A dog ear infection can be an incredibly irritating condition for your pet. If not addressed right away, this type of infection can lead to further complications, and could even spread to other areas on the dog’s face. This could cost your pet his health, and you, many bills from the vet. At the first sign of infection in your dog’s ear, it is best that you take action right away before it becomes worse. Luckily, dog ear infections, if caught early can be stopped. Even better, you can prevent them.
Types of dog ear infections
There are two primary types of ear infection in dogs which are quite easy to differentiate from each other. These are yeast infections and bacterial infections. Yeast and bacteria are both found in a natural balance in your dog’s ears. However, certain conditions can cause this balance to be disturbed, thus causing a proliferation of either yeast or bacteria, and leading to an infection.
Yeast infections are often characterized by excessive discharge coming out from the ear, accompanied by swelling, redness and pain. Infections caused by an excessive amount of yeast in the ear could also lead to dryness, scaling and itching. It is easy to identify a yeast infection by the chalky odor of the discharge from the ear. It is possible that this type of infection, when not treated right away, will spread to the other parts of the face.
Bacterial infections will have pretty much the same signs and symptoms, but without the dryness or scaling. A pungent odor from the ear ,particularly when ear wax is being cleaned out, is a distinguishing characteristic of ear infections caused by bacteria.
Remedies for dog ear infection
The most common cause for a dog ear infection is the dog being immersed in water. The water gets trapped in the dog’s ears, and if not removed as soon as possible, will lead to growth changes, imbalances and infection. Floppy-eared dogs are more prone to this problem as their inner ears are harder to dry. It is therefore very important that the dog’s ears be kept dry and clean as much as possible, to help the dog prevent having an infection. Special ear cleaner can be used, along with soft cotton balls, to clean and dry you dog’s ears and effectively prevent an ear infection.
Some medications your vet may describe for a dog ear infection are Otomax ear drops and Cephalexin antibiotic in case of a bacterial infection, and Mometamax ear drops for a yeast infection. Epi-Otic Flush or Temeral-P can be used for both bacterial and yeast infections.
Alternatively, you can try a simple remedy for your dog‘s ear infection at home by using diluted white vinegar. You simply mix one part water with one part vinegar and apply it using a squeeze bottle with a nozzle to the pet’s infected ear. This works because it changes the PH level in the ear, and makes it an unfriendly environment for bacteria and yeast.
It is possible to mistake another ailment for a dog ear infection, such as a foreign object lodged in the ear, or ear mites. Keep a watchful eye on your dog – it should be easy to spot if something is wrong with him. If anything happens, first identify the problem. If you are doubtful, visit the vet right away before anything worse happens!