Ear infections in dogs are one of the most common health issues faced by pet owners. While occasional ear infections are usually not serious and can be treated with home remedies or medications, chronic ear infections can be a major problem for dogs and their owners. This article will explain what chronic ear infections in dogs are and how to treat them.
What are chronic ear infections?
Chronic ear infections in dogs are ear infections that persist for an extended period of time, usually more than three months. These infections can be caused by bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both. Chronic ear infections can also be caused by allergies, foreign bodies (such as grass awns), ear mites, or other environmental irritants.
What are the signs of chronic ear infections?
The signs of chronic ear infection are usually similar to those of acute ear infections, but they may be more severe and persistent. Knowing these signs can help you spot the infection early and get your pup the treatment they need.
1. Scratching, rubbing, and pawing at ears: One of the most common signs of a chronic ear infection in dogs is excessive scratching and pawing at their ears. This is usually a sign that they are trying to relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.
2. Red and swollen ear flaps: If the infection is severe, the ears may become red, swollen, and hot to the touch. This is often a sign that the infection has been present for some time.
3. Discharge from the ear: A yellowish or brownish discharge is often a sign of a chronic ear infection. This discharge may have a foul odor and is usually caused by bacteria and yeast.
4. Loss of balance: A chronic ear infection can lead to dizziness and loss of balance. This is due to the infection affecting the inner ear.
5. Head shaking: If a dog is shaking their head, it is a sign that they are trying to relieve the discomfort caused by the infection.
6. Loss of appetite: If your pup is not eating as much as usual, it may be due to the discomfort caused by the infection.
If you notice any of these signs in your pup, it is important to take them to the vet as soon as possible for diagnosis and treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent long-term complications, such as hearing loss or permanent damage to the ear.
How to Treat Chronic Ear Infections in Dogs
If your beloved pup is suffering from chronic ear infections, you’re probably feeling frustrated and helpless. Ear infections can be incredibly painful and uncomfortable for dogs, and sometimes they can even cause permanent damage to their hearing if left untreated. Fortunately, there are a number of treatments available to help ease your pup’s discomfort and get rid of the infection for good. Here are a few ways to treat chronic ear infections in dogs:
1. Cleaning the Ears: Regularly cleaning your dog’s ears can help keep them free of infection-causing bacteria and debris. You should use a special ear cleaning solution that is formulated specifically for dogs and gently swab the inside of the ear with a cotton ball.
2. Medication: Antibiotics and anti-fungal medications can be prescribed by your vet to fight the infection and reduce inflammation. These medications may be administered orally, topically, or through injections.
3. Natural Remedies: There are a number of natural remedies available that can help treat chronic ear infections in dogs. For example, you can make a solution of equal parts apple cider vinegar and water and use it to clean your pup’s ears. You can also try adding a few drops of tea tree oil to the solution for extra anti-fungal properties.
4. Diet: Changing your dog’s diet can also help reduce the risk of chronic ear infections. A diet high in Omega-3 fatty acids can help reduce inflammation and boost the immune system. You can also add probiotics to your pup’s diet to help keep their gut healthy and ward off infection.
5. Supplements: There are a number of supplements available that can help treat chronic ear infections in dogs. Some of the most common supplements include garlic, zinc, and vitamin E, all of which can help reduce inflammation and fight infection.
Chronic ear infections in dogs can be a major problem for pet owners. These infections are usually caused by bacteria, yeast, allergies, foreign bodies, ear mites, or other environmental irritants. Treatment will depend on the underlying cause and may involve antibiotics, antifungals, antihistamines, surgery, or medications to kill ear mites. To prevent chronic ear infections, it is important to clean your dog’s ears regularly and pay attention to their environment. Additionally, regular check-ups with the veterinarian can help to ensure that the infection is being properly managed.