dogs ear canal is more like an L-shape, its very easy for excessive moisture and debris to accumulate and build up inside their ear. As moisture and debris build up, infections can set in. Bacteria, yeast, and fungi multiply in exactly that kind of warm dark environment and moist conditions.
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Signs Of Dog Ear Infections
A healthy dog ear is clean and dry. It is normal for small amounts of microscopic bacteria and yeast to live in the outer ear canal, but when a buildup of debris occurs, or the normal, healthy ear canal is compromised, those bacteria and yeast can overgrow and create an infection.
Common signs of dog ear infections include:
Occasionally, dogs can experience hearing loss or balance issues. Rarely, an ear infection may affect a dogs appetite if the pet is having system-wide effects. This is seen more often with otitis media or interna.
Treating Ear Problems In Dogs
To successfully diagnose and treat problems with the ear it is always recommended to bring your dog to a vet. If your dog is found to be suffering from an ear problem, the best course of treatment for the individual case will be prescribed, which may often be a course of antibiotics.
Because there are so many different types of ear problems dogs can get the treatment varies from topical solutions and wipes to antibiotics and surgery. For example: Vets can conduct simple tests to diagnose a bacterial ear infection and prescribe topical solutions and or antibiotics.
Getting rid of foreign bodies in your dogs ear, such as grass seed, can include your vet attempting to flush the ears or removing the items surgically while the dog is either under general anaesthetic or sedated. This will be followed with pain relief and antibiotics.
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Prevention Is Key How To Clean Dogs Ears
The old adage is true, prevention really is key.
If your dogs in an overall healthy condition, there shouldnt be a need to clean their ears very often. The process takes care of itself naturally.
Do always make sure you dry the exterior of their ears properly after you have bathed them, or they have been for a swim. When you do need to clean their ears just wipe gently around the outer area and in any creases and flaps to remove any dirt.
One product we recommend to help in both prevention and when you have an issue is the Pet-MD Ear Cleaner Wipes.
What Causes Ear Infections In Dogs
The canine ear canal is more vertical than that of a human, forming an L-shape that tends to hold in fluid. This makes dogs more prone to ear infections. Ear infections are typically caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. In puppies, ear mites can also be a source of infection.
Factors that may predispose your dog to ear infections include:
- Moisture, which can create a prime growing environment for bacteria and yeast
- Allergies, which lead to ear disease in about 50 percent of dogs with allergic skin disease and 80 percent of dogs with food sensitivities
- Endocrine disorders, such as thyroid disease
- Autoimmune disorders
- Injury to the ear canal
- Excessive cleaning
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Zymox Ear Products Veterinary Line
In addition to their consumer line, Zymox also makes a separate veterinary line. This line is just as effective as the consumer products, but they are more specifically targeted for certain issues. Heres a detailed chart and information about each of these Zymox products:
Designed for the toughest chronic otitis externa cases that are due to resistant to organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. The results are antifungal, anti-yeast, and antibacterial for dogs who are having a tough time getting rid of an ear infection.
This Zymox formula also contains four additional biofilm-reducing enzymes to get to work on hard-to-penetrate biofilm in a dogs ears.
Used primarily for:
- Dogs who live in moist environments
- Promotes healthy ears
- Removal of ear exudate
How To Use: Apply liberally to the uncleaned ear, filling the ear canal. Gently massage and work into the infected area, wiping the excess. Apply once a day for seven days.
Of note, we recommend you purchase Zymox products direct from the Zymox website, your favorite pet supplier , or directly from your dogs veterinarian.
What If Your Dog Has Chronic Ear Infections
Chronic ear infections can be time-consuming and frustrating for the pet, the owner, and even the veterinarian.
Certain breeds of dogs are known to more commonly experience recurring ear infection issues, according to the Veterinary Information Network.3 This can be partly due to genetics, ear shape, or ear confirmation. Over time, proliferative ear tissue can form, making treatment more difficult.
Shar-Peis have small ear canals that can trap and hide debris.
Chronic dog ear infections require closely working with your veterinarian to treat. It is important that your vet does testing to choose the appropriate medication. Chronic infections can require medication consistently for 6 to 8 weeks.
After treatment, testing is needed again to ensure that all the infection has cleared. If we stop medicating too soon or do not treat underlying problems, it is easy for the infection to return, sometimes even becoming resistant to many medications.
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What Kind Of Antibiotic Do You Give A Dog For A Respiratory Infection
- Doxycycline for dogs is a prescription antibiotic to treat dog respiratory infections caused by bacteria.
Antibiotic prophylaxis should be considered, especially if there is a high risk of infection, such as with cat bites, with puncture wounds, with wounds to the hand, and in persons who are immunosuppressed.
Amoxicillin/clavulanate is the first-line prophylactic antibiotic.
When To Contact Your Vet
Contact your vet for an appointment ASAP if you suspect your dog has an ear infection – its a very painful problem that needs prompt treatment. If you notice any signs of a middle or inner ear infection , this is more serious and requires a same-day appointment. Be sure to tell your vet if your dog has regular ear infections or has had more than 2-3 in its lifetime.
Find out whether you are eligible for free or low cost PDSA veterinary treatment using our checker.
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Ear Infection Antibiotics For Dogs
If your pet is suffering from a bacterial infection, you’ll want to give him antibiotics for dogs in order to best treat the cause of the condition at its source. Antibiotics are drugs that are designed to eliminate bacteria. When bacteria enters into your pet’s body in certain places, it can spread and reproduce, causing infections. Because many dogs have ears that have warm, moist passageways, bacteria frequently enters into these areas and reproduces quickly. Thus, ear infections are quite common in many breeds. Read on for a guide on how to use ear infection antibiotics to treat these conditions.
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 .
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Minimize Pharmaceuticals And Other Chemicals
Dogs who live a more natural lifestyle are less likely to develop ear infections. Try to minimize exposure to chemicals in your dogs environment, indoors and outside.
Vaccines, antibiotics and other medications, and chemical pest preventives all harm your dogs gut health and disrupt her immune system. Make sure you only give the vaccines your dog really needs to protect her. Use natural alternatives to antibiotics and other medications when you can, and use natural pest prevention to keep the bugs off your dog.
You can also reduce toxins by minimizing chemicals at home and in your yard. Choose natural shampoos to bathe your dog, avoid toxic cleaning products in your home, including your own body cosmetics and other products with artificial fragrances.
Hydrogen Peroxide Dog Ear Infection Home Remedy Peroxide
If your vet considers it appropriate for your pet, a mild hydrogen peroxide dilution can be effective in mild bacterial infections.
A hydrogen peroxide topical solution can help with removing any dirt and excess ear wax and dirt, but again, you have to be careful that you dont apply too much and upset your dogs natural balance of oils and waxes needed in their ears.
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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.
Dog Ear Infection Remedies That Dont Contain Antibiotics
The following seven Zymox ear solution and cleaning products for dogs are ones we have used, researched, and talked to other dog moms and dads about.
We chose these products for their efficacy, ease of use, Zymoxs reputation, pet parent reviews, long-term usage features, nicely priced, cruelty-free, made in the USA, and the Zymox LP3 patented enzyme system.
The Zymox Enzymatic Ear Solution with 0.5% Hydrocortisone helps keep dog ears healthy, remove any waxy junk, and uses 0.5% hydrocortisone to relieve itching, minor skin irritation, and dermatitis. It is helpful for dogs with bacterial, fungal, and yeasty ears caused by Staphylococcus, Pseudomonas, Proteus and Malassezia.
Used primarily for:
- For pets who swim
- Pets who live in moist or hot environments
It is soothing, non-toxic and requires no pre-cleaning of the dogs ear. You apply it once a day into the ear, and like all the products on this list, it contains no antibiotics.
The patented LP3 enzyme solution means no pre-cleaning or digging around in a dogs delicate ear or ear canal to use the solution.
How to Use: Apply liberally to the uncleaned ear, filling the ear canal. Gently massage and work into the infected area, wiping the excess. Use once a day for seven days, but up to 14 days for chronic infections.
- To remove ear exudate
- Pets who live in moist or hot environments