Ear infections (Otitis) are one of the most common pet ailments and are especially prevalent in the warmer summer months. Ear infections can not only be irritating to you and your pet but also can be very painful and lead to the long-term hearing loss in your pet.
Ear infections occur for a number of reasons including water in the ears, grass awns (ex. Cheat seeds) migrating into and damaging the ear canal, external parasites, the shape of the ear canal itself and allergies to foods or your pet’s environment. With so many different causes of ear infections, your veterinarian is going to need a few pieces of information to help your pet shake off the ear trouble.
- Is this your pet’s first ear infection? If not, when have the other infections occurred?
Recurring ear infections, despite treatment, can be a sign of an underlying seasonal or non-season allergy that needs to be managed before the ear infections will stop.
- Where does your pet visit?
Pets that are around lakes, pools, tall grasses, other animals, and the general outdoor environment are more likely to acquire parasites, get grass awns that irritate the skin, trap water in their ear canals and be exposed to allergens that can be involved in skin and ear issues.
- Is any person or other pet in the house affected?
Certain parasites that live on your pet’s skin can lead to very itchy skin and can take a bite out of other pets or people in the household
Once your veterinarian gets a sense of your pet’s history, they will develop a treatment plan that might include a combination of things like ear cleaning, ear canal flushing, topical medications, oral medications and further testing for underlying allergy issues. Overall, ear infections happen for a number of reasons and are a serious medical issue that needs treatment for your pet’s comfort and long-term health.