Ear Infections

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The page provides information and advice on ear infections effecting dogs.

Symptoms

  • shaking or tilting head
  • scratching at ears
  • smelly + painful ears
  • redness + discharge at entrance to ear canal

Causes

  • Infections; e.g. yeasts, bacteria, ear mites
  • Allergies; e.g. atopy or food allergies
  • Parasites; e.g. ear mites
  • Foreign bodies; e.g. grass seeds
  • Trauma
  • Hormone abnormalities; e.g. hypothyroidism
  • The ear environment; e.g. excess moisture, ear anatomy
  • Hereditary or immune conditions and tumours

Diagnosis

  • Sometimes infections can be diagnosed and treated by examination with an otoscope.
  • Samples can be collected and sent away for analysis by an external laboratory to identify the bacteria involved and which antibiotic will control the infection.
  • Blood testing may be performed to rule out systemic disease which may contribute to the ear disease.
  • Radiographs or other specialist imaging (MRI, CT scan).

Treatment

This will depend on the cause;

  • Topical ear drops; containing antibacterials, anti-fungals and anti-inflammatories.
  • Oral medications; again anti-inflammatories, anti-bacterials and/or anti-fungals.
  • Cleaning and flushing the ears; normally under sedation or general anaesthetic. This will also allow a more thorough examination.
  • Regular cleaning; at home can help reduce further problems.
  • Surgery; may become necessary in severe and chronic ear infections at the end-stage of disease. This tends to be a procedure only carried out when all other options have been tried and no longer control the problem.

At the Ardmore Veterinary Group we aim to provide the highest standard of professional veterinary care. If you find any of the information displayed incorrect please do not hesitate to call us. We are here to listen and assist in any way we can.

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