Dog ear infection or Otitis Externa is an ear health condition in dogs pertaining to an inflammation of the external ear canal that may be due to infection brought about by presence of parasites, bacteria or fungus. This ear condition is usually present amongst dogs that have long floppy ears and those breeds that hairy.
Dogs that have ear infection may be seen scratching or rubbing their ears more often than usual, and shaking their heads with such effort. A painful reaction may also be observed when you try to manipulate their ears. Likewise, an abnormal discharge that may be foul-smelling as well as redness or swelling in the ear canal are the signs and symptoms of dog ear infection that you should watch out for and consult with the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Veterinary care in diagnosing dog ear infection such as cytology and ear physical check up, radiographs, CBC, skin scraping and allergy tests should be executed properly since there are other major medical conditions that exhibit similar symptoms as Otitis Externa such as skin cancer, atopy, polyps, endocrine imbalance, food allergy, seborrhea, contact allergy, food allergy, demodicosis, autoimmune diseases and tumors such as squamous cell carcinoma, histiocytomas, sebaceous gland adenomas, adenocarcinomas, basal cell tumors, mast cell tumors, chondromas, chondrosarcomas, trichoepitheliomas, apocrine gland adenomas, fibromas, fibrosarcomas, and papillomas
that have been identified through reports.
Although dog ear infection is not life-threatening, immediate treatment response should be administered. Treating Otitis Externa however, is not just as easy as cleaning the ear and providing anti-inflammatory medications. Involved in the treatment are evaluation of the primary disease process, recognition and treatment of the sub-factors affecting or triggering ear infection. When the real agent or factor causing ear infection is known, a treatment to that specific agent is implemented to complete the final treatment of Otitis Externa. Among the treatment procedures that may be done include:
• First, initial ear management. Ear management involves physical check up focusing on the ear. It includes cleaning of the ear by using solution. This may be done at home or at the veterinary clinic, however for moderate and severe cases sedation and in-hospital flushing are advised.
• Second is topical therapy. An ear medication placed in dog’s ear once or twice daily may be administered depending on the cause of the ear infection. To avoid failure of treatment, proper medication dosage and administration should be complied.
• Third is systemic therapy. Systemic therapy is done with glucocorticoids like prednisone to mitigate pain and inflammation.
• Fourth is antibiotic therapy. This kind of therapy is charged with major bacterial infections or ulceration. However, the antibiotic that may be prescribed by the veterinarian depends on the kind of bacteria causing inflammation to the ear based on the bacteria culture or cytology.
• Fifth is anti-fungal therapy. Fungus is one of the possible culprits of dog ear infection. If severe yeast infection is observed, medications such as Ketoconazole, Itraconazole, and Fluconazole may be administered for two to four weeks.
• Lastly, regular follow up should be complied since possible recurrence of dog ear infection may be experienced.
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