Ear Infections in Cats & Dogs

As humans, we know how painful and uncomfortable ear infections can be and unfortunately, they feel just the same for our precious pets! While ear infections are fairly common in cats and dogs, it’s important that they are addressed sooner rather than later to prevent more severe cases and issues from developing.

The difficult part? Our pets can’t verbally communicate with us that their ears are bothering them, which can often cause infections to go unnoticed for some time. The best way to be alerted that your pet has an ear infection is to pay attention for the following symptoms:

Symptoms of Ear Infections

  • Head shaking
  • Scratching ears
  • Tilting head
  • Swelling
  • Loss of balance
  • Hearing loss
  • Inflammation
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Blood on the outside of the ear
  • Dragging head on ground or furniture
  • Abnormal discharge or odor from ear

Notice one or some of the symptoms listed above? Now is a good time to consult your veterinarian to see if your pet does indeed have an ear infection. If your pet has a positive diagnosis, you may be wondering what could have caused the infection:

Causes of Ear Infections

  • The growth of bacteria or yeast
  • Parasites
  • Allergies
  • Excessive hair growth inside the ear
  • Foreign bodies lodged inside the ear
  • Growths, tumors and abscesses
  • Immune system imbalances
  • An abundance of ear wax

Treating Ear Infections

The typical treatments for an ear infection in a cat or dog is a professional ear cleaning and a course of oral antibiotics or topical drugs. After beginning the treatment prescribed by your veterinarian, it’s important to schedule a two-week follow up to ensure that the infection has cleared up. Depending on the cause of the infection, your vet may make additional specific prevention recommendations.

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