Dogs always rely heavily on their hearing capacity as well as smelling capacity than the eyesight. This makes the ears practically more important that the eyes but only in comparison. A dog can navigate in a much better way if it has good hearing capability. As it happens, most of the domesticated dogs do get ear infections. At one time or another, a dog may get an infection during their lifetime. The dog ear infection that affects dogs can start from the flap all the way to the ear can. Some of the infections are obviously painful and serious while others are simple to deal with. Here are the five stages that will be needed to be understood in dealing with these infections;
Causes and prevention of dog ear infection
The prevention of an infection in the ear of a dog will highly be dependent on the cause or the reason underlying. There are times that a dog’s ear might get infected because the ear is moist either from swimming, spending a lot of time in the rain or just bathing. Because of the moist conditions in the ear, some microorganisms find it a fertile place to manifest themselves. At other times, the cause of these infections can just be summarized as yeast and bacteria.
There are other causes of dog ear infection which could be allergies. Some dogs happen to be affected by pollen, grass, weed, objects or even insects that happen to enter the dog’s ear even if for just a moment. Such microorganisms will cause the ear to get inflamed and thereby making the dog really uncomfortable. The way to prevent all these infections is by cleaning the dog’s ears regularly using a recommended cleaner.
Given that hearing is one of the most important functions that a dog can’t do without, it will be easy to see when a dog is having a problem with its ears. As for the bacteria related dog ear infection, there will be a pungent smell coming from the ears. There may even be some redness, some unusual discharge or at times excessive discharge from the ears. In many instances there can be swelling coupled with pain.
Yeast can make ears redden, swell and at times itch. As a result you may notice dryness coupled with scaling and at times excessive itching. Probably because of the itching and the fact that yeast spreads, the dog’s face can also be affected. A person can also easily detect when their dog is having an ear infection because besides the above symptoms there might be hair loss around the ears or a lot of head shaking and tilting of the head to one side.
Dog ear infection is one of the easiest problems that a person can actually diagnose at home. However, given the seriousness with which these infections come with, it is always advisable that the owner goes to the veterinary and gets the proper diagnosis for the diseases. Some of the diagnostic procedures for this infection include examining the ear using an otoscope after the dog has been given anesthesia. Taking a biopsy, performing an X-ray, CT Scan, MRI, BAER and other procedures. All of these procedures will or can be done by the veterinary doctor in trying to determine the real problem with the dog.
Treatment and prognosis of dog ear infection
An ear infection in dogs is a pretty common thing. The owner of the dog should take the dog to the veterinary as soon as possible to avoid the progressive deterioration of the infection. The reason for treating an ear infection is to treat a primary condition or a secondary one that was threatening to become worse. The treatment is also supposed to prevent the formation or the manifestation of other germs in the ear that would have caused some more serious disease. A dog that has a problem with the outer ear will have a pretty good prognosis. The moment the middle and the inner ear becomes affected, the prognosis becomes somewhat constrained thereby raising the chances of rendering the dog deaf.
Cleaning the ears of a dog
Cleaning of a dog’s ears should be guided by several factors which will not only ensure that the dog remains healthy but also neat. If living in a region where there is quite some humidity and warmth, it is necessary to clean the dog’s ears weekly or bi-weekly. Still if the dog has floppy ears which are long, there is a big chance that it will get dog ear infection because of the trapped dirt and grime below the ears. It is therefore important to clean them as regularly as once a week.
Cleaning the dog’s ear requires that a person uses the right tools and solutions. It is advisable to use hemostats and some cotton balls. It is wrong to use Q-tips because they might push debris further inside thereby endangering the dog’s ear more. The pushing of the debris further inside the dog’s ears might also cause damage to the eardrum. When it comes to the selection of the cleaning solutions, never use alcohol or alcohol related solutions to clean an ear infection. The reason for this is simple, the inside of the ear is soft and having undergone some infection, it becomes extremely sensitive. In fact a dog can bite anyone near because of the pain, not forgetting the damage that such alcohol can bring.
Treating a dog ear infection can be tricky because of the risk of it biting. The best way is to sooth the dog by letting it lie down and the caressing it. Let it understand that ear cleaning is not a horrible experience. Start with putting some solution into the dog’s ears and then massaging the base of the ears. After the dog shakes the solution which it must, the debris will loosen. After this the cleaning with the cotton balls and hemostat will be an easy exercise all through.