Treating Ear Infections in Cats & Dogs
One of the most common reasons that people bring their pets to see a veterinarian is to diagnose and treat ear infections. While most occurrences respond to medication and clear up quickly, it is important to address the problem immediately to prevent further problems. At Kindred Care Pet Hospital, we know this condition is very painful, and we want to help every pet in the Richmond, Texas, area feel better as soon as possible.
What Causes Pet Ear Infections?
Ear disease in pets can have several different causes. The most common ear infection affects the outer ear (otitis externa) and is usually caused by bacteria or yeast. Some pets are more prone to this condition because of the shape of their ears. Floppy ear breeds like spaniels or hounds tend to have more ear problems. Other pets experience more ear infections because of allergies or chronic inflammatory skin conditions.
How Do I Know if My Pet Has an Ear Infection?
Pets with an infection of the ear are usually very uncomfortable and have telltale symptoms. If you notice any of these signs, call your veterinarian right away:
- Head shaking or tilting toward one side
- Scratching or rubbing at ears
- Inflammation or redness
- Black or yellow discharge
- Foul odor
- Crusty or thickened skin
Can I Treat My Pet’s Ear Infection at Home?
You should never attempt to treat an ear infection at home. Firstly, because it is difficult to know exactly what the problem is without the right testing. Secondly, because many home remedies, like vinegar, can make the problem worse and cause more inflammation and pain.
Due to the variety of factors that can cause ear disorders, your veterinarian will perform a physical exam and a swab test to determine the exact cause of your pet’s symptoms and administer the appropriate treatment. Topical ointments include antifungals, antibiotics, and corticosteroids. Oral medications are used for more severe infections and pain management. In some extreme cases, surgical options may be recommended.
If an infection goes untreated, it can move into the middle (otitis media) or inner ear (otitis interna) where it worsens in severity and can cause permanent damage or hearing loss. These conditions can be harder to treat and may lead to recurring problems, so it is better to be safe than sorry. If you think your pet has an ear infection, schedule an appointment with your vet as soon as you can.
How Do I Make an Appointment with Kindred Care Pet Hospital?
The compassionate staff at Kindred Care Pet Hospital is here six days a week to provide care for furry family members in Richmond, TX. We offer services exclusively for cats and dogs, so you always get the best care possible. If your pet needs immediate attention, we offer urgent and emergency care. Please call us and let us know what your pet needs so we can get them feeling better and back to being their usual adorable self.