Ear Problems in our Pets
Our pets’ ears come in many shapes and sizes, and nature has done a pretty great job of featuring ear designs that keep foreign objects out. However, when common pests like ear mites or fungal infections such as ear canker get deep within our pets’ ears, we need to step in and give them a little help.
What are Ear Mites?
Ear mites are common pests that can become a problem for dogs, cats, and other house pets. The species of ear mite that most often bothers our pets is called Otodectes cynotis, and is transferred between animals through direct contact (hopping between animals). Mites cause a very upsetting ear infection, which can progress to a secondary bacteria or fungal infection.
What is Ear Canker?
Ear canker is a fungal disease that causes inflammation and infection in the ear and auditory canal. Dogs, cats, rabbits and other animals with long droopy ears or quite a bit of hair in their ears can trap plant and dirt debris within the ear canal. A canker infection emerges when these organic substances combine with moisture. The infection can produce dark and foul smelling discharge. Like ear mites, this infection cause pets pain and irritation.
How would I know if my pet has an ear problem?
Dogs, cats, and other house pets can get ear mites and ear canker. An animal will begin showing signs of ear discomfort. They may shake their head more often, whine when they scratch their ear, scratch their ears more often, or find ways to rub the side of their head. Their ear may have a bad smell, have dark discharge or pus, or even begin to bleed. If you see these symptoms, take your pet to the vet. Ear infections need immediate attention. The vet will examine your pet’s ears with an otoscope, and in most cases they may swab a sample of the discharge and examine it under a microscope to see if mites are the source of infection
Some bacteria are resistant to certain antibiotics, and your vet may prescribe a particular antibiotic or prescription medication to take care of the problem. In many cases, an over the counter medication will work perfectly.
Over the Counter Medications for Treatment and Prevention
We carry a few over the counter preventative and treatment options for both ear canker and ear mites.
These ear canker drops are used for the treatment of both ear canker and ear mites. The solution clears up infection, relieves itch and works on eliminating bad odors. The formula is gentle and will not sting even in ears that are fairly cracked and sore.
Preventing ear mites and ear infection can be done by keeping your pet groomed, using spot treatments for other parasites like fleas and ticks, and by drying out their ears after a bath or swim. Here are some great products to help:
This lotion ear spray solution is used for dogs and cats to help dry out ears and keep them clean. For dogs like basset hounds who have large long ears where the inner ear can’t easily dry on its own, a spray like this is ideal to have on hand to keep infections from starting.
Seeing our pet in such discomfort from their ears is definitely frustrating, but solving these infections can be done within a short time. Ear mite infections and the intense itching can likely be resolved within a month. The earlier the treatment, the sooner the infection will likely be resolved. Be careful when treating the inside of your pet’s ears at home. Avoid using cotton swabs anywhere other than the very outside region of the ear. A cotton ball moistened with our ear solution is the best way to go to clean the outside of the ear.