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Dog & Cat Ear Infection: Treat & Prevent

Ear infections are a common problem for dogs and cats. Ear mites are also a problem that often accompany an infected ear. The two most common infections are otitis externa, infection of the ear canal, and otitis media, the infection of the middle ear. The cause of the ear canal infection, is most commonly bacterial or yeast related. It can also be a result of wax build up, thick or matted hair in the canal, debris, impaired drainage of the ear. Mite infestations are a secondary result of another bodily infection. Otitis media, an infection of the middle ear, is a common result of the spread of an infection from the ear canal, where debris, ulceration, or improper cleaning ruptures the eardrum moving the infection into the middle ear.


The discomfort your dog or cat experiences from an ear infection is often displayed in shaking his/her head or scratching of the ears. Often the infection causes red and inflamed ears with an offensive odor and perhaps some yellow/black discharge. If discomfort is observed and the dog/cat often tilts his/her head, this may be a sign of an infection of the middle ear. As a pet owner, you can help your pets avoid ear infections by practicing preventative care at home. A weekly ear cleaning with a veterinarian recommended ear-cleansing solution can minimize or prevent infection. Routine ear cleanings get the pet's owner to really see the ear on a routine basis, allowing him or her to notice any early warning signs of infection and the dog or cat to get used to having its ears handled, making exams and medication administration easier when necessary. Additionally, if a pet (particularly a dog) has a lot of hair inside the earflap, grooming is also a good form of prevention. It is recommended by veterinarians, that pet owners that have pets with chronic ear problems, take action for preventative care and maintenance, to ensure their pet's good health.


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