Owning a pet comes with joy, and it comes with responsibility. One such responsibility is being aware of the common health issues that can impact pets, health issues like ear infections that can cause discomfort, distress, and sometimes are a symptom of a much larger issue. The good news is that ear infections and other medical issues are something that our Niwot Veterinary Clinic can help with. Continue reading to learn more about ear infections in dogs and cats and the different treatment approaches.
The Common Causes of Ear Infections
Ear infections are known medically as otitis externa and are a prevalent problem for cats and dogs. This type of infection typically appears in the outer ear canal, but may sometimes extend down into the middle ear or even the inner ear. Common causes of ear infections in pets include:
- Allergies: Food and environmental allergies can often trigger inflammation in various parts of the body, including at the ears and thereby lead to an ear infection.
- Genetics: Some dogs are genetically predisposed to ear infections due to the inherent shape of their ears. Dogs with floppy ears, like Cocker Spaniels and Basset Hounds, are more prone to ear infections because while those floppy ears give them an advantage in tracking game, they can't properly circulate air.
- Moisture: Not getting enough air circulation is bad because it frequently leads to moisture build-up, which creates the conditions ideal for ear infections. Dogs and cats who are otherwise commonly in moist environments also tend to develop ear infections.
- Excessive Ear Cleaning: Cats and dogs who excessively clean their ears run the risk of disrupting the ear canals' natural balance and making themselves more prone to developing ear infections.
Treatment for Ear Infections
Healing an ear may involve one or more of the following treatment options:
- Addressing Underlying Causes: Pets with ear infections will first undergo a thorough physical exam to determine what caused the infection. In situations like allergies or environmental issues, your veterinarian near you will discuss ways to manage allergen triggers to prevent an infection reoccurrence.
- Ear Cleaning: Ears will need to be cleaned to remove any debris that might have caused the infection and clean out unwanted discharge. This will help to promote healing and reduce uncomfortable symptoms for your pet, like itching and burning.
- Medication: In many cases, your veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic or anti-inflammatory medication. This will help combat the infection and reduce pain, inflammation, and the symptoms that go along with it.
Schedule Your Vet's Appointment in Niwot, CO
If your pet can't stop scratching their ears or cries out when you touch their ears, chances are good that they are suffering from a painful ear infection. Contact Niwot Veterinary Clinic today to schedule a vet consult and get your pet on the road to recovery.