• Exploring the typical causes of ear issues in dogs
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Ear problems in dogs encompass inflammation and a range of infections and accompanying symptoms. In this article, At Oak Barn Vets, we will delve into the factors that commonly contribute to these problems.

Inflammation and ear infections in dogs

Among the various ear problems in dogs, one frequently encountered issue is otitis externa, which can be due from a bacterial infection. We often encounter and treat this condition. Identifying this condition is relatively straightforward, as you may observe the following symptoms in your dog:

  • Frequent head shaking
  • Excessive scratching in and around the ears
  • Unpleasant odour coming from the ears, occasionally accompanied by discharge
  • Reluctance to allow you near their head
  • Reacting aggressively if the affected area is touched

Once a diagnosis of an ear infection has been made, the treatment usually involves cleansing the ears and administering a prescribed medication, often in the form of antibiotic ear drops or tablets.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at Oak Barn Vets in Guildford.

Ear mites: Another common issue affecting dogs' ears

Among our canine patients, we may encounter ear mites, also known as Otodectes cynotis, as a prevalent ear problem. If you live in a multi-pet household, ear mites may be more contagious. If your dog is affected by ear mites, you may observe one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Frequent head shaking
  • Excessive scratching in and around the ears
  • Presence of brown particles resembling coffee grains within your dog's ear
  • Black or brown waxy discharge

Due to the nature of these symptoms, additional complications can arise, such as blood pooling, as scratching and head shaking can damage the blood vessels in the ear.

Fortunately, this condition can be effectively treated using ear drops or specific flea-prevention products in conjunction with an ear cleaner. However, it is crucial that you contact us about the problem before determining the appropriate course of treatment.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at Oak Barn Vets in Guildford.

Foreign debris in the ears (such as grass seeds)

It may come as a surprise that we encounter cases where dogs have unintentionally harboured foreign objects in their ears, leading to complications.

Grass seeds are a common issue in causing ear problems in dogs.

This issue typically arises during the summer months, coinciding with their playful ventures in tall grass. The sharp tip of these seeds punctures the skin, lodging itself and causing irritation. The tell-tale signs of this problem include:

  • Intense scratching of the ears
  • Frequent head shaking
  • Presence of lodged seeds in or around the ear
  • Inflammation in or around the ear

If the seed has caused inflammation, you may also observe a slight trace of blood in your dog's ear.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at Oak Barn Vets in Guildford.

Managing ear issues in dogs with Oak Barn Vets near you!

To effectively diagnose and address ear problems in dogs, it is always advisable to seek veterinary assistance. Upon examining your dog and confirming an ear problem, a tailored treatment plan will be prescribed.

Given the wide range of potential ear problems in dogs, treatment methods vary from topical solutions and wipes to antibiotics and, in some cases, surgery. For instance, we can perform simple tests to identify bacterial and yeast related ear infections and recommend appropriate topical solutions or antibiotics.

Removing foreign objects, such as grass seeds, from your dog's ears is done while your dog is under general anaesthetic. This procedure is followed by pain relief and a course of antibiotics.

What to do if your dog experiences ear problems?

If you suspect that your dog is suffering from ear problems, the crucial initial step is to visit your local vets in Guildford. You can book an appointment online or call us on 01483 455355.

It's important to note that ear conditions are unlikely to resolve on their own. Delaying treatment can exacerbate the problem. Certain breeds, such as springer spaniels with their long, floppy ears, are more susceptible to ear problems than others.

Dogs that frequently engage in water activities or have allergies may also experience recurring ear issues. If your dog falls into these categories, incorporate regular ear checks into your grooming routine. Keep the ears clean, and if you notice any problems, promptly contact us to determine if further investigation is necessary.

For any enquiries or concerns regarding your pet's health, don't hesitate to reach out to your local Oak Barn Vets practice near you!

Get in touch with your local Oak Barn Vets practice