Itchy ears

Wangaratta Chronicle - North East Regional Extra - - NEWS - with Alis­tair Chatto, VET­ERI­NAR­IAN

A DOG or cat who presents with itchy sore ears is one of the most com­mon con­di­tions we treat in the ve­teri­nary clinic. In­flam­ma­tion of the ear, also known as oti­tis, can present in many dif­fer­ent ways de­pend­ing on what struc­tures of the ear are af­fected. The ear is made up of three sec­tions: the ex­ter­nal ear, the mid­dle ear and the in­ter­nal ear. Most com­monly the ex­ter­nal ear is the part that be­comes in­flamed and itchy. Signs of in­flam­ma­tion in this area in­clude: itch­i­ness, painful ears, head shak­ing, and smelly ears which may have vis­i­ble dis­charge. When the in­ter­nal ear be­comes in­flamed, deaf­ness and neu­ro­log­i­cal signs may also oc­cur. In­flam­ma­tion of the ear can even­tu­ally lead to an ear in­fec­tion, which pre­dom­i­nantly are due to bac­te­rial or fun­gal or­gan­isms. You may no­tice that some dogs and cats get ear in­fec­tions more of­ten than oth­ers. That is be­cause there are pre­dis­pos­ing fac­tors as well as pri­mary causes for ear in­fec­tions. Pre­dis­pos­ing fac­tors in­clude: long hairy ears, dogs that swim, nar­row ear canals. Causes of in­flam­ma­tion that lead to in­fec­tion in­cludes: grass seeds, skin al­ler­gies and ear mites. All these fac­tors can alone or in com­bi­na­tion can pro­duce an ear in­fec­tion. Ear in­fec­tions can be a very un­com­fort­able and stress­ful ex­pe­ri­ence for your pet. So if you sus­pect that your dog or cat’s ears need at­tend­ing to, a con­sult with your lo­cal vet­eri­nar­ian is rec­om­mended. At the clinic, a thor­ough as­sess­ment of the ear can take place. This may in­clude care­ful ex­am­i­na­tion of the ear with an oto­scope and swab­bing the ear for de­bris to fur­ther in­ves­ti­gate in­fec­tion. A treat­ment plan is then de­vel­oped which may in­volve ear med­i­ca­tions, or a pro­ce­dure to clean and treat the ear at the clinic. Pre­ven­ta­tive strate­gies can then be for­mu­lated to pre­vent fur­ther in­fec­tions. Con­tact your lo­cal clinic for more de­tails.

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