Otitis in dogs – Symptoms and treatment

Otitis in dogs is one of the most common diseases in dogs and, therefore, is one of the main causes of veterinary consultation, so we created this article from YourCatCareguide to clarify your doubts.

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Otitis is the inflammation of the ear canal and can occur due to different causes such as allergies, parasites, foreign bodies in the ear, etc. Although it may not be infectious, it is almost always accompanied by ear infections, either because ear infections cause subsequent infections or because infections result in otitis.

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Symptoms of canine otitis

Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually . In dogs with otitis you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Irritation or inflammation of the ear or ear canal.
  • The dog rubs his head or face often.
  • Constant scratching of the ears (can be very intense).
  • He shakes his head often or keeps his head bowed.
  • Wax caps or excess wax in the ear canal.
  • Ulcers or scarring on the ears.
  • Loss of hair on or around the ears.
  • Secretions of the auditory canal.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Walk in circles.
  • Decreased or lost hearing.
  • Bad smell on the ears.
  • Pain in or around the ears.
  • Depression or irritability.
  • Thickening of the auditory pavilion

Symptoms of canine otitis

Symptoms may appear suddenly or gradually . In dogs with otitis you may experience one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Irritation or inflammation of the ear or ear canal.
  • The dog rubs his head or face often.
  • Constant scratching of the ears (can be very intense).
  • He shakes his head often or keeps his head bowed.
  • Wax caps or excess wax in the ear canal.
  • Ulcers or scarring on the ears.
  • Loss of hair on or around the ears.
  • Secretions of the auditory canal.
  • Loss of balance.
  • Walk in circles.
  • Decreased or lost hearing.
  • Bad smell on the ears.
  • Pain in or around the ears.
  • Depression or irritability.
  • Thickening of the auditory pavilion.

Diagnosis of canine otitis

The veterinarian looks inside the ear canal with an otoscope to look for physical causes of inflammation (foreign bodies, tumors, etc.) and to determine the existing damage. He also usually takes samples of the ear exudate to observe them under a microscope or to make bacterial or fungal cultures if necessary.

The history of the dog is also helpful in diagnosing as it helps to determine the causes of otitis. Thus the veterinarian can get an idea if there are trauma, hereditary factors, allergies or other factors involved. If the veterinarian thinks that otitis is caused by another health problem, he or she will ask for other tests, which may include biopsies, X-rays, CT scans, neurological studies, hormone tests, and allergy tests.

Treatment of canine otitis

Otitis is often easy to diagnose and treat, but it is very important to do it on time. Dogs that are not treated or are treated too late can develop serious problems and even die from infections.

Initial treatment usually consists of cleansing the ear and administering corticosteroids to decrease inflammation. This usually goes along with the administration of an antibiotic in the case of bacterial infection, an antifungal in the case of fungal infection, or a safe insecticidal substance for the dog in case of infestation of external parasites.

If the ear canal is completely blocked by inflammation and tissue growth, surgery is often the only option.

When otitis is a consequence of other diseases, such as allergies or hormonal problems, it is necessary to follow a specific treatment for these diseases.

If otitis is detected and treated in time when only the outer ear area is affected (external otitis), the prognosis is very good. On the contrary, when the disease has affected the middle ear or inner ear, the prognosis is more reserved and the dog may lose his hearing ability.

Prevention of canine otitis

If you want to avoid otitis in dogs , it is recommended that you take the following precautions:

  • Check your dog’s ears every week for a discharge, foul smell, swelling or other signs of infection.
  • If your dog is swimming frequently, has fallen ears or history of otitis, it is good to frequently clean your ears. Cleaning is done only on the outside of the ear with cotton balls dampened in a cleaning substance that your veterinarian recommends (never use alcohol, hydrogen peroxide or anything else). Make sure you do not insert anything into your dog’s ear canal (do not use swabs).
  • If you have to clean your dog’s ears ask the vet to show you how to do it. Please do not do it without knowing the proper form.
  • Before any symptoms of otitis or ear infection, consult the veterinarian immediately.

This article is purely informative, in YourCatCareguide.com.br we do not have the capacity to prescribe veterinary treatments nor to make any type of diagnosis. We suggest that you bring your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or malaise.

If you want to read more articles the description of Otitis in Dogs – Symptoms and treatment we recommend you to enter our section on Infectious Diseases .

 

Emily Harris
 

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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