Pet ear infections are so common that most dogs or cats get one at some point in their lives. The infection can be on the outer or inner ear. Most ear infections do not go away by themselves. They often become worse without treatment. Dr. Bolt and our team at Animal Health and Medical Center in Abilene are here to provide quality veterinary care when your cat or dog is suffering from an ear infection.
Causes of Pet Ear Infections
The reason that ear infections in dogs and cats is so common are that there are many causes. These causes include allergies, having a small object stuck in the ear, an injury that got infected, bacterial infections, fungal infections, autoimmune diseases, problems with the endocrine system like hyperthyroidism, and ear mites or other parasites.
A Special Note About Floppy-eared Dogs
Dogs with long, floppy ears that hug close to the head are more prone to ear infections because the ears are constantly moist. To prevent ear infections, every now and then flip the ears back so they can dry out. Some of the dog breeds prone to ear infections include basset hounds, bloodhounds, Chinese Shar-peis, cocker spaniels, beagles, Labradoodles, and golden retrievers.
Signs of Ear Infections in Pets
Common signs of ear infections in pets include a lot of head shaking, scratching the ears, a dark discharge from the ears, ears that have an odd or different smell, reddening or swelling of the ears, and pets keeping their heads tilted to one side. Pets often develop balance issues if their inner ear is infected. They may sway when walking, fall over, or even go into a seizure.
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your dog has a seizure, starts vomiting, has diarrhea, leaks pus from the ears, becomes unable to blink, has difficulty eating, develops strange movements of the eyes, or has discharge coming from the eyes. These are indications that the infection is serious and spreading throughout your dog’s body.
Diagnosing Ear Infections in Pets
A hands-on pet examination helps determine the cause of the ear infection, as well as samples taken of any ear discharge to look under the microscope. If your pet is in too much pain to allow an examination, your pet may need to be sedated.
Never Use Ear drops Meant for People
Never use any medication such as prescription ear drops that are meant for people. At the least, they will not work and, at the most, they could poison your pet. Only use medication that is prescribed by your veterinarian.
Contact Our Veterinarian in Abilene, TX
If you have questions about your pet’s ear infection and live in the Abilene area, contact Dr. Bolt at Animal Health and Medical Center. Call our team today at 325-695-7140 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.