Dr. Joel Conn’s segment “Pet Tips” aired Monday on 95.3 The Beach! The topic was “Ear Infections.” Tune in every Friday morning at 10:40am to hear more Pet Tips!
This week on Pet Tips We’re going to talk about Ear Infections
Ear infections are an extremely common condition in dogs and are a top cause of chronic discomfort, hearing loss, and trips to the vet. Ear infections result from the overpopulation of normal ear flora, namely bacteria and yeast. This leads to infection and inflammation of the outer ear canal and can even lead to rupture of the ear drum.
As you might imagine, this can be extremely painful for your pet even though they are unlikely to complain!
Common causes of ear infections include foreign material in the ear canal, such as foxtails; and predisposing factors such as frequent swimming or bathing, ear shape and hairiness, breed, and underlying disease such as hypothyroidism. The most common cause of recurrent ear infections, however, is allergies! Recent studies have shown a surprisingly strong association between ear infections and food or inhalant allergies.
There are a few key indicators that your pet might be suffering from an ear infection: a yeasty or foul odor; discharge, commonly brown with yeast infection or white to tan with bacterial infections; shaking of the head or pawing at the ears; and in severe cases even a head tilt.
The good news is that there are some simple things that you can do to help your canine companion. Undetstanding that ear infections may be a life long issue, our treatment plans are usually aimed at controlling and preventing future infections. Weekly ear flushing with a gentle ear cleanser can really help to prevent flair ups. Controlling underlying allergies with antihistamines and/or a hypoallergenic diet is also important. Ear hair plucking might be helpful but in some cases can in fact make infections worse. Finally, it’s vital to recognize early on that your pet has an infection and work with your vet to treat it with appropriate medications before things escalate.
This is Dr. Joel Conn from Pismo Beach Veterinary Clinic. I’ll be back next week with more pet tips. For more information, visit us online at pismobeachvet.com or come see us at 990 Price Street, Pismo Beach. We are open 7 days a week