Ear infections in dogs are fairly common in Naples due to our humid climate. Dogs with floppy ears or narrow ear canals are predisposed to ear infections, as bacteria and yeast thrive in a warm, moist environment. The combination of ear wax accumulation, natural oils from the skin, and external debris all provide an ideal reservoir which optimizes the ability of bacteria and yeast to thrive.
Common signs associated withear infections include scratching of the ears, shaking the head or holding one ear slightly dropped. Ear infections are, at the very least, uncomfortable, but, if not treated, can be extremely painful. To accurately diagnose the type of bugs that are causing the infection, a swab is taken from the dog’s ear and a slide is made which allows us to examine the cells, bacteria and yeast that are present in the ear canal using the magnification of a microscope. Depending on the shape and size of the different organisms, we can then make appropriate recommendations to ensure an effective treatment plan. Most ear infections are treated with medications that are applied directly into the ear. Some medications require daily application into the ear canal, but an ear medication that is applied at the clinic and is effective for two weeks is also a very convenient option.
Weekly ear cleanings can go a long way in preventing future ear infections. Apply the ear cleaner by placing a saturated cotton ball directly into the ear canal and gently massage the ear. The ear cleaner has the effect of changing the environment, or pH, of the ear canal, thereby making it less friendly for bacteria and yeast to thrive. These ear cleaners are available for purchase at Town and Country Animal Hospital in Naples (Golden Gate), but if you reside in Estero, for example, and are unable to make the trip, they can be ordered and delivered through our websiteat www.mynaplesvet.com or our online pharmacy at https://mynaplesvet.vetsfirstchoice.com.
At Town & Country Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of options to prevent and treat dog ear infections, as well as care and management for many other diseases and issues, including cat ear infections and dog skin infections.