As part of being a responsible pet owner, one of the problems you may encounter at one time or another is when your pet has an ear problem. As with children and humans, an ear ache for your dog or cat can be so painful, yet they cannot tell you. Being knowledgeable and observant to the signs your pet will show you to let you know how they feel is the whole secret in giving them the care they need from you.
Some of the signs of ear problems in your pets are: Notice of an odor from the ear, scratching at the ears & head area, a discharge from the ears, redness or swelling within the ears, shaking of the head or tilting it to one side, and changes in behavior. Ear disease and infections is a very common condition in pets.
There are some common reasons for these ear problems that can be prevented. One of the reasons an animal may get an ear infection could be due to a type of allergy, whether it be food or environmental allergies. Another cause could be as a result of a type of parasite such as ear mites, which causes intense itching, causing the animal to scratch to the point of severe irritation. If the pet does have allergies or other moisture and abnormalities, bacteria can develop which breaks down the defenses in the ear, causing the ear problems. Other contributors to ear infections and diseases are hormonal imbalances, foreign objects in the ear, trauma to the ear, and other unexplained problems. Note that some pets, particularly some dogs with long floppy ears (such as a Cocker Spaniel, Retriever, Bassets and Irish Setters) are more susceptible to ear infections. As the ear folds, it covers the ear canal and prohibiting air from entering and drying the canal. That results in a moist, warm ear canal that is perfect for bacteria and yeast to grow.
In order to diagnose if there is an infection present and what type it is, your Vet will need to use the Otoscope to look in the ear canal of your pet for inflammation and any foreign objects. Thusly a swab of the ear is taken to determine if it is a yeast or bacterial infection in the ear in order to determine treatment as both respond differently to medical treatments.
The remedy for healthy ears is by cleaning them regularly, checking them weekly for excessive wax buildup. In order to clean the ear, you can obtain a good cleaner from your pet store. Just put a little cleaner on a cotton ball or swab and gently clean just on the outer part of the ear canal and the ear flap. You do not want to go far into the canal as you not only would push the debris further down but also possibly hurt the ear drum as well. If the ears are extremely dirty and if problems persist, be sure to get a professional to clean the ears thoroughly. With regular maintenance and monitoring, your pet can remain in tip top condition, ears and all.