Ear infections in dogs are an inflammatory disease acute or chronic, affecting the ear, the ear canal, and the eardrum. L ‘ ear inflammation is widespread in dogs and is caused by various types of pathogens such as parasites (the most common is a mite, Otodectes the cyanosis), and fungi. In this article, we will give you a complete guide about Ear Infection In Dogs.
It can also develop due to foreign bodies, allergies, keratinization disorders, endocrine disorders, glandular disorders, autoimmune diseases, viral diseases, and cancers. This article gives you full-on information about ear infections in dogs.
How is the dog’s ear formed?
The dog’s ear can be divided into three main sections:
- Outer ear: This area consists of the auricle and the tube-shaped ear canal.
- Middle ear: starts from the eardrum (also called the tympanic membrane), a fragile membrane that can easily injure itself and cause serious diseases of the dog’s ear. The middle ear comprises three small bones (ossicles) called: hammer, anvil, and stirrup.
- Inner ear: houses the nerves that send sounds to the brain and help the dog stay balanced.
Ear inflammation in dogs: the causes
Some of the pathogens that can live and grow inside an infected ear, aggravating the inflammatory process, are mainly yeasts ( Malassezia pachydermatis) and bacteria (Staphylococcus sp, Pseudomonas sp, Proteus sp, and E. coli). In dogs, the disease can be difficult to treat because one must first identify the type of organism causing the inflammation before starting treatment. A good diagnosis is also important to treat the disease and prevent recurrent ear infections in dogs.
If neglected, dogs’ ear infections worsen, reaching the middle ear ( otitis media ) and becoming more difficult to treat. Ear inflammation in dogs causes discomfort, itching, and pain. The dog often bends down and shake his head, scratch himself to cause lesions in the areas near the ear, cry, moan, and even bite you. Generally, you may notice foul-smelling pus or earwax coming out of the ear.
These factors make dogs more prone to inflammation and infection of the outer ear. If the ear canal is closed or too narrow, it can allow secretions and ear wax to build up, promoting infections.
- Parasites like ticks, fleas, and other mites are among the leading causes of dogs’ ear problems.
- Allergies: Dogs with food or skin allergies can develop ear infection in dogs
- Foreign bodies such as small branches or small stones get stuck in the dog’s ear canal.
- Polyps and tumors
- Hormonal Disorders: Various hormonal problems (such as hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism ) can cause skin and ear problems.
- Genetic and hereditary diseases
Symptoms of Otitis in Dogs
Symptoms of otitis in dogs can appear gradually or suddenly and typically manifest with the following symptoms :
- The dog often scratches its ears.
- Irritation or inflammation of the ear and ear canal
- The dog often shakes his head or holds it in an inclined position.
- Excessive ear wax in the ear canal
- Scarring or ulcers on the ears
- Loss of balance
- Bad smell in the ears
In severe cases, the ears can give off a putrid smell, and hearing loss and lack of balance may also be observed.
Ear Infection in Dogs: Diagnosis
The vet usually has 3 ways to diagnose otitis in dogs :
- Analyze the dog’s medical history
- Perform a full physical analysis of the ears and skin through an otoscope
- Rule out foreign bodies, debris, or abnormal tissue formation in the ear canal and perform a cytological examination
The medical history is essential (the time when it occurs, the environment in which the dog lives, whether it has recently been bathed or has fought with another animal are important data). ‘ internal or external otitis in dogs are generally not difficult to diagnose but often difficult to treat.
Treatment of otitis in dogs
If a foreign body causes the dog’s ear’s inflammation, it must first be removed by cleaning the ear canal and then treating otitis and infection. Cleaning the dog’s ear is important, but topical products must be used not to injure the eardrum or aggravate the situation. The products to clean the ears of dogs contain substances that soften and liquefy fat and wax from the ear canal, making them easier to remove. Proper cleaning also helps remove bacteria that reduce the effectiveness of antibiotics.
After cleaning, the ear will be treated, depending on the cause, with acaricides, antifungals, or antibiotics. In addition to being used topically parenterally, the vet may prescribe oral medications. It is important to know that each germ that causes ear infections in dogs must be treated with specific medications. Therefore, do not give your dog any medication without the veterinarian’s consent. During treatment, the use of an Elizabethan collar may be helpful to prevent scratching injuries. If you see your dog fidgeting, often shaking his head, don’t waste time and go to a vet … chronic otitis gets worse and becomes more difficult to treat.
The Importance of Antibiotics Ear Infection in Dogs
Your vet can prescribe an antibiotic to treat a dog ear infection and reduce pain. Antibiotics attack any bacterial infections present and provide almost immediate relief. The veterinarian must prescribe them. They can be in the form of ear drops or administered orally in capsules or tablets. Dogs can also be affected by Staphylococcus aureus resistant to methicillin, so it is important to use the ‘ right antibiotic.
Hydrogen peroxide as a home remedy
If your vet deems it appropriate for your dog, a slight dilution of hydrogen peroxide with water can effectively treat mild bacterial infections. A topical solution of hydrogen peroxide can help remove dirt and excess earwax. Still, care must be taken not to apply too much to alter the natural balance in your dog’s ears (oils and earwax are necessary). Other home remedies include white or apple cider vinegar, coconut oil, calendula flowers, other herbs, olive oil, garlic oil, lemons, Epsom salts, baking soda, and green tea. Home remedies can include ingredients such as boric acid.
To clean your dog’s ears, you can use apple cider vinegar :
- Dilute the apple cider vinegar with 50/50 water
- Dip a cotton ball into the solution
- Gently dab the outer areas and flaps of the dog’s ear to clean them of any debris.
Remember, though, not to use vinegar on your dog’s ears if they are red or have open sores. The vinegar will cause a burning sensation and pain.
Natural remedies for ear infections in dogs
Many natural remedies are usually present in our homes that we can use to relieve pain and inflammation in the ear of our four-legged friend: first of all, there is apple cider vinegar, beneficial for its antiseptic properties and anti-inflammatory. To use apple cider vinegar against canine ear infection in dogs, it must be mixed with an equal amount of water and then sprayed on the infected area: the same mixture can be used for periodic cleaning of the dog’s ear, together with a cloth. Soft and clean with which to rub very gently.
The classic hot pack is an evergreen that always works: apply gauze or cloth several times a day to relieve the pain that ear infection causes to our dog. Additionally, the heat helps to soothe inflammation by accelerating Fido’s healing. Even garlic is, surprisingly, a beneficial natural remedy for dogs with ear infections. At that point, remove the garlic and apply the preparation every day: 5 drops at a time are enough.
Aloe vera is also beneficial to treat inflammation and reduce pain: the pure juice applied to the dog’s ear twice a day will help to improve the situation visibly. Differently, i.e., diluted! Mix 20 drops in half a glass of sweet almond oil, then apply 5 drops per day to the affected area.
Finally, there is a natural antibiotic called Pau d’Arco or Lapacho, used to prepare a powerful home remedy against inflammation of the dog’s ears: two parts of the tincture of the Pau d’Arco plant are mixed with one part of natural oil (almonds or olive are perfect). A few drops of this mixture are applied to the inflamed area and left to act for a few minutes.
Just as there are several natural remedies for dog otitis, even when an ear infection produces inflammation in dogs, we illustrate several natural alternatives below.
- Tea tree oil: it is a remedy suitable for different infections caused by bacteria or fungi. If there are no wounds on the ear, 2 or 3 drops can be applied per day. If, on the other hand, there are wounds on the ear, it will be advisable to mix the tea tree oil with sweet almond oil, adding 20 drops of tea tree oil in half a glass of sweet almond oil. It will be necessary to apply 5 drops a day.
- Warm compresses: Heat on the skin acts as a vasodilator, quickly relieving inflammation and pain. Furthermore, by dilating the blood vessels, the heat improves the tissues’ irrigation, promoting healing. Wet a cotton cloth with warm water, wring it out and apply it to the pet’s ear. Repeat several times a day.
- Macerated Garlic: Crush two garlic cloves and place them in an airtight container filled with olive oil and let it sit overnight. The next day, drain the mixture and apply 5 drops of the preparation on the dog’s ear. Repeat every day.
- Aloe vera: Pure aloe vera juice is perfect for protecting the pet’s ear canal. When applied to the dog’s skin, it relieves inflammation and pain thanks to its emollient action. Apply directly to the dog’s ear 2 times a day.
- Homemade Antiseptic Solution: Mix equal parts hydrogen peroxide, water, and apple cider vinegar. Wet some cotton wool with this solution and clean the infected ears.
Causes Of Ear Disease In Dogs
- Anatomy. A model is the Basset Hound. These wonderful canines have enormous hanging folds that limit air dissemination in their ear waterways. Some individual canines of any variety may have exceptionally restricted or hairy channels that don’t get a lot of wind current. The outcome is that the channels stay warm and moist, ideal conditions for bacterial development.
- Ear parasites. These minuscule parasites are incredibly infectious and live in the ear channels of canines. They cause serious tingling and can likewise incline to an auxiliary bacterial or contagious contamination. When your canine scratches his ears, he will damage the pinna, which could cause a hear-able hematoma.
- Allergies. Food hypersensitivities or sensitivities to residue and dust (called atopy) can make your canine’s ears red and irritated. Irritation inside the ear channel can permit microscopic organisms and parasites to increase, which aggravates it.
- Bacterial and contagious contaminations. So it is uncommon for canines to build up an ear disease without an inclining cause.
What to do if the dog has an ear infection?
Suppose you think your dog has an ear infection in dogs. In that case, it is important to take him to the vet as soon as possible as ear infection starts with pathogenic colonization and inflammation of the external auditory canal. Still, if not treated in time, it can affect the middle and inner ear, causing irreversible damage to the eardrum. The vet will take into account the patient’s medical history and the symptoms he presents. In general, he will perform an otoscope to assess the ear canal’s health and the pathogen that caused the infection.
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Traditional veterinary treatment involves using antibiotics (in the case of a bacterial infection) or antifungals (in fungal infection).
Prevention Of Ear Problems
A few canines are not difficult to really focus on their ears. Those short-layered varieties with erect ears like the Australian Cattle Dog or the German Shepherd seldom need upkeep except if they have a hidden sensitivity causing issues. Under these conditions, hypersensitivity on the board normally makes the ear issues disappear.
Except if there’s an issue with his ears, most vets tend not to poop. Nonetheless, if the contamination is a repetitive issue, eliminating the hair will permit the ear drops to arrive at the ear waterway’s skin. Canines that swim a great deal can profit from a cleaner that dries out the water in the ear channel, which can incline to disease. Finally, those canines with hanging ears or limited ear channels may have a medical procedure to address the ear’s life structures and diminish the danger of them creating repeating diseases.