Ear infections, technically known as "otitis externa" is an condition characterised by inflammation of the external ear canal, most commonly seen in dogs. It is particularly common in dogs with long floppy ears or those which suffer other skin conditions. Ear infections represent one of the top 10 reasons dogs present to vets and may affect up to 20 percent of dogs. Several factors may predispose dogs to ear infections, including:
- Long floppy ears
- Abnormal ear conformation or anatomy (e.g. Shar-pei's have very narrowed ear canals)
- Water or hair in the ears
- Tumours or other growths
- Foreign material in the ears
- Auto-immune disease
Moderate case of otitis externa.
An ear infection can be painful and your pet will usually scratch the affected ear and also shake
their head and hold the head to one side. You may also notice an unpleasant smell from the ear. The ear will usually look red and excess waxy material may be present. The affected ear will need cleaned with a special cleaner designed to dissolve wax and an antibiotic/antifungal ointment will also be required for up to two weeks or more to clear up the infection. The vets at County Vets can show you the best way of cleaning your dogs' ears and how to apply the drops.
Severe chronic case of otitis externa.