“My dog keeps on scratching his ears”
Dogs with sore ears usually do not just have dog ear infections!
But the itchy ears are, almost always a sign of other diseases.
Therefore, the vets’ goal in dealing with sore ears in dogs should be to find the condition that allowed the “otitis” or dog ear disease to develop.
The expert veterinary Dermatologists, treating sore ears in dogs, knows that the challenge is not only clearing the ear infection in the itchy dog, but also diagnosing and treating or managing cause of the dog ear disease. This way, a vet treating Sore ears in dogs can prevent the problem from recurring or at least minimise the ongoing canine ear infections.
What causes common ear disease in dogs?
The top three causes Dr Phil Sees are from physical obstruction of the ear canal.
- Hair in the ear canal. Common in poodle, Schnauzers etc
- Long ear lobe with excessive bulky ears. Common in spaniels nad spaniel crosses.
- Allergies – from pollens in the air, atopic from the environment and food
Other less common causes are foreign bodies (grass awns), and ear mites.
How should My vet approach a dog with head shaking and ear ache?
The vet will get a history or ask questions about your dogs sore ears.
Ear Examination – the Vet will examine the dog’s ear using an otoscope. ( Ear mites ! Dog ear mites are not seen commonly in well cared for dogs. Ear mites are easy to treat. )
Next diagnostic step in a dog with itchy ears is Microscopic examination of the ear material or ear Cytology. This is to actually see what is going on in the itchy dogs ears. Many experienced veterinarians will do the microscopic examination while you wait.
Sometimes blood testing may be useful to rule out hormonal conditions like thyroids and Cushings that can contribute to ear disease in dogs.
Culture of the ear material in a dog with itchy ears is usually not diagnostic and often not worth doing.
Treatments for ear disease in dogs | Dogs with itchy ears.
Antibiotics for ear disease in dogs.
Dogs with sore infected ears usually need ear antibiotics.
Do we culture a swab of ear with ear disease ? Usually not on the first visit.
What should I put into the ear to treat the Sore ear or otitis externa in dogs?
Veterinarians treating itchy ears in dogs usually recommend both an ear wash and a broad spectrum ear drop. The choice is based on the results of the cytology, or in house microscopic evaluation of the ear wax or pus.
Does A Dog With An Ear Infection Need Corticosteroids?
Cortisone can often help the early management and break the itch scratch cycle.
Prednisolone tapering down from a 1 mg/kg starting dose reduces the inflammation, pain, and cerumen production, and improves the ability of ear medication to penetrate the inflamed ear canal n dogs with sore ears.
Alternatives to cortisone like Cytopoint and Apoquel and often considered for longer term therapy for dogs with itchy ears.
NSAIDs like meloxicam are safe and less effective but are often reasonable antiinflammatory medication for dogs with sore ears.
Then food trial etc helps in about 1 or 3 % of allergic ear cases.