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SAH Vet Tips: Canine Ear Infections

An ear infection (otitis) is one of the most frequently diagnosed medical conditions in dogs—especially those with floppy ears. Signs of an ear infection can include scratching at the ears, head shaking, ears that are red and/or painful to the touch, an unpleasant smell or a dirty discharge inside the ear. Here are four facts about ear infections:

  • Left untreated, otitis won’t get better by itself. This condition can lead to scar tissue build-up that narrows the ear canal, facial nerve damage and even hearing loss in serious cases.
  • Not all ear infections are alike. Causes of otitis include harmful bacteria, yeast, or ear mites, so using a medication prescribed for a previous ear infection may not be effective.
  • Regular ear cleaning can be just as important as administering medication. Without proper cleaning, it’s sometimes impossible for the ear medication to penetrate the ear canal and do its job.
  • Recheck exams are vital to resolving otitis. The only way our doctors can make sure the infection source has been removed is by rechecking your four-legged friend’s ears, typically within 7-10 days of the initial diagnosis.

SAH offers professional grooming services that can help prevent otitis, including ear plucking to remove excess hair in ear canals. This is especially important for small breeds with hairy ears like the poodle, Bichon Frise, shih tzu, and Lhasa Apso.

Need to book an exam or grooming appointment? Call us at (631) 887-350.