We have experienced ear pains several times in our life, especially when we were kids. To cure the same, we have tried multiple home-remedies including cleaning it with ear-buds, our own fingers, etc. I personally have tried some unusual remedies like applying pain-balm to a cotton ball and putting it in the ear or asking a smoker to smoke one puff inside the ear. And surprisingly, both of them have helped getting immediate relief. But these were probably trial and error or temporary methods. Let us first understand what causes this pain, what are ear infections and then we can try to understand the same for our beloved pets.
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An ear infection, which in medical terms is called acute otitis media, is an infection of the middle ear, the air-filled space behind the eardrum that contains the tiny vibrating bones of the ear. It occurs when a bacterium or a virus gets into the middle ear. This then leads to several other illnesses like cold, flu, or allergy, causing congestion and swelling of nasal passages and throat.
Some of the common signs and symptoms of ear infections, especially in children, include –
We humans mostly have similar ears in terms of shape and size. But that is not the same with dogs. For them, ears become one of the most distinguishable body-parts. And because most of them have long, floppy ears, ear infections become a common condition. Dogs like Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels are more prone to ear problems than others because of the same reason. A sad fact is that about 20% of all dogs suffer from some kind of ear disease.
There are 3 most common types of ear infections found in dogs. These include –
Note: Internal infections are a more severe kind. They could even lead to deafness, facial paralysis, or signs of vestibular diseases, such as head tilting, circling, and lack of coordination.
Unlike your human baby, your four-legged baby won’t be able to tell you that he/she is feeling discomfort in the ears. As a responsible pet parent, you need to look out for signs and symptoms for the same, which include –
It is possible that there be no signs of symptoms as such apart from the buildup of wax and discharge in the ear canal for dogs. It is hence necessary that a routine check be done periodically.
The ear canal of your dog is more vertical than you. The problem with that is that it can hold in more fluids and hence makes it more prone to ear infections. The most basic and common cause of ear infections in dogs is the entry of bacteria or yeast into the ears. For the smaller pups, even ear mites can be a reason. Other reasons that may pre-dispose an ear infection in dogs include –
These are again the most common reasons for an ear infection. Others include –
Your vet needs to be consulted in case any of these symptoms occur. But there are some very severe symptoms, which if shown, the dog needs to be taken to the vet immediately and the treatment should begin at the earliest. These include –
Ear infections are most of the time, a sign of an underlying condition like an allergy or something. These can include allergies to ingredients in the dog’s food or some environmental triggers like pollen, molds, and dust mites. So, for treating the infection, it is necessary that the underlying condition be treated. To help the dog, get rid of the pain and discomfort from the infection, there are some remedies that can be done. These include –
Note: Do not use Q-tips for cleaning the ears. Do not use rubbing alcohol as a cleanser.
Ear Infection is a very common condition amongst dogs since a fifth of the dog population suffers from ear problems. The best cure is to prevent it by cleaning it periodically with recommended solutions. A hygiene routine would go a long way in ensuring your dog’s long-term health. Also, do not forget to keep your vet updated about it. Also, read about Fever in Dogs, Epilepsy in Dogs & Swelling in Dogs.
Happy Mood and Health to your Doggo and lots of Love and Lick to you!
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