Ear infection in dogs - 5 tips for prevention and how to act correctly
Basics and causes of an ear infection in dogs
Inflammation of the dog's ear is a common condition. Inflammation of the dog's ears of the four-legged is usually an inflammation of the external auditory canal or it is affected the middle ear. If the inflammation is very severe and persistent, it is possible that the inner ear is affected. The hairiness of the inner ear of some breeds increases the risk of ear infections, so it is advisable to shear this area or check it regularly for dirt and symptoms of inflammation. In some dog breeds, ear infections are also a condition that is common due to heredity and is genetically ingrained, so to speak. Basically, inflammation of the dog's ear is caused by allergies, injuries, fungal infections, or bacteria that get into the ear from dirt debris. Dogs that spend a lot of time in streams or stagnant water are more likely to get ear infections, as the water is often contaminated or full of bacteria.
Symptoms and diagnosis of ear infection in dogs
Initial characteristic symptoms, if the dog suffers from an inflammation of the ears, are, the tilting of the head, frequent scratching of the ear or increased head shaking. If the inflammation is more advanced, the four-legged friends usually react sensitively, aggressively or howl at the touch of the ear. In addition, a swelling or redness in the inner area of the auricle may become visible. Then it is in any case, off to the vet.
If only the outer area of the ear canal is affected, the cartilage skin is usually swollen and reddened. An inflammation of the middle ear usually means severe pain and fever for the furry nose. If the inner ear is affected by the inflammation, the highest alert is announced, because this inflammation can attack facial nerves or the meninges. The inflammation can be passed on to the brain and cause considerable damage there.
For the diagnosis of such an inflammation the appearing symptoms are a good indication, but in order to be able to make an exact diagnosis the veterinary surgeon should take a swab from the auditory canal of the dog. A laboratory test will then reveal which bacteria and fungi have affected the ear. If the inflammation of the dog's ear is more serious, the inflammation levels in the blood are also elevated and another indication that action should be taken quickly.
If it is only a mild inflammation of the external auditory canal, you can try to prevent the spread of bacteria and fungi with natural remedies such as tea tree oil ointment or coconut oil. If this treatment does not work, ear drops or ointments from the vet will help, and in the case of severe inflammation, antibiotics can be administered locally or systemically.
5 tips for the prevention of ear infections in dogs
- The dog ears should be cleaned and examined regularly. Simply use a cloth and brush to remove dirt regularly. For long haired dogs, it is recommended to remove the hair of the inner area on the ear.
- As a preventative measure, coconut oil or tea tree ointment can be applied when checking the dog's ears weekly. These have a dirt repellent effect and tea tree oil has an antibacterial property.
- The dog's immune system should be in good condition to be less prone to infections and other diseases. This means that high quality and preferably fresh food should be fed and the dog should be given regular exercise to be physically challenged. This will make the animal more robust and stronger.
4. caution should also be exercised when bathing in streams, rivers and standing water. The dog should not be let into every dirty pool. After the bathing excursion, it is important to dry the animal's ears well and remove any dirt. Again, coconut oil can be applied before the walk.
If the dog suffers from allergies and therefore often suffers from an inflammation of his ears, attention should be paid to treat the allergy from scratch or various allergens should be avoided if possible.