Frequently Asked Questions About Dog Ear Diseases At Our Jacksonville Vet Clinic
Dog's ears may assume a wide variety of shapes and sizes, but one thing they all have in common is vulnerability to diseases such as infections. If you're concerned about keeping your dog's ears healthy but you're just not familiar with the threats you're facing, here are the answers to some frequently asked questions on the subject at our Jacksonville vet clinic, Animal Hospital of Onslow County.
- Why do dogs get ear infections? Some breeds are more susceptible than others due to their ear arrangement and/or hair length. Causes may include mites (especially in puppies), yeast, bacteria, tumors, dirt or foreign bodies in the ear, as well as underlying health problems such as seborrhea or thyroid disease.
- Where do ear infections strike? Ear infections may begin in the outer ear (a condition called otitis externa) or in the inner ear (otitis interna). An outer ear infection can also spread to the inner ear if unchecked.
- What are the symptoms of an ear infection? Depending on the severity and depth of the disease, you may notice ear redness, swelling, odor, hair loss and discharge. Your dog may also scratch or paw at the affected ear, or tilt his head in evident discomfort.
- How can an ear disease affect my dog's balance? The inner ear governs an animal's sense of balance, so any disease that affects it can potentially produce balance disorders. A dog with a severe inner ear infection may walk in circles or lose physical coordination.
- What are the consequences of letting an ear infection go untreated? If an ear infection is allowed to progress, it may cause serious neurological problems, including facial paralysis and drooping eyelids from facial nerve damage. The ear canal may become bony from calcium buildup, to the point that it has to be surgically removed. Damage to the eardrum can lead to deafness.
- How does my Jacksonville veterinarian treat a canine ear infection? Your Jacksonville veterinarian (Dr. Altman, Dr. Corry or Dr. Ianni) may treat your dog's ear problem with antifungal medications, thorough cleaning of the ear, treatment for mite infestation and oral, topical or injectable antibiotics. Surgery is reserved for serious cases.
- How do I keep my dog's ears healthy? Your vet can examine your pet's ears during regularly scheduled evaluations while also educating you on how to keep your pet's ears clean. If an underlying illness plays a role in your pet's ear infections, we can work to get that under control as well. Preventative pest medicines can help keep mites from taking up residence in your dog's ears.
Do Your Pet's Ears a Favor -- Call Your Jacksonville Veterinarian
Whether your dog is suffering from an acute ear infection or you just want to make sure his ears are healthy, call Animal Hospital of Onslow County at (910) 353-1722 to schedule an appointment with your Jacksonville veterinarian. We can help!