Dog Ear Infection Treatment Options

A dog ear infection is common and the most frequent kinds are caused by yeasts or bacteria. Some dog breeds are more susceptible to ear infections. Ear infections need treatment, as they cause a lot of pain and they may lead internal ear infections, broken blood vessels and even deafness. If properly diagnosed and treated in timely manner, ear infections can be fully healed.

Ear Infection Symptoms

Ear infection symptoms include:

  • Excessive scratching of ears
  • Shaking head which may lead to broken blood vessels in the ear area that require surgery
  • Redness and inflammation in the ear area
  • Foul odor coming out of the ears
  • Frequent ear discharge, typically yellow or dark brown, depending on the infection
  • Loss of balance in dogs
  • Closed ear canals, in case of chronic ear infections

These symptoms resemble the symptoms of ear mites; however ear mites are more frequent in puppies. Take your dog to the vet to establish the cause and get the right treatment.

Ear Infection Treatment

The ear infection treatment depends on the bacteria that cause the infection. The vet will analyze a sample of debris from the dog's ear. The vet must make sure the ear drum is intact, otherwise the treatment may harm the dog.

The treatment options include a cleaning solution that contains steroids or antibiotics. Oxy-drops combined with distilled water may also be recommended. The ears must be cleaned several times per day until the symptoms are gone.

A topical ointment will also be needed. The ointment contains antibiotics, anti-inflammatory agents and if the infection is caused by yeasts, the ointment will have sulphur based agents. Common ointments used for ear infection include panalog, tresaderm or mometamax.

Sometimes, oral medication may also be needed; ketoconazole or itraconazole are anti-fungals that may be prescribed in case the ear infection is caused by yeasts. Antibiotics may be recommended in case the infection is caused by other bacteria.

Corticosteroids such as prednisone may be prescribed to reduce the inflammation.

In case the ear canal is closed or nearly closed, this is the result of chronic ear infections. The vet will prescribe some anti-inflammatory medication, however surgery may be required.

Applying Ear Drops

The treatment for ear infections always includes ear drops. You need to apply the ear drops frequently, typically twice per day. Make sure the drops reach the horizontal part of the ear canal.

  • Lift the ear flap and apply the medication using a syringe or an ear dropper.
  • Massage the ear area using your thumb and a finger.
  • You may hear a squishing once the medication is in the horizontal part of the ear canal.
  • Clean the excess liquid from the ear area using a towel.
  • Your dog will shake his head and if the drops are wax solvents, debris may come out.

It is essential to apply suitable treatment for each type of infection. If the ear drum is ruptured and you apply cleaning solution without consulting the vet, you may cause deafness. The symptoms of ear infections may be displayed when there is foreign object in the dog's ear or in case of a tumor. Visit the vet to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.