Get Your Pet Relief from Its Ear Infection with Help from Our Collierville Veterinarian Staff
Ear infections can be extremely uncomfortable, for humans and pets alike. At Collierville Animal Clinic in TN, our veterinarian team has helped hundreds of cats and dogs find relief from acute or recurring ear infections. Since early treatment improves outcomes, it's helpful to be more aware about this condition and know the signs and symptoms.
Understanding My Pet's Ear Infection
Like you, your animal has three major parts of its ear: the inner ear, the middle ear, and the outer ear. An infection can affect one or all three of these areas. Additionally, an untreated infection in the outer ear can spread to the middle or inner ear where more serious complications can occur.
Risk Factors for Pet Ear Infections
Ear infections are more common in dogs, especially in breeds with floppy ears or dogs with underlying health conditions like autoimmune or endocrine disorders. These infections are often caused by:
- A build-up of moisture or wax in the ear
- Environmental and food allergies
- Parasites, including bacteria, viruses, dust mite, fungus, and yeast
- Reaction to drugs or medications
- Over-cleaning of the ears
Signs of Ear Infections in Pets
While your pet can't directly tell you if she or he is uncomfortable, there are some telling signs of an ear infection. Signs may include:
- Frequent scratching and pawing at the ear, often with vocalizations (groaning, whining)
- Frequent head shaking
- A foul odor and/or dark discharge coming from the ear
- Redness and swelling around the ear
- Dry scaly skin around the ear
In rare cases, untreated ear infections can lead to complications like hearing loss, facial paralysis, head tilting, and incoordination (e.g., wobbly gait and imbalance).
How Our Collierville Vet Staff Treats Ear Infections
The first step in managing your pet's ear infection is to identify the condition's underlying cause and contributing factors. Our Collierville vet team does this through a thorough physical exam and history taking.
Based on our findings, we'll then implement an appropriate treatment strategy customized to your pet's needs. Treatment may include:
- Oral and topical medications to reduce inflammation, kill parasites, and/or alleviate pain
- Nutritional supplements and dietary changes
- Removal or reduction of environmental allergens
- Tips on how to administer medication and keep your pet's ears clean