Your Guide to Pet Ear Care

Purebred adult Welsh Corgi dog outdoors in the nature on a sunny day during late spring and early summer.We all know that pets can have selective hearing, but keeping those ears healthy is an important part of pet wellness.

Canine Ear Infections can come from a variety of sources, such as bacteria, yeast, ear mites, moisture, wax, allergies, tumors, and foxtails.  Unlike humans, dog ear canals are mostly vertical, so it’s easy for pests, foreign objects, moisture, and plants and pollen to hide within them.

Moisture in ears can be conducive to bacterial or fungal infection, and, if left untreated, middle and inner ear infections can result.

Frequent head shaking that dogs exhibit when having ear issues can result in blood vessels bursting in ear flaps.  Resulting hematomas can create fluid filled sacks that require veterinary treatment.

Cats are particularly prone to ear mites, which are highly contagious and account for over half of feline ear infections.  Mites are most common in kittens and outdoor cats.  They are parasites that feed on wax and oils within a cat’s ear canal, causing irritation and inflammation.

Hearing checkup of labrador dog in vet ambulanceVeterinary diagnosis is important in identification and treatment of an ear problem, and can involve visual examination along with discharge samples and ear swabs to check for bacteria, fungus and parasites via slide staining and microscopic evaluation.

Most ear infections require professional flushing, sometimes under sedation, followed at home with topical and/or oral medications.  Length of treatment depends upon the severity of the condition and the pet’s response to treatment.  A follow up exam can confirm that all is clear deep in the ear canal.

Just because the symptoms have disappeared doesn’t mean that the problem has.

And early treatment is important to prevent more severe infection that can permanently damage the ear and hearing.

picture of a small beagle puppy scratching over white backgroundLook for These Symptoms of a Possible Ear Infection.

  • Scratching at ear or surrounding area
  • Redness or swelling of ear flap
  • Digging head into the ground
  • Head shaking
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Crusts or scabs inside the ear

And Add Ear Care to Your Pet’s Wellness Regimen

    Me and my lovely pet. Portrait of young attractive woman in casual wear looking at dog and smiling while keeping dog on her hands sitting on pier.

  • Check regularly for discharge, odor or redness.
  • Gently clean dirty ears with a cotton ball dampened with water. No Q Tips!
  • Dry ears after baths and swimming.
  • Groom and trim hair surrounding outer ears.
  • After hiking, check for brush and foxtails trapped in the ear area.

As with all pet wellness, a vigilant owner is a pet’s best defense against health issues.

Those words ring true for every pet owner!

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