Ear infections are a common problem for dogs and cats. It can seem like a minor condition, but it can cause serious problems including loss of coordination and hearing if left untreated.
At Our Pet Vets, we offer routine and emergency veterinary care. We have two locations in La Mesa and San Diego, CA.
What Causes Ear Infections?
Ear infections can be caused by bacteria, fungi, or yeast. Dogs with large, floppy ears are at a higher risk of developing an ear infection than those with upright ears. Ear mites can also increase the risk of getting an ear infection.
Allergies are another common trigger for ear infections. Over 40% of dogs with ear infections also have allergies, which are a potential cause. Dogs with food allergies have a 65%-80% chance of developing ear infections.
Signs of Ear Infections
Common signs of an ear infection include pawing or rubbing at the ear or rubbing it on the ground. They may also shake their head. You may notice a yellow or brown discharge and a foul odor coming from their ear.
You may notice that the inside of the ear is red. You may also see swelling, crusts, or scabs in the ear. They may also whine or meow as if they are in pain. There are also signs that you should take your pet to the vet very quickly because they have a serious ear infection.
If they seem to lose their hearing, this is a big concern. They may also lose their balance or walk in circles. You may notice them falling or running into things. They may also have unusual eye movements.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you suspect an ear infection, you'll need to take your furry friend to the vet. Ear infections can get worse, and cause serious damage if they aren't treated, so treatment is essential for responsible pet care.
Your vet will examine your pet's ears with an otoscope, which gives them a clear view of the ear canal. They may take a swab from the ear. This can be viewed under the microscope or cultured to determine the type of infection.
Treatment often starts with a cleaning of the ear canal. If there are parasites or debris in the ear, your vet will remove this from the ear. You may be given ear drags to treat the infection at home. Some cases may require oral medication. If there's an underlying cause of the infection, like allergies, your vet will treat this as well.
Ear Infection Treatment from Our Pet Vets
If you need a veterinarian in La Mesa or San Diego, CA, contact us at Our Pet Vets at 619-225-8000. In addition to ear infection treatment, we offer a range of services, including diagnostics and pet wellness exams.