Pet ear infections are a common problem. And the more one’s pet goes outside, the more common they will be. Dogs and cats regularly pick up things with their paws, including all types of bacteria from where they step. When there’s an irritation in their ear, the first thing that goes into the cavity is their claw, which in turn usually creates a small scratch or wound, and then the bacteria go to work. Additionally, some breeds are more prone to ear problems than others, depending on the location. Once the infection is in place, the animal can become irritated, cranky, fussy with their ear all the time, and downright miserable. We at Ashworth Road Animal Hospital serving West Des Moines, IA, know a lot about pet ear infections.
Dogs Have it Worse
Unfortunately, dogs are practically designed by nature to end up with ear problems. Where the human ear canal goes lateral, side to side, a canine ear canal goes vertical. That means liquid and other things can become trapped inside without any ability to fall out again over time. Once that occurs, the immune system kicks in with swelling, pus and anything else it can throw to trap and solve the infection. Instead, it turns into a big mess until the goop can be pulled out or drained. That may only occur when the animal is sleeping on its side and gravity finally gets a chance to work.
Infections Can Create More Problems for Pets
Pets may not be able to wait for an infection to go away. Serious problems can start to impact the animal’s ability to walk, move and balance. And all three can contribute to serious injuries if the dog or cat becomes clumsy in trying to move around quickly. Animals rely heavily on their senses other than sight, and without them, the dog or cat might as well be completely blind.
Examination and Cleaning
The tell-tale signs of an ear infection in a dog or cat are often apparent. Bad-smelling odors and liquid are often signs of pus and bacterial growth, both of which are in great abundance by the time an owner sees the liquid or crust around the outer ear. Repeated scratching and itching are symptomatic as well. A veterinarian on our team will investigate the animal’s ear to see exactly what is going on. Once identified, serious material will be removed and then the animal will usually be provided a prescription for antibiotic treatment to kill off the remainder. A follow-up appointment may be scheduled to make sure everything goes according to plan versus becoming a secondary problem later.
Get Ear Infection Help for Pets with Our Veterinarian Team
We at Ashworth Road Animal Hospital serving West Des Moines, IA, can deal with pet ear infections and related problems. Our veterinarian team regularly handles dogs and cats of many sizes and shapes, as well as their versions of an ear problem. Let our team have a chance to examine what's going on, and we can get to the bottom of your pet's discomfort. Call us at (515) 225-1807 to schedule an appointment!