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Signs and Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections

Ear infections are a common issue we frequently encounter at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic, particularly in dogs with long, floppy ears. Fortunately, when ear infections are detected early, they can be easily treated. Today, our vets in Harlingen will discuss the signs and symptoms of ear infections in dogs and the methods used to treat them.

A Dog's Ears

Dogs are more prone to ear infections than humans due to the shape of their ear canals. Factors such as frequent swimming or long floppy ears can increase the risk, as bacteria can become trapped and thrive in these conditions.

To protect your dog from ear infections, take precautions such as regular ear cleaning.

If your dog does develop an ear infection, it's important to take them to a vet early for prompt and effective treatment. Failure to treat the infection can lead to more serious symptoms such as pain, coordination and balance issues, and in severe cases, facial paralysis.

What Causes of Ear Infections?

The primary cause of ear infections in dogs is bacteria; however, yeast, fungus, and ear mites can also result in painful and infected ears for your dog. Other causes of dog ear infections may include foreign objects lodged in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.

What are the Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs?

Ear infections can be very painful or uncomfortable for your pup. If your dog displays any of the following symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination.

Early treatment of ear infections can help prevent more severe symptoms from developing and reduce the chances of complications.

Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness inside of the ear
  • Pawing or rubbing at the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Swelling of the ear
  • Tilting head
  • Head shaking
  • Crusts or scabs just inside the ear

If your dog's ear infection is more severe you might notice other symptoms such as:

  • Indications of hearing loss
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Walking in circles

How are Dog Ear Infections Treated?

If your dog is diagnosed with an ear infection, your veterinarian will clean the ear with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications needed to treat it. Your veterinarian could also prescribe a topical medication and instruct you on how and when to apply it to your dog's ear at home.

With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within one or two weeks. If your dog's ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment could be more challenging and might take months to resolve. Often, more severe cases result in chronic or repeated ear infections over the course of the pet's lifetime.

Carefully following your veterinarian's instructions will be essential in 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 a recurring infection that becomes harder to treat.

Follow-up appointments with your vet are highly recommended for dog ear infections. While it can look as if the infection has cleared there might still be traces of infection that are difficult for owners to spot. Finishing treatment before the infection has fully healed can lead to recurring symptoms that are difficult to treat.

How Can I Prevent My Dog From Getting an Ear Infection?

Our Harlingen vets believe that prevention is best when it comes to ear infections, even a middle ear infection. To help prevent your dog from developing an ear infection, it's important to keep your pet's ears clean and dry.

Talk to your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution 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."

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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.

If you believe your dog may be suffering from an ear infection, contact our Harlingen vets today.

Welcoming New Patients

Our vets at Altas Palmas Animal Clinic are now accepting new patients! Our veterinary team is passionate about keeping the cats and dogs of Harlingen happy and healthy. Contact us today to schedule your pet's first appointment.

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