Pet Ear Infections

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Are your dog’s ears always itchy?  Have you noticed large amounts of black, yellow, or brown material in your cat’s ears?  Does your pet’s ears appear swollen?  Pet ear infections are very common.  In fact, we treat a number of these infection weakly.  Have you ever wondered why your pet may be getting ear infections so often?   Learn the causes today and what to do about it to prevent your pet from suffering in the future.    

Causes

Ear infections can be caused by a number of factors. Excess moisture in the ear canal can lead to an infection.  This will happen If you pet takes a swim, if water gets trapped in the ear canal from taking a bath, or the ears are cleaned inappropriately. The microorganisms that cause the infection will grow in warm moist environments.  A wet ear is the perfect place for this to occur. Dogs with floppy ears may be more prone infections because the ears can take longer to dry out.

Another important cause of frequent ear infections is allergies.   Allergies can be caused by environmental factors such as pollen and dust mites.  It can also be caused by food, which is usually linked to the meat in the food  (chicken, beef, pork, etc).  Allergies will caused your pet’s ear canals to become inflamed and result in an overgrowth of yeast and/or bacteria. 

Ear mites, which are tiny microscopic parasites that infect the ear canals. We see the infections more often in cats, but dogs and other pets can get them as well.

Prevention 

To prevent an ear infection the first step is to understand the cause.   Make an appointment with your veterinarian to have your pets ears examined and diagnosed.  Your veterinarian will be able to go over your pet’s history and help decide the best treatment plan.  Do not try to treat your pets ears yourself without consulting with your veterinarian, as you could cause severe damage to the ears and/or worsening of the infection.  

Avoid getting water down into the ear when bathing you pet.  You can place cotton balls in the ears during the bath to prevent this.  Cleaning the ears as needed can help prevent an infection. Use an ear cleaning solution recommend by your vet If the ears become dirty or If they happen to get excessively wet. See below for instructions on how to clean the ears.  

Ear cleaning instructions

  1. Use an ear cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian.

  2. Wet a cotton ball with the ear cleaning solution and gently place into the ear canal.

  3. Gently massage the base of the ear for about a minute then remove the cotton ball.

  4. Use a dry cotton ball to remove excess moisture and to wipe away any remaining dirt.

  5. Repeat on the other ear and you are done!

If you think your pet may be suffering form an ear infection call us at 910-635-3307 or go to www.tqvet.com to make an appointment. We will will be glad to come to your home and see your pet.