Dog Ear Infections
Posted: June 18, 2013
Chronic ear infections are very common ailments in a variety of hunting dogs including hounds, pointers, setters and retrievers.
In general, floppy eared dogs have an increased chance of getting ear infections. This is due to the fact that there is a decrease in the air flow through their ears. This reduced air flow can trap moisture in. Added to this is the fact that hunting dogs experience increased ear wax production. This combination of trapped moisture and increased wax production allows bacteria, fungus and other microorganisms to thrive in the ear, making it a prime breeding ground for a variety of ear infections and conditions.
There are basically three main causes of ear infections in hunting dogs that you should be aware of: parasites, bacterial and fungal infections, and skin allergies.
Ear mites are one of the most common parasitic issues found in hunting dogs. The classic signs that your hunting dog has an ear mite infestation include your dog vigorously shaking its head, along with the presence of a dark brown, wax like discharge. If you are not sure if your dog has ear mites, a veterinarian can take a swab of your dog’s ears and will be able to determine if they are present by looking at the swab under a microscope.
Treatment for ear mites is relatively simple. There are several medicines available on the market to choose from. There are newer treatments available through the vet, which have shown to be very effective at clearing up the infestation in 2-3 days. If you decpost_ide to go with an over-the-counter option, just be sure to follow the instructions on the package. Ear mite infestations can be quite stubborn to get rpost_id of and it may take several applications of the medicine over a longer period of time to get rpost_id of these unwanted pests.
Fungal ear infections are another common type of ear infection in hunting dogs, and are often associated with allergies. A fungal ear infection is most often accompanied by ear scratching and head tilting. There may or may not be a pronounced discharge, so if you suspect your dog may have an ear infection but cannot tell which kind, you should go see the vet to get a swap test done to diagnose it.
There are a number of treatments available for yeast infections and they are pretty simple to treat. However, if your hunting dog gets recurring ear yeast infections, It may also be worthwhile to look into the possibility that you hunting dog has an underlying skin allergy too. These two conditions often go hand in hand.
There are several types of bacterial infections that can also cause hunting dog ear infections. The most common symptoms may include head shaking, pawing or scratching at the ears and a pus-filled or bloody discharge. Sometimes you may also see dizziness, tilted head, facial paralysis and lack of co-ordination if the inner ear canal gets affected. If you suspect a bacterial infection, you will need to get your dog to the vet right away to get it tested and on the right course of antibiotics for that particular strain of bacteria.
Allergies can affect you hunting dog’s ears, especially if your dog already has skin allergies. The skin in the ear is not immune to sensitivities and may become inflamed if the dog comes into contact with an irritant. There are numerous ways that dog allergies can be dealt with and a lot depends on the cause of the allergy. It would be best to see your vet to work out a plan to isolate what the allergen might be and then decpost_ide the best course of action for treatment.
Prevention of dog ear infections may be your best medicine. Along with your vet recommendations, there are a number of home remedies you can employ. You should check your dog’s ears weekly and keep them at a lower PH level. This can be accomplished through regular cleaning using a mild water and white vinegar solution.