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Ear Disease and Treatment

SIGNS of ear disease may have come on suddenly, or your pet may have had ear problems for some time. The signs associated with ear disease may include rubbing, scratching, pain, inflammation of the ear canal, odor, crusting, discharge, and head shaking. <Ear Disease>

CAUSES of ear disease has much to do with the anatomy of the ear canal in dogs and cats. Human ear canals go strait in, while our pet's ear canal takes a 90 degree turn half the distance in. This makes an ideal trap for moisture which often gets the problem rolling. Pets with drooping ears or hairy ears are even more prone to problems.

Allergies, foxtails, mites and flies may also cause ear diseases. Allergies account for most cases of recurrent ear disease.

DIAGNOSIS is made by a good examination of the ear, cytology, culture, and sometimes X-rays.

TREATMENT may be simple in acute cases, or may be more involved with long standing problems. Sometimes sedation of the pet and flushing the ears and/or removing foxtails may be necessary. When ear problems come back over and over allergy control becomes the main focus in helping your pet. Your veterinarian will guide you as to the options available.

HOME CARE INSTRUCTIONS If you have been given a wash solution, fill the ear completely with the solution while holding the ear flap up. While still holding the flap up, vigorously massage the ear canal to dislodge debris inside the ear. After you pet shakes the head, use a cotton ball to wipe away debris and discharges. You can go down into the ear canal up to an inch without causing any damage at all. Put medication in as directed but not right after you wash the ear...wait a few hours to apply medications. We have a video on our website demonstrating how to best clean ears.

PREVENTION is often the most important part of therapy; not only is curing your pet's problem important, but keeping recurrent infections to a bare minimum should be our long term goal.

*** Keep hair pulled and clipped from in and around the ear canals.

*** Keep ears dry, plug ears with cotton balls at bath time, and put rubbing alcohol or an ear wash
( a few drops ) in each ear after a bath or a swim.

*** Many good preventative washes are available. Avoid over the counter medications
which often contain harsh disinfectants. The wash needed will vary with every patient.

*** Allergy control will involve the use of medications that deal with the initial cause of your pets red and
itchy ears. Regular ear cleaning will be a part of this treatment.

*** We have several washes including Oti-Sooth and Keto-Tris Flush that are safe and effective.