Are Dog Ear Infections Contagious
It depends on the cause, but the majority of dog ear infections are not contagious. If the cause is ear mites, though, these parasites are extremely contagious.
With ear mites, all pets in the home must be treated simultaneously. Ear mites are relatively common in puppies and kittens and may not be noticed initially when adopting a new pet. But shortly after bringing your new pet home, multiple pets in the house will be scratching and shaking.
Rarely, a methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus or possible other contagious infection can be cultured from an infected ear.
It is recommended to practice good handwashing when interacting with a pet with an ear infection and to limit other pets licking the infected pets ears. Good handwashing is also recommended after cleaning or medicating the ear to limit any topical absorption of medication.
Why Your Dog Might Need Antibiotics
Bacteria are essential for human and doggie health, but not all bacteria are beneficial. If your dogs immune system changes because of, say, another illness or a skin condition, harmful bacteria can easily reproduce and cause infections. Bacterial infections can occur in many places inside or on the surface of the body. To get your dog back to good health, antibiotics are often prescribed. These antibiotics are meant to kill problematic bacteria.
Common infections that could require antibiotics for treatment include:
- UTI. Urinary tract infections are common in dogs and require antibiotics for treatment. Dogs acquire urinary tract infections when bacteria ascend the urethra and into the bladder. Dogs with hooded vulvas, diabetes, bladder stones, and urinary incontinence are more prone to recurring UTIs.
- Ear infection. Dogs are prone to ear infections because of the shape of their ear canals, which can trap moisture and encourage bacterial growth.
- Skin infection. Dogs skin infections often require antibiotics for treatment. For example, folliculitis is an uncomfortable condition where the dogs hair follicles become inflamed. If this is caused by bacterial pyoderma, a vet will likely prescribe antibiotics.
- Eye infection. Eye infections can occur for many reasons, including allergic conjunctivitis and corneal ulcers. Antibiotic eye drops or ointment are prescribed to treat bacterial eye infections.
What Is An Ear Infection
The medical term for an ear infection is otitis. Ear infections typically start as inflammation of the skin inside the outer ear canal . When inflammation exists, discharge, soreness, and other qualities of an ear infection end up being established. Swelling of the canal causes the overgrowth of typical bacteria and yeast that live in the ear other opportunistic bacteria can likewise make the most of the inflammation and unhealthy environment inside the ear to establish infection. The overgrowth of these organisms causes more swelling and other unhealthy modifications inside the ear. Sometimes, ear infections that start in the external ear canal can advance to include the middle ear and inner ear. Deep infections can cause deafness and other complications.
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Caring For Your Dogs Ears To Prevent Infections
Our vets at Animal Hospital of North Asheville in North Asheville believe that prevention is always better than treatment when it comes to ear infections. To help prevent your canine companion from developing an ear infection it is important to keep your pup’s ears clean and dry.
Speak to your vet about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog’s ears, take the time to gently clean your dog’s ears every week, and always dry your dog’s ears whenever they come out of the water.
Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet’s condition, please make an appointment with your vet.
Other Recommended Antibiotics For Dogs
Apart from the above-mentioned antibiotics, there are various others that many veterinarians recommend to dog parents:
Doxycycline Doxycycline is an antibiotic that is used to treat a variety of infections in dogs. Tick-borne infections, leptospirosis, toxoplasmosis, and psittacosis are among them. Its a bacteriostatic antibiotic that stops bacteria from proliferating and shuts off their protein production.
Clindamycin Clindamycin is an antibiotic that also has antiprotozoal properties. Its used to treat infections of the skin, bones, mouth, and respiratory tract, and it works best against gram-positive bacteria.
Clindamycin normally acts by suppressing bacterial growth, although it can also kill germs in specific cases.
Cephalexin Cephalexin is used to treat a variety of bacterial infections, including those of the skin, urinary system, soft tissue, and respiratory tract. Its a broad-spectrum antibiotic, like Amoxicillin, which makes it a popular choice.
It is, nevertheless, extremely beneficial in the treatment of deep skin infections. It can kill a wide spectrum of bacteria, both gram-positive and gram-negative, by causing the cell walls to break down and become susceptible.
Metronidazole is an antibiotic that also works as an antiprotozoal. Its one of the most potent medications on the market, and its used to treat a wide range of conditions, including:
- Diarrhea problems
- Periodontal disease
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Does Benadryl Help With Ear Infections
For most ear infections, this is a reasonable alternative that we may suggestion. Medicines such as antihistamines and decongestants do not help in the prevention or treatment of ear infections. However, antihistamines, such as Benadryl, can frequently help a child sleep through the night while fighting an infection.
What Is The Best Treatment For Ear Infections In Dogs
Topical antibioticsare the most effective treatment for ear infections in dogs and will often be combined with an oral steroid to help reduce pain and inflammation.
Every infection is different and may change over time so it is essential to recheck your pets ear when recommended, because the medication may need to be extended or changed.
DO NOT stop the course too soon as this will lead to continued infection and antibiotic resistance.
Occasionally the infections can be very challenging to treat and require ear flushing under sedation and further testing at the lab.
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When Is It Appropriate To Take Antibiotics
When bacteria is the source of the infection, rather than a virus that cannot be treated with medicines, antibiotics should be used.
Only your veterinarian will be able to pinpoint the source of the infection and provide the appropriate medication.
Can my dog have an allergic reaction to the Antibiotic prescribed?
Yes, Antibiotics can cause allergic responses in dogs, but this is a rare occurrence.
Dogs, like people, can develop drug allergies at any moment, therefore past tolerance of a specific antibiotic does not guarantee that it will not produce an allergic reaction in the future.
Allergic responses can range from mild to severe, and they can happen right after you take the antibiotic or later. Dogs may exhibit one or more of the following symptoms during an allergic reaction:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of the face or muzzle
- Skin rash or hives
- Difficulty breathing
If your dog is having problems breathing or has facial swelling, you should take them to the nearest open veterinary practice as soon as possible. Notify your veterinarian that you are on your way.
Treatment usually consists of steroid and antihistamine injections to stop the reaction, as well as supportive care as needed .
If the reaction is moderate, meaning your dog is breathing normally, but you observe additional symptoms, you should get medical assistance from your veterinarian. The antihistamine diphenhydramine at a dose of 1 mg/lb may be recommended.
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?
- 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?
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Antibiotics Only Work If Taken As Directed
Your vet will prescribe the appropriate antibiotic dosage for your dog and give you detailed instructions on how best to administer them, how often to give them, and for how long. Its crucial that you follow these instructions and not skip doses or stop giving your dog antibiotics too early simply because he seems to be feeling better.
How Do You Get Rid Of An Ear Infection Without Going To The Doctor
While most cases of ear infections clear up on their own, there are a handful of at-home remedies that can help, like applying a hot or cold compress, using over-the-counter pain relievers or adjusting your sleep position.These other at-home remedies may provide some relief:
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Client Education And Follow
It is very important to talk to clients about the lengthy process of managing otitis, including the need for proper home therapy and frequent follow-up visits, pain management, quality of life, long-term prognosis, and medical costs. Clients must also be taught how to clean the ears and place ear medications. Dogs with otitis should be reevaluated with otic examination and cytology every 2 to 4 weeks, depending on severity, to assess response to therapy. It is important to treat ear infections until 1 week past clinical improvement and negative ear cytologic results for most bacterial and yeast infections. For multidrug-resistant and Pseudomonas ear infections, I usually recommend treatment until 1 week past negative cytologic and culture results.
Should I Put A Cone On My Dog For Ear Infection
If you insert an otoscope cone into it, you really dont need to insert it far to be able to see the eardrum. And even in cases of painful ear infections, like my kids have had a few times, the cone can still be inserted without causing a lot of additional pain. But a dogs ear canal is actually very deep.
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How To Choose The Most Popular Antibiotic Cream For Dogs
The three most crucial criteria to consider are price, quality, and popularity.Price is an obvious factor to consider, as you want to ensure it is acceptable for your needs.Quality should also be examined because buying a low-quality goods will not help you achieve your main aim of obtaining the best product.Finally, while not as obvious as price or quality, popularity can be just as significant as both when it comes to attracting new customers.
Symptoms Of A Canine Ear Infection
The most common symptoms for an ear infection are itching, ear discharge, redness, pain, swelling, smelly odor from the ear and head shaking. Whenever there is an accumulation of bacteria and moisture, there is a good chance for a bacteria or fungal ear infection, or a yeast one in the dog ear.
Infections can affect the outer, middle or inner ear of a dog. Infections of the inner ear can spread to the central nervous system and can ultimately led to death. Since there are two forms of canine ear infections, it is important to discern which type since treatments are different.
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Potential Side Effects Of Antibiotics
As with any medication, there are potential side effects to consider, especially if your pet is taking other drugs, vitamins, or supplements that could interact with antibiotics. When you take your dog to the vet, make sure to let the doctor know about any medications, topical treatments, and supplements that your dog is taking.
Some antibiotics may trigger sensitivities or allergies in your pet, too. For example, dogs allergic to penicillin should not take amoxicillin, a common antibiotic for dogs. Side effects can vary from skin irritation and gastrointestinal upset to seizures.
Call your vet or the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center Phone Number 426-4435 if you suspect your dog is reacting negatively to an antibiotic.
These are some common side effects of antibiotics:
If youre looking to help your dog heal from minor infections or hoping to ease some of their discomforts while you wait for your appointment with a vet, you may try some natural products that have antibacterial properties. While these products arent a substitution for prescribed medications, they may offer some relief with less risk of leading to antibiotic resistance.
What Is The Most Important Thing I Should Know About Amoxicillin
Amoxicillin is a prescription medication available as 100 mg and 400 mg tablets, 250 mg and 500 mg capsules. Amoxicillin Drops suspension is also available in a 15 ml bottle. The usual dose of amoxicillin in dogs and cats is 5-10 mg/lb every 12-24 hours. Contact your veterinarian immediately if your pet develops severe or bloody diarrhea. Give all of the amoxicillin that is prescribed for your pet, since symptoms may begin to improve before the infection is completely treated.
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Types & Causes Of Ear Infections In Dogs
Bacterial ear infections in dogs are the most common however, yeast, fungus and ear mites can all cause your pup’s ears to become infected and painful. Dog ear infections can also occur due to foreign objects lodged in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.
The 3 types of ear infections that your dog could be diagnosed with are:
Ear Infections And Otitis Externa In Dogs
, DVM, DACVD, Department of Medical Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison
The tubular portion of the outer ear that carries sound to the eardrum is called the ear canal. The most common disorder of the ear canal in dogs is called otitis externa. This condition occurs when the layer of cells that line the external ear canal becomes inflamed. Signs include headshaking, odor, redness of the skin, swelling, scratching, increased discharge, and scaly skin. The ear canal may be painful or itchy depending on the cause or duration of the condition. One or both ears can be affected, and signs can be sudden or longterm. Otitis externa can be caused by many different factors. Some of these factors appear to directly cause the inflammation, while others perpetuate the condition. To complicate things further, the shape or form of the pinnae or ear canals can predispose dogs to developing otitis externa. Identifying these factors is key to successful control of the inflammation. Unless all the causes are identified and treated, the condition may return. Based on these factors, your veterinarian can determine whether the condition can be cured or if longterm or lifelong treatments are necessary.
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Treating Ear Infections In Dogs
If your dog is diagnosed with an ear infection your vet will take the time to clean your dog’s ear with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications appropriate for treating your pet’s ear infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a topical medication and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog’s ear at home.
When treated in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within just a week or two. If your dog’s ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve. In many cases, more severe cases result in chronic ear infections in dogs or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet’s lifetime.
Following your vet’s instructions carefully will be essential to clearing up your dog’s ear infection as quickly as possible. Not finishing prescriptions, or stopping treatment before the infection has completely cleared can lead to recurring, chronic or more severe ear infections in dogs that may become increasingly difficult to treat.
Follow-up appointments with your vet are highly recommended for dog ear infections. While it may look as if the infection has cleared there can still be traces of infection that are difficult for owners to spot.
How Are Dog Ear Infections Diagnosed
If your dog is showing signs of an ear infection, it is important to visit your vet as soon as possible. Prompt treatment is important to prevent the spread of infection to the middle and inner ear. Your vet will take a history to establish any underlying allergies or triggers such as swimming, grooming, or cleaning the ears.
Examination of the ears may involve visualizing the ear canal and eardrum with an otoscope and palpation of the ears to assess pain. Swab samples from the ear may be taken for microscopic examination or culture. In severe or chronic cases, biopsies, x-rays, or a CT scan of the ear canals may be needed.
For some dogs with an ear infection, even gentle palpation of the ear canal is painful. For this reason, your vet may advise that his or her ears are examined under sedation to allow appropriate examination of the ear canal without causing pain or stress.
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