Ear infections are not just a human illness. Dogs can also suffer from ear infections. When your dog has an infection, treatment is necessary to prevent complications that could impact the hearing of the dog. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, here is what you need to know.
What Are the Symptoms?
When your dog has an ear infection, it might not show any symptoms. However, if the infection worsens, your dog can exhibit certain signs, such as being reluctant to chew, pawing at its ear, and leaning to one side frequently. The dog might also display signs of imbalance.
If your dog has an infection in both ears, it might also make swimming movements with its head. Sometimes, vomiting and a discharge can occur. At some point, your dog could develop paralysis.
Even if your dog is not exhibiting any of these symptoms, you should have it examined at an animal hospital. The veterinarian can extract fluid from the middle ear to determine if there is an infection.
How Is the Infection Treated?
The treatment for the ear infection depends on the severity of the symptoms. For instance, if your dog is seemingly stable and is having mild symptoms, your veterinarian will likely send you and your dog home with medication. The medication will help fight off the infection. It is important that you follow your veterinarian's instructions for administering the medication.
If the ear infection has caused complications, such as paralysis, your dog will likely be kept in the animal hospital. After further evaluation of your dog's condition, the doctor will recommend the appropriate treatment.
What Can You Do to Prevent a Recurrence?
If you follow the doctor's instructions for administering the medication, the chances of a recurrence are slim. However, you still need to take precautions to lower the possibility of the infection returning.
One of the most important things you can do is ensure your dog's ears are being cleaned on a regular basis. Talk to your veterinarian about the number of times you should clean its ears. Examine your dog's ears after each cleaning for signs of redness or discharge.
After bathing your dog, make sure you dry its ears thoroughly. The water can sometimes contain bacteria that can enter the ear canal and cause problems.
Your vet can advise you of any specific steps you need to take to reduce your dog's chances of having an ear infection again. If you have questions, you can read more here.