September 27, 2010

Should you be concerned about your dog’s health if they have ear mites?

Filed under: ear infection in dogs — Dr. Amber Reed @ 10:40 am

canine ear mites While ear mites mostly seem like an irritation, they can actually lead to more serious health concerns. Ear mites are very small infectious parasites that love to live in dogs’ ears. They are very difficult to spot with the naked eye, but generally appear as small white dots in your dog’s ear. Indeed, ear mites will nest in a dog’s ear for their entire life cycle eating your dog’s ear wax until the sensitive skin inside the ear is exposed and irritated.

Veterinarians will usually diagnose ear mites after carefully examining your dog’s ear wax under a microscope. But, since these annoying critters are so small, it can be very difficult to self-diagnose ear mites in dogs. However, there are a range of signs that your dog may in fact be suffering from ear mites.

  • Dry, black discharge from your dog’s ears
  • Your dog constantly scratches behind or inside his ears
  • Frequent head shaking or unusual head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Inflammation of the ear canal
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting

dog ear health

Because ear mites are very contagious, and in extreme cases fungal and bacterial infections can result, it is important to take these parasites very seriously. If you notice any or all of the above symptoms, you should take your dog to the veterinarian immediately.

For ear mite treatment, you need to first focuses on cleaning your dog’s ears and removing all of the discharge that has built up. Your vet will likely flush your dog’s ears with warm, soapy water to remove discharge as well as clear out the majority of ear mites. The vet will then prescribe some medicinal drops that can be applied directly to the ear canal.

Ear mites in dogs are relatively easy to treat but you should always visit the veterinarian. Over-the-counter ear medications are often ineffective while your dog is probably suffering from pain and irritation. Your veterinarian can quickly diagnose ear mites and provide your dog with near instant relief.

March 28, 2010

Ear Infections in Dogs

Have you ever noticed that your dog’s ears have a terrible smell or that your dog constantly scratches his ears? These are two of the most common symptoms of ear infection, or Otitis externa in dogs. Ear disease can be caused by any number of factors from bacterial to trauma and they can cause a considerable amount of pain and discomfort for your dog. The problem with treating ear infections is that there are myriad causes and dispensing antibiotics may or may not be an effective treatment. Nevertheless, ear infections in dogs are fairly common and are not usually serious and with a quick visit to the veterinarian you can usually clear up a dog ear infection quickly.

Before visiting your veterinarian, try to identify whether or not your dog is suffering from an ear infection. Some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Odor
  • Discharge in the ears
  • our dog constantly scratches or rubs his ears and head
  • Inflammation of the ear flap or canal
  • Repetitive shaking or tilting of the head
  • Pain in the ears
  • Behavioral changes such as depression or irritability

Otitis externa is a type of ear infection that causes inflammation of the outer ear canal and some 20% of dogs will suffer from this condition at one time or another. The causes of ear infections in dogs are numerous and include but are not limited to:

  • Allergies
  • Parasites
  • Bacterial or yeast infections
  • Foreign bodies
  • Trauma
  • Hormonal problems
  • Immune conditions
  • Heredity
  • Tumors

While dog ear infections are typically minor conditions, they can cause an extreme amount of pain for your dog and therefore must be taken seriously. In addition, ear infections can be signs of more serious illnesses so it’s best to have them looked at by your vet.

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Disclaimer: CritterCures is an educational resource, and all information herein is strictly for educational purposes. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure diseases, nor is it meant to replace the (prescribed) treatment or recommendations of your veterinarian or healthcare provider. Always inform your veterinarian or healthcare provider of any products that your pet are taking, including herbal remedies and supplements.