Dog Ear Infection Treatment Made Easy

Dog infections are caused by many factors such as climate change, exposure to infectious bacteria and parasite, and consumption of contaminated food and water. Dogs often struggle with ear infections as the ears provide favorable conditions for the survival of bacteria. Ear infection is accompanied by a strong smell that emits from the ear.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infection

Humid atmosphere, bacteria, ear mites, and the accumulation of ear wax often cause ear infections in dogs. The main symptoms seen in dogs with ear infection are as:

  • Loss of balance (related to inner ear infection)
  • Redness of the ear or bloody ear
  • Inflammation and swelling of the skin surrounding the ears of the dog, which is often accompanied with fever symptoms
  • Rubbing of ears and shaking of head
  • Foul smell from the ear
  • Waxy discharge from ear
  • Expression of pain on touching the infected ear
  • Unusual eye movements

Diagnosing the Ear Infection

The service of a veterinarian is needed for infected dog's illness diagnosis. The type, mode, density of the infection can only be determined by a veterinarian. Various methods of testing the severity of infection are as follows:

  • Otoscopy: an instrument called otoscope is introduced into the ear in order to examine for any foreign body that is the reason of infection.
  • The discharge from the ear is taken for microscopic examination.
  • Blood and discharge swab culture is done in order to find whether the dog's immune system is resistant to any medications.
  • Radiography imaging of the inner ear (tympanic bullae) is also performed in some cases.

Treating Ear Infections in a Dog

It is always necessary to take the opinion of the veterinarian before treating mild cases of infection at home. Some dogs are allergic to medications for ear infections. Therefore, a list of such medications should be maintained and the veterinarian must be informed beforehand.

Some of the home treatment options are as follows:

  • The dog's ears should be cleaned twice a day with solutions that kill yeasts and bacteria that cause infection. Clean the infected part with a gauze piece and extract the dirt as much as possible from the ear.
  • The ears can also be cleaned twice a day using a solution of vinegar, alcohol and water. Vinegar kills the bacteria as it reduces the ph level inside the ear. Alcohol is used to dry the inside of the ear.
  • Ointments (on the advice of the veterinarian) can be applied over the infected area.
  • Anti-inflammatory, analgesics, and medicines to kill yeast and bacteria can be orally administered.
  • Medications to prevent survival of ear mites also can be given.
  • If hair mats accumulate inside the dog's ears, it is necessary to remove them carefully using a scissor and comb to avoid any possible infection due to the absence of air circulation. However, avoid plucking the hairs in the dog's ears during grooming unless there is a medical reason behind it. This helps in avoiding bacterial infection due to release of serum.
  • In severe cases, such as the infection of inner ear or ear canal, hospitalization is necessary. The treatment is started according to the diagnosis of a veterinarian. Antibiotics are started on the basis of culture and sensitivity reports. Intravenous fluid administration is given if necessary. Steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs are started at the earliest. Surgery is required only for chronic cases. Importantly, good nursing care is given to the dog.