Edgewood Veterinarian David Lee Asks
"CAN YOU HEAR ME NOW ???"
Have you looked in your dogs ears lately? Most people don't notice dogs ears until they start scratching them more than usual or an odor might be occurring. By the time most owners notice their pets ears' being a problem, there is a larger issue going on deeper in the ear canal that you can't see. Outdoor cats can also have parasite problems that are contagious. Time to go see the vet!
Many ear problems stem from allergies to numerous things, pollen, mites, even food can cause ears to redden and itch. Dogs that are in water; either pools or lakes tend, to have issues from the ear canal not properly being rinsed and dried. Many "heavy eared" breeds such as Cocker Spaniels, Bassets, and Retrievers don't have good air circulating in ears and have a propensity to infections. Some multiple pet households have one dog that likes to lick or groom the other dog's ears causing saliva to accumulate keeping it moist and ready for bacteria to grow.
The first action we take is a simple ear swab with a cotton tip applicator to perform a cytology that will help us determine what the problem might be, whether mites, fungus, bacteria, etc. If this cytology shows numerous bacteria a more advanced culture may be performed and diagnosed by an outside laboratory. This helps determine which antibiotics and ear medicine will be sensitive to the bacteria growing. Sometimes the ear canal can be very inflamed and hard to treat with topical medicine. Therefore sedation and a surgical procedure will be performed to thoroughly flush and clean the canal. After drying, we use Laser Therapy to help with the inflammation and discomfort. Finally an topical medicine and possibly oral medications for infection will be prescribed.
For the feline pets with ear mites, we recommend applications of Revolution to take care of the problem and the added bonus of help preventing heartworms and flea problems also!
Thorough ear cleaning with treatment and regular maintenance afterwards are the key to success to help avoid future infection. We recommend once weekly ear cleanings to keep the PH levels of the ear canal normal thus avoiding bacterial growth. Proper cleaning will be instructed by our technicians when these problems occur.