Ear infections are quite prevalent among pets nowadays. Dealing with them properly and preventing recurrence requires the help of a skilled veterinarian, but it is also important for the owner to understand and agree to the proper course of action.
The issue here is that most people prefer to go for the quickest and least expensive solutions. In addition, not all animal doctors have the tact and patience to walk the client through the subtleties and complexities of the treatment. The following article aims to provide you with the basic guidelines on the process of treating ear infections in pets.
1. There is often another underlying issue
The infection is often perceived as the actual problem. In reality, it simply represents the manifestation of an underlying issue. In other words, you and the veterinarian have to work out what exactly triggered the infection. In most cases, the infection stems from environmental factors including exposure to pollen or various types of molds, the presence of foreign objects in the ear canal or chronic dampness at ear level. However, anatomically abnormal ear shapes, hormonal imbalances, and mites can’t be ruled out either.
2. Adult animals rarely contract ear mites
Speaking of mites, these organisms tend to develop mostly in the ears of younger puppies and kittens, 9 times out of 10. It may be possible for adult animals to contract them, in rare cases and mainly if they come in contact with cubs who have them. Nevertheless, yeast and other bacteria are generally the more probable causes of infection for older cats and dogs.
3. Cleaning the pet’s ear canal correctly is critical
Before attempting to clean the ear canal of your pet, it’s highly advisable to have a skilled veterinarian perform an examination. Infections that have gone undetected for extended periods may have affected or even ruptured the eardrum. In this case, utilizing topical medication may result in permanent deafness.
When the vet green lights the process, he will also recommend a certain cleaning solution. To clean your pet’s ears, pull back the flaps and proceed to massage the area until you hear “squishing” sounds. Allow your pet to vigorously shake its head afterward, as the centrifugal motion shakes out the cleaning solution along with the buildups to an accessible level. Wipe out the fluids, but refrain from utilizing cotton swabs, as you risk perforating the eardrums.
4. Undetected/ignored ear infections aggravate over time
Ear infections are not the kind of health issues that you can “wait out”. They will not go away by themselves but instead will continue to develop into serious conditions. Therefore, if you notice that the animal’s ears present signs of infection, seeking a veterinarian’s assistance right away is mandatory.
5. Dealing with the cause of the infection prevents recurrence
Cleaning the eardrums and dealing with the infection doesn’t guarantee that it won’t return in a matter of days, weeks or even months. For that reason, the importance of determining just what causes your furry friend’s ears to flare up and eliminating the triggers cannot be stressed enough.