Just recently ‘Penny’, a young Labrador visited Vet Cross because she had started to shake her head and it was getting worse. Her owners were worried she had something in her ear as she spent a lot of time playing in the bushes on their property.
Dr Tim gave Penny a full health check and attempted to examine her ears but it was obvious that she wasn’t going to sit still long for a proper examination.
Dr Tim recommended that Penny be admitted to the hospital and sedated so that he could place the otoscope in to each ear to see what was causing her to shake her head.
Once sedated Dr Tim was able to examine Penny thoroughly and found red inflamed and blocked ear canals in both ears. Swabs were taken from the ears and microscopic tests were run to find that Penny had an infection in both ears. Dr Tim thoroughly flushed and cleaned both ears and prescribed ear medication/cleaner and antibiotics for Penny to go home with. When Penny’s owners came to pick her up Dr Tim demonstrated how to administer the medications and what to do once home he also asked about Penny’s daily routine on the property and found out that Penny, being a typical Labrador, loved swimming in the dam.
This was obviously where she had picked up the infection, warm weather, floppy ears, constantly getting wet are all the things that trigger off bacteria that cause infection.
Penny’s owners didn’t want to stop her doing what she loved so they were prepared to routinely clean her ears with appropriate cleaners.
Here are a few pointers to prevent your dog from getting ear infections.
- Maintain good flea and ear mire control
- Routine cleaning of your dog’s ears with appropriate cleaners
- Monitor ears regularly for changes in smell or appearance
- Appropriate diets: Certain skin diets can reduce the chance of ear infections by improving the health of the lining of the ear and skin in general.
- Allergy control medications
Some dogs, regardless of all the best treatments, continue to have problems. The best way to minimise suffering and improve results is to seek veterinary attention as soon as possible.