Clean, odour-free, pale pink colour and a minimal accumulation of wax are indications of healthy ears of your pet. Check your pet’s ears regularly.
Some dog breeds are more susceptible to ear disease than others, including dogs with pendulous ears or dogs with hairy inner ear flaps. Dogs with allergies are also at risk.
Signs of Ear Disease
• Unpleasant odour
• Excessive scratching and pawing of the ear and head
• Sensitivity to touch, often resulting in pain
• Constant tilting/shaking of the head to one side
• Black or yellowish discharge
• Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
• Changes in behaviour like listlessness, depression or irritability
• Accumulation of dark brown wax
• Loss of balance or hearing and disorientation
• Bleeding or discharge resembling coffee grinds
Causes of Ear Disease
Otitis Externa—inflammation of the external ear canal and Otitis Media, inflammation of the middle ear are usually caused by bacteria and/or yeast. Other possibilities include accumulation of wax, matted hair, debris or a foreign object lodged in the ear canal. When seeking treatment, act quickly. If your dog has an ear infection, he will be in considerable discomfort. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections while antifungals are administered for yeast. Ear infections can also be indicative of other problems such as underlying allergies. Your veterinarian will determine this during your visit and suggest the best course of action.
Ear Mites are common parasites that are highly contagious, often contracted from pet to pet. Excessive itching is the most common sign. Ear mites create dark, crumbly debris that look like coffee grinds.
Aural Haematoma means blood has accumulated in the ear flap (pinna). The exact cause of this condition in many cases is still unknown, but can sometimes be caused by vigorous head shaking, scratching or trauma to the ear area resulting in damage to the blood vessels, often set off by infection, mites, fleas or debris.
Deafness, usually brought on by age, trauma, loud noise or infection, can also be hereditary or congenital. Unfortunately, once diagnosed with clinical deafness, it is a lifelong condition.
How to Administer Ear Drops or Ointment to Dogs
• Read the label instructions carefully for correct dosage.
• Pull the ear flap over the head, insert nozzle of treatment bottle gently into ear canal and squeeze out desired amount.
• Gently massage the ear area to help work the medication deeper into the ear canal.
Prevention of Ear Disease
Ear cleaning solution used on an appropriate basis can be helpful in maintaining healthy ears in your pet. Always administer medicine for the full treatment period. When administering medication, stay calm, your pet can sense if you are nervous making it more difficult to apply the treatment. Always praise and reward your pet with a treat.
(This article is contributed by Intervet India Pvt Ltd)