What’s Behind Your Dog’s Ear Problems

Your golden retriever Toby seems completely obsessed with his ears. Every few minutes, Toby violently shakes his head, and he constantly paws at his ears like he’s trying to relieve a persistent itch. You also saw some evil-looking black discharge in Toby’s ears this morning. You know that the area between Toby’s outside ear opening and eardrum can be attacked by varied irritants, making you think that Toby has developed an uncomfortable ear problem. You’ve made an appointment with your Indianapolis veterinarian, who will diagnose Toby’s condition and get your pooch some badly needed relief.

Ears, Skin, and Allergies

Bloodhounds, basset hounds, and other floppy-eared dogs have lousy ear ventilation, which creates a moist environment that’s ideal for yeast and bacteria. Other dog breeds are prone to skin allergies, causing chronic ear inflammation and making these dogs more susceptible to ear infections. Over time, multiple ear infections can lead to damaged ear tissues and even a ruptured eardrum. This provides a virtual welcome mat for the infection, as it can easily migrate into the middle and inner ear. If that occurs, Toby will exhibit balance problems and begin walking unsteadily, like a longtime sailor who just stepped off his ship.

Bacteria and Yeast Conventions

While you might not realize it, Toby’s ear canal lining regularly harbors a small colony of bacteria and yeast. These tiny creatures usually don’t bother Toby much; however, optimal growth conditions can cause their populations to grow out of control. If that happens, Toby’s ears will become irritated and inflamed. His ears will also probably give off a foul odor and ugly-looking discharge.

Unwelcome Ear Parasites

If Toby becomes the unwelcome host for an extremely contagious ear mite infestation, he’ll experience maddening itching and scratching. You’ll also probably see a waxy-looking black discharge. Ticks can attach themselves to the interior of Toby’s ears, resulting in irritation and even potentially blocking his ear canal. Toby will lose his normal ear ventilation, and he can even experience a change in his hearing.

Ear Treatment Plan

Your Indianapolis vet will first clean Toby’s painful ears; and your vet will likely perform that cleaning while Toby’s sedated or anesthetized. Next, your vet will select medications that target his specific condition, frequently applying the drops or ointment right into Toby’s ears. Since you’ll continue applying the meds at home, finish the entire course of medication, even if Toby seems cured of his ear ailment.

Keep Toby’s ears healthy by cleaning them with a vet-prescribed solution. Resolve skin conditions before they can affect Toby’s ears; and check often for ear debris or dirt. See your vet quickly if you notice any potential red flags.

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