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Posted by: AnimalDoctors.ca on 03/25/2017



Ear infections are usually secondary to inflammation of external ear canals ( the tube shape visible when lifting the ear flaps). Inflammation of the ear canals lead to the production of normal yeast and bacteria  that live in the ear where the body is unable to control what is overgrown.  New  bacteria can take advantage of the unwell environment and inflammation inside the ear can establish an infection in the overspread of the bacteria.  The inflammation causes an increase in wax production.  Swelling caused by the inflammation makes  the tube narrower and  the ears become very painful and itchy.  Sever infections can cause eardrum rupture in the inner and middle ear.  A severe deep infection can lead to neurological damage  and deafness.  

Some disorders and diseases may be the root why some ear infections  develop;

-Food and environment allergies

-Ear mites

-Tumours and Polyps in the ear

-Skin disorders

-Thyroid diseases

Recurrence of ear infections may be due to the inability to control the original infection or treat the underlying cause.  Scar tissue and permanent narrowing of the ear canals make infections difficult to the treat.


Beginning signs of  external ear  infections are local inflammation, redness and  discharge.  Some pets may have severe infections causing  them to cry and groan when they rub their eyes and scratch their ears.   Open wounds on the skin around their neck, ears and neck may result do to excessive scratching.

Progression from external ear infections may progress to the middle and inner ear causing serious signs;

-Otitis externa (external ear infection)

-Painful or itchy ears

-Head tilts

-Otitis Interna (inner ear infection)


-Abnormal Paralysis 

-Dry eyes

-Hearing Loss

-Otitis media ( middle ear infection)


Your Veterinarian will look in the ear for growths, discharge, redness, inflammation and other indications of an ear infection.  Collected material can be examined under a microscope to see if the infection is due to mites, bacteria or yeast.   A  culture sample for culture may be taken for sensitivity testing.   This identifies the organism present and helps the vet select the antibiotic.

Sedation may be needed to evaluate the ears of the pet if they are in to much pain.  This is to collect discharge samples clean the ears and initiated treatment.  While sedated the ears can be flushed to remove debris.  X-ray and more diagnostics may be taken to diagnosis the inner and/or middle ear.

When the infection has been identified most animals with chronic ear infections can be treated at home.  Easily  to treat with medication for ear mites may be  placed topically between the shoulder blades or directly in the ear.  Bacterial and yeast infections can be treated with oral or topical medication and frequent cleaning.


Recurrence of ear infections maybe prevented with regular cleaning.   Treating the underlying diseases such as skin disorders, food and environmental allergies should be identified and taken care of avoid future infections.

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