Canine Ear Care
Inflammation of the external ear (otitis externa) is a common ailment in dogs, especially floppy-eared dogs such as Labradors and Golden Retrievers. Often there is an infection present. Even though there are many underlying causes of otitis, most cases respond quickly to treatment especially if the initiating cause is addressed. The sooner we see the pet with otitis, the easier the treatment may be. Once your dog exhibits symptoms of otitis, please give us a call.
To diagnose and treat an ear problem, we:
- Perform a comprehensive physical exam on your pet, including a dermatological exam (since the ear frequently is part of an overall skin problem)
- A thorough otoscopic exam
- A cytological exam (cell examination) to identify what kind, if any, organisms (yeast or bacteria) are present
- A deep ear flush (which may be done under general anesthesia) may be done to completely clear the ear canal and make certain the eardrum is intact
- A bacterial culture is performed if the infection is chronic
Once your dog’s condition is diagnosed, we will prescribe appropriate medication, and your dog will need a follow-up exam in 7 days. Although the symptoms may disappear during the treatment, the disease may persist. Most infections need medication for at least 7-14 days after the infection has been resolved. If the Otitis recurs or becomes chronic, further testing or procedures may be needed (allergy testing, dietary restrictions, etc.).
Call us if your dog is exhibiting any of the following:
- Odor or discharge from the ear
- Scratching or shaking of the head or ears
- Swelling of the ear flap