Ear Infections

HEAD: The Dirt on Ear Infections

An ear infection (otitis externa) is one of the most frequently diagnosed medical conditions in dogs—especially those with floppy ears. Signs of an ear infection can include scratching at the ears, head shaking, ears that are red and/or painful to the touch, an unpleasant smell or a dirty discharge inside the ear. Here are four facts about ear infections:

  • Left untreated, otitis externa won’t get better by itself.It can lead to permanent changes such as narrowing of and scar tissue build-up in the ear canal.
  • Not all ear infections are alike.Otitis externa can be caused by harmful bacteria, fungi or ear mites so using a medication prescribed for a previous ear infection may not be effective.
  • Regular ear cleaning can be just as important as administering medication.Without proper cleaning, it’s sometimes impossible for the ear medication to penetrate the ear canal and do its job.

Recheck exams are vital to resolving otitis externa.The only way our doctors can make sure the infection source has been removed is by rechecking your four-legged friend’s ears, typically within 7-10 days of the initial diagnosis.