By Dr. Norette L. Underwood
Ear Inflammation and Infection:
Otitis Externa is the fancy medical term for inflammation or infection of your pet’s outer ear canal. Here are some things some folks believe about recurring ear problems….and the facts:
You might think… that all ear infections are same, so I can use the same medication I used last time my pet had an ear infection.
FACT: Ear Infections can be caused by a variety of bacteria and yeast. Is important that your veterinarian examine each ear infection. It is important to determine if this is the same infection that was not resolved or a new infection.
You might think… If I pluck the hairs out of my dog’s ears, my dog will never get an ear infection.
FACT: the hairs should be left alone unless they are causing a problem.
You might think…My dog has an ear infection, because he caught it from another animal.
FACT: Ear infections often occur secondary to inflammation in the ear, which may be a symptom of an underlying condition such as allergies. When the environment of the ear is altered, bacteria or yeast can cause an infection.
You might think…My dog scratches, licks, or chews because he is bored, grooming himself or imitating the family cat.
FACT: Scratching, licking, and chewing are signs of an itchy, allergic dog. Allergies are one of the most common underlying conditions of ear infections. So schedule an appointment with your veterinarian if you see your pet doing these.
You might think…My dog’s ears will be cured so he will never get another infection.
FACT: This may be true if the infection is not due to an underlying problem. But if allergies were the culprit, the ears will be managed along with allergies over your pet’s lifetime.
If you have ear questions with your dog you may contact Dr. Norette L. Underwood of Trumann Animal Clinic and Best Friends Vet Mobile at firstname.lastname@example.org