With summer in full swing, we are seeing lots of ear infections, both in our dog and cat patients. So we want to lay out the early symptoms you can watch for to catch these nasty infections before they cause too much pain or longer-lasting problems.
Symptoms: Head Shaking, or really liking to have their ear scratched or rubbed often come first. As the infection worsens, discharge appears at the opening of the ear canal, with redness of the underside of the ear flap. If your pet has its head tilted to one side, it means that the ear infection may have caused a rupture of the ear drum.
Causes: Yeast and bacteria are most common, but the trigger is almost always an underlying allergy, or water that got down the ear canal during a bath, grooming or swim at the lake.
Do’s and Don’ts of home care: When you see the very first symptoms, you can gently wash the ear with an ear cleaning solution, using a Kleenex or gauze on your finger to clean any debris out. Check out our Pet Health Library (search Ear Clean) for really detailed instructions(www.seasonsvetclinic.com)
Do not use hydrogen peroxide to clean the ears (it kills all cells, including skin cells, not just the yeast or bacteria – so it can cause more harm than good).
Do not use cotton tipped applicators/Q-tips to clean the ear as they can cause perforation of the ear drum.
When to go to the vet: If there is a lot of debris, redness, or pain/sensitivity, it is time for a trip to the vet. We’ll do an exam of the ear and take a swab to identify the cause of the infection so we can pick the best treatment. Some medications can cause deafness if the ear drum is ruptured, so we always carefully assess to make sure we don’t have any risks there. We’ll also work together with you to identify the underlying trigger so we can try to prevent future episodes.
Manitoba Tick & Heartworm Report, July 28, 2020:
– 436 dogs positive for Lyme disease
– 36 dogs positive for heartworm disease
183 dogs positive for Anaplasma
– 24 dogs tested positive for Ehrlichia
Reporting of these diseases is not mandatory, so many unreported tests are also done.