A Guide to Prescription Canine Ear Infection Medications

Canine ear infections can cause your pet both pain and discomfort. There are several treatment options for dogs with ear infections. The treatment is based on the cause and severity of the infection. At times the infection may occur due to an underlying disease. The disease will have to be cured for the ear infection to subside.

Dogs with ear infections exhibit certain symptoms. Before the vet prescribes a course of medication, certain tests such as a physical exam of the ear and laboratory analysis of ear discharge may be conducted. As the physical examination could be quite painful for your dog, the vet may conduct the test under anesthesia.

Symptoms of Ear Infections in Dogs:

  • Scratches the ears with his paws or shakes and tilts head frequently
  • Foul smell from the ear
  • Ear discharge
  • Dizziness
  • Inflammation and redness in the ear

There are various prescription drugs that treat ear infections. These drugs should be used according to the vet's recommendation. Before administering any dosage, remember to read and follow package instructions.

Prescription drugs include:

  • Baytril
  • Tresaderm
  • Mometamax
  • Panolog
  • Animax Ointment or Cream
  • Synotic Otic

Certain medicines such as Baytril are fluroquinolone antibiotic tablets that treat bacterial ear infections. Other medications like Synotic Otic are drops that treat inflammatory conditions in the ear. The medicines also relieve itching caused by middle ear infections.

Certain dogs are more susceptible to ear infections than other breeds. Dogs with flopped ears and excessive ear hair in the inner ear flaps don't have sufficient air flow in the ears which leads to fungal infection.

Causes of ear infection in dogs include:

  • Parasites like Otodectes cynotis, commonly known as ear mites, cause excessive itching in dog's ears. This leads to redness and inflammation.
  • Bacteria and yeast thrive in moist ear canals. If left untreated it could cause further ear damage.
  • Excessive ear cleaning in dogs without flopped ears.
  • Endocrine diseases such as hypothyroidism.
  • Dogs suffering from allergies are more prone to ear infections.
  • Large buildup of ear wax.
  • Treatment options for canine ear infections

Ear infections could occur either in the outer ear, middle or inner ear. The vet will prescribe medicated drops or oral tablets such as Baytril, Panolog, Animax or Tresaderm for infections caused due to bacteria or yeast. It's important to clean your dog's ears periodically and check for foul odor or infection. Although there are several over the counter ear cleansing solutions, it's best to use one prescribed by the vet that's best suited to your dog. Along with medication, consider grooming your pet's excessive ear hair.

Allergy testing and immunotherapy are treatment options for canine ear infections caused by allergens. Corticosteroids and antihistamines may also be used to treat the allergy. Sometimes canine ear infections may be simply attributed to ear mites. In this case, regular ear cleaning and appropriate ear mite medication will bring relief.

Since ear infections are painful for pets, it's best to learn ear cleaning techniques to prevent further discomfort. Ear infections should be diagnosed and treated promptly to prevent serious damage to the ear drum.