Imagine the smell of yeast, cabbage and body odour. Something fusty and musty. Take this pungent smell and mix it with a tinge of sickening sweetness and a couple of drops of cheap perfume and you’re halfway to understanding what ear infection in a dog smells like.
Pet parents can not stand the smell and then the poor dog has to live with this in combination with severe pain. No wonder a dog with sore ears is often aggressive when you want to touch them!
Have you wondered how a dog gets infected ears? We all know it is not from walking in the wind, don’t we?
The short answer to this question is: anything that causes inflammation of the ear canal can result in infection. Inflammation can be caused by allergies, parasites, auto-immune disorders, excessive moisture, or sometimes food allergies.
Inflammation means it is red and hot inside the ear canal. Combine that with an earlobe that covers the canal and this warm, moist environment becomes the perfect breeding ground for yeast and bacteria.
The whole answer is: that a dog has a long ear canal, shaped like an inverted ”L”. This is a predisposing factor we can not usually control and moisture can not easily drain from this trumpet. Sometimes the lining of the ear canal can get inflamed by underlying causes e.g. allergies. And as the planets align (predisposing factors, inflammation and opportunistic germs), an ear infection develops. This is extremely painful to pets and they will shake and scratch their ears, causing more trauma and bleeding. There is no air circulating through this mess and we end with a terrible smell and horrendous pain.
If you have read up to here, it must be pretty clear that it is not easy to clear an ear infection and even more difficult to stop it from coming back.
If it is a really bad infection, your pet will require sedation in order for us to do a deep ear clean. We can not put antibiotic ointment on top of pus and wax. It will never work!
We must continue treating it until all traces of infection are gone. But, remember we still have to address the reason why the pet got an ear infection in the first place.
Most of the time it is because there is a pre-existing allergy to environmental allergens. Allergic people get hayfever when there are allergens floating in the air.
Most dogs don’t get the sneezes, blocked noses and stuffed sinuses, they get itchy ears – the ground zero of ear infection.
Prevention of most ear infections in dog needs to address the underlying issue for you as well. This, however, has to be addressed early in life. If one waits too long with preventive measures the ear canal will become narrow because of scarring and will get more and more difficult to treat. There is a surgical technique available to permanently open the ear canals and allow free draining of pus and allow for air to circulate and help to keep the ear canals dry – but prevention is always better than surgery.
Dr. Miranda Mite-fact
Ear mites are a very common problem in dogs, particularly in puppies. If your puppy’s ears appear red, inflamed or irritated, or you see waxy debris inside its ears, consult with your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis and treatment options
So don’t let sore ears be your pet’s curse forever, come and talk to us and we help you to find a solution for this stinking, ouchy problem.