Otitis in dogs is a fairly common infection. It results in inflammation of his ear canal. This can be inflamed for many reasons, but the maceration of earwax remains the most common cause. This disease most often affects certain breeds of dogs with long, floppy ears such as the Cocker Spaniel, the Basset, the Cavalier King Charles or the Beagle. Indeed, the morphology of the ear of these dogs does not allow good ventilation and is thus conducive to earwax plugs and bacteria. Often diagnosed during veterinary checks, ear infections are generally easy to detect and treat. Overview of this common disease that should not be overlooked.
Otitis in dogs: what are the main causes?
A otitis in dogs may be due to several factors. In order to determine where the infection is coming from, it is recommended to consult a veterinarian so that he can establish an accurate diagnosis and be able to offer effective treatment. Among the main causes of otitis, the following are most often noted:
- lack of maintenance of the ear;
- the proliferation of bacteria;
- the use of a cotton swab;
- the presence of a plant residue in the ear;
- parasite bites;
- the allergies.
Sometimes the dog has an ear infection because a foreign body slipped into his ear. This is the case, for example, when you are walking and your animal has accidentally stuck seeds or parts of plants in the ear. It will then be easy to have it extracted by a veterinarian who will have the appropriate equipment. However, it can also be the result of mite proliferation in the ear canal.
In addition, some dog breeds are more prone to developing ear infections. This is particularly the case of the Cocker Spaniel, whose large floppy ears and heavy promote the proliferation of bacteria. This morphological peculiarity has the drawback of causing ear infections more easily, because the ears are less well ventilated.
The water dogs or dogs that often live in wetlands are also more at risk. This is because if your dog contracts an ear infection, it can also be the result of an allergic reaction or the presence of moisture in the ear.
Sometimes the causes of an ear infection can hide more serious pathologies such as chronic ear infections, in particular due to a narrowing of the duct, or, in the worst cases, tumors. To quickly detect possible problems in your dog, it is important to monitor his behavior and know how to spot the symptoms of otitis.
How do you know how to spot an ear infection in dogs? The first symptoms
Do you have the impression that your dog is embarrassed about the ears? He may have an ear infection. To be sure, watch your animal carefully because certain behaviors should alert you. If he has an ear infection, your dog will show symptoms and a Changing behaviour noticeable such as itching, or a red and swollen ear for example.
Otitis in dogs can be very painful and generally has consequences on its behavior: your animal may become unusually irritable, even aggressive, and present a loss of balance or hearing.
If you observe dark secretions and foul-smelling of his ear, if he is scratching abnormally or shaking his head more frequently than usual, you should consider consulting your veterinarian for a diagnosis. To spot an ear infection, the vet will have to examine the inside of your dog’s ear and determine if any physical damage has been caused by an infection.
What are the solutions to properly treat an ear infection?
During your visit to the veterinarian, he will scrupulously clean your dog’s ears. Using a specific device called otoscope, he will perform earwax samples that he will then check under a microscope to determine the nature of the otitis (bacterial, fungal or parasitic infection). Depending on what the samples reveal, the veterinarian will then be able to prescribe an appropriate treatment to treat it. The treatments will be different depending on the cause of the ear infection. The veterinarian may, depending on the diagnosis made, prescribe a antibiotic treatment or proceed to a surgical removal of the ear canal in some more serious cases.
If your dog is prone to ear infections, regular consultation to check your dog for symptoms of a relapse may be necessary. In order not to have unpleasant surprises, adopt the right gestures and the right reflexes! It is important to have at your disposal the necessary for the well-being of your animal on a daily basis. Have at your disposal a physiological ear cleanser and specialized compresses for dogs, so that you can easily treat ear infections and protect your companion’s ears. To take care of your animal on a daily basis, do not hesitate to check its general condition daily to detect any anomalies. If your dog swims often or takes baths regularly, do not hesitate to automatically check his ears in order to detect any signs (bad smell, swollen ears …).
To clean his ears, avoid using cotton swabs as you risk unintentionally injuring your pet. You can, on the advice of your pharmacist, direct you to natural preventive solutions such as treatment with calendula. This medicinal plant with many virtuous properties is especially famous for being a very effective anti-fungal and anti-inflammatory. In particular, it can be used as a spray on your dog’s coat to reduce itching.
Armed with our advice and information, you are able to detect a otitis in dogs and to take charge of it expressly. It is important to observe your dog’s behavior and to know how to spot a possible anomaly in order to treat it as quickly as possible. If in doubt, do not hesitate to consult your veterinarian who remains your best ally in taking care of your pet.