Ear infections are very common among pets, especially those pets that have long hair. A dog or cat suffering from an ear infection will remain stressed and uncomfortable if the problem remains untreated.
An ear infection can be caused by many sources, such as fungi, bacteria, parasites, and foreign materials. It can lead to inflammation of the inner, middle, and outer ear. Here are the different types of ear infection and how maintaining regular ear hygiene can prevent yourpet from experiencing this problem.
Common Kinds Of Ear Infections
Dogs with allergies may experience more ear infections than other dogs. It can be caused by wax build up inside the ear. It can also be caused by long hair blocking the passage of air and creating a buildup of not only wax but also dirt and debris.
There are three kinds of ear infections that can affect pets of all ages.
- Bacterial infection
- Yeast infection
- Ear mites
Sometimes your pet can be affected by a bacterial and fungal infection at the same time. Earmites are more common in puppies. Here are some factors that can predispose your pets toan ear infection, such as:
- Autoimmune disorders
- Polyp or tumor
- Endocrine disorders
- Any injury
- Wax buildup
- Moisture left in ears (provides breeding ground to bacteria and yeast for growth)
- A trapped object or foreign bodies
- Excessive cleaning
Signs of Pet Ear Infection
An ear infection can be very painful, so it is important to have it checked with your vet as soon as you see your pet experiencing any of these signs. You can spot an ear infection on your dog by looking for the following tell tale signs:
- smelly ears
- excessive head shaking
- redness in the ears
If your dog seems uncomfortable or is excessively scratching their ears it's probably causing a great deal of distress. If you pet is scratching too hard this can even break blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.
You can try cleaning your dogs ears with white vinegar to remove dirt from the ear and promote the growth of good bacteria. Use the vinegar in the same way as the ear cleanser - pour it on and wipe gently inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This might help ease the infection or even clear it up if the problem was not too severe to start. If the infection is serious it is time to call the vet. It can be cleared up easily. Most often the dog will need some antibiotics to help clear the problem.
If your dog has recurring ear infections the vet might suggest that you clip the hair around the ear or the vet might clip the hair around the ear. This often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that, the vet might suggest surgery to allow for easier drainage of the ear canal.
Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others any breed of dog with large ears or particularly small ears will get ear infections easier than some other breeds. Now that you know what to look for you should be able to detect ear infections before they become a serious problem.
Importance of Ear Hygiene
Ear cleaning is an important part of dog and cat grooming. It can minimise the risk of your pet getting an ear infection. While cleaning your pet's ear, be sure to clean his ear with a cotton ball and a special solution for cleaning the ears.
You can prevent these infections by cleaning your dogs ears well and as part of your regular grooming regime. Cleaning your dog's ears is simple and you only need a soft cotton ball and some ear cleanser. Lift the ears and massage some cleanser into the ear this should loosen the dirt. Regular ear cleaning is a powerful preventative measure; particularly if you have a dog who is at a high risk for ear infections.
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Always be sure not to leave moisture behind as it can promote bacteria growth. Ear cleaningalso applies with cat grooming. Once the ear is cleaned, the chance your pet getting nastyear infection decreases.