Dealing With Your Dog's EarInfection
I have a dog that’s part basset hound, so along with the silly short legs and laid-back attitude about everything, his ears droop down like two floppy pancakes. But because of these long, floppy ears, he’s far more prone to ear infections, and sadly it appears he has one now. Fortunately for him and many other dogs out there, an ear infection isn’t the end of the world, though it’s not exactly pleasant either. Here’s what you need to know for dealing with your dog’s ear infection.
The first aspect that you’ll likely notice to indicate an ear infection is an increase in ear scratching, going to the point that your dog is rubbing his head against the floor in an attempt to stop the itch and discomfort. There’s a good chance you’ll also notice either a red, swollen look or even some sort of discharge. There may also be an unpleasant smell associated with said discharge. If you see any of these symptoms, including a general sensitivity to having their ears touched or even regularly tilting their heads to the side, chances are you’ve got an ear infection on your hands.
There are three parts of a dog’s ear that be become infected. The outer part is the least severe and can sometimes clear up on its own. It’s also easiest to spot early as it manifests with red swelling and ear discharge. The middle and inner ears are more difficult to treat however, so in every case of an ear infection it’s important to go see a vet as soon as possible.
When the veterinarian looks at the ear, they will usually proscribe some sort of ear drops, but it’s still vital that you get the prescription straight from the vet rather than just grabbing something from over the counter. A lot of times the infection is very specific, so you’ll need something that can correctly combat it rather than just something that takes care of “generic ear infection.” Your vet knows what to get, so don’t worry about knowing just by looking at your dog’s ears. Your job is just to get them to the vet.
A lot of things can cause ear infections, with many common occurrences being a result of fleas, ear mites, or a foreign object. You should also rule out possible ear trauma or if it’s possible that you dog has a tumor in their ear, though the vet will be able to spot this right away. The reason a lot of dogs with floppy ears are more prone to infection is because air circulation is critical for proper ear health, and floppy ears don’t allow for air circulation. That’s why it’s simpler for them to get a yeast or fungal infection in their ear as anything that gets in can stay nice and warm until it grows into a problem. Also, some dogs have food or pollen allergies, which can cause what appear to be ear infections.
Ear infections are just part of a floppy-eared dog’s life. It’s not their fault, so it falls on you to be looking out for them and check their ears once in a while to see if there are any problems present or not. Let’s hope your dog’s ears stay healthy for a long time yet!
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