Burke Road Veterinary Clinic 03 9822 3268

Ear Infections

What is Going on in 'Ear?

Yes, the ear becomes red and smelly, however have you ever wondered what is happening down that dark tunnel? When your dog or cat has an ear infection, the ear canal becomes inflamed and the delicate lining becomes thickened and produces excess wax. The normal cleaning mechanism breaks down and the ear fills with wax and inflammatory exudate. Bacteria and yeast organisms LOVE this environment which causes more inflammation. Once inflamed, these delicate structures become relentlessly painful and itchy, at which time you may notice head shaking & ear scratching.

Unfortunately for Fido, this process will worsen until the bacteria or yeast problems are addressed with medications. Without treatment, the ear canal becomes narrowed from the thickening and folded skin and can result in a ruptured ear drum. Ouch!

What Causes an Ear Infection?

Grass Seeds are a problem in spring and summer, causing irritation and infection. If not removed, they migrate into the inner ear.
Ear Mites are quite contagious and will spread easily between dogs and cats.
Bacteria and yeast are the most common culprits. They require specific medications to eliminate them from the ear canal.
Allergies are also a common underlying primary cause of inflammation in the ear. Allergies in dogs causes inflamed and itchy skin over many parts of the body often including the skin lining the ear canal. Sometimes inflamed ears are the only sign that the dog has an allergy. Bacteria then come along as secondary infections. Successful treatment requires that the allergy is treated along with the infection.

Due to the number of conditions that lead to an ear infection a veterinarian must physically examine an ear and look under a microscope to correctly identify and treat the infection. A follow up check is always required after treating an ear infection to check the progress of healing. We do not stop the treatment until we are happy that the ear canal is 100% healthy. Stopping too soon will guarantee a recurrence of the infection and may set up a highly resistant infection.

Here is a video demonstrating how to administer ear medications to your canine companion: 

If you suspect your pet may have an ear problem, please call our friendly team members on 9822 3268.