Have you ever noticed your pet scratching and shaking its head? Or worse yet, have you seen a bloody ear? If so, your pet likely has an ear infection. Ear infections can be painful for pets and humans alike. The good news is that you can do plenty of things to help keep your pet’s ears healthy and prevent further infections.
Top Causes of Ear Infections in Pets
Your pet’s ears are a sensitive and essential part of their health. Keeping them clean and dry can help prevent infections, but what else can you do to ensure your pet stays healthy? Here are the top reasons for catching an ear infection in your pet.
1. You are not cleaning the ears regularly enough. It’s important to clean both ears with a cotton ball or towel after bath time and then dry them well. Also, make sure you check for debris that may be in your pet’s ears regularly.
2. Making them wear cotton or wool in their ears.
3. Not using a vet-recommended ear cleaner
4. You did not ensure that the ear canal was thoroughly dried after cleaning. Swimming is an excellent exercise for dogs, but if they spend too much time splashing around in dirty water (like lakes and ponds), they can end up with an ear infection from all the germs they’ve picked up out there. Ensure you clean them thoroughly afterward, so they don’t get sick.
5. If your dog is scratching its ears often, this could be because his ears are irritated by skin conditions and allergies like eczema or psoriasis. This can lead to bacteria or yeast growth in the ear canal, which can cause irritation and infection.
6. The waxy build-up in the ear canal
7. Infection from bacteria or fungus (which can be caused by allergies)
8. Trauma to the ear canal, like when you pull your dog’s hair or accidentally hit them with your finger while grooming them
Preventing Ear Infections In Your Feline Friends
The best way to do this is to take precautionary measures and treat infections asap.
First, always check your cat’s ears for signs of infection. You can do this by gently tilting their head down and looking at the opening of their ears. If you see any discharge or redness, get them to the vet ASAP!
Second, keep your cat’s litter box clean! Cats are much more likely to get an ear infection when they have dirty ears because the bacteria can travel from their paws into their ears.
Third, keep an eye on your pets’ diet! Excessively fatty foods or those with a high salt content can cause inflammation in cats’ ears, leading to infection.
Protect Your Pet’s Ears With Medication
If your pet has an ear infection, your vet will likely recommend an antibiotic like Clavamox. To protect your pet’s sensitive ears, add cotton balls to each ear canal immediately before administering Clavamox.
Place the cotton ball at the back of their ear and make sure it stays in place throughout the administration. The cotton ball helps keep the solution out of their ear canal so that they won’t experience any discomfort or irritation.
Avoid using q-tips or extra cotton in the ear canal as it can push debris further into the ear.
Using a damp cloth to clean the outer ear is better instead, and avoid getting water into your pet’s ear canal at all costs.
Rinse With A Warm Washcloth After Cleaning
After cleaning the outer and inner ear with a damp cloth, rinse both parts of the ear flap. Gently dab out any excess water using your fingers.
· A warm, moist washcloth is best for this step because it will prevent drying delicate skin and tissue in your pet’s ears.
· Be careful not to use too rough of a washcloth, cotton swabs, or Q-tips for this part. You could damage your pet’s sensitive skin if you push too hard!
Wipe Away Any Leftover Moisture
Ear infections are a common problem for pets. They can be painful for your pet, and the treatment is usually expensive. But you can help protect your pet’s sensitive ears and reduce the risk of an ear infection by taking these steps.
· Make sure to dry the ears well. Use a clean towel, and wipe away any leftover moisture around the ears.
· Don’t rub too hard, as you could cause irritation or damage to your pet’s sensitive skin.
· Don’t use cotton swabs or q-tips in your pet’s ear canal; these tools can push wax deeper into the ear canal, making it harder for your vet or groomer to remove during an examination later.
Remember always to use ear cleaning solutions that are specifically designed for animals. This will protect your pet from harmful chemicals or irritants that could cause harm over time. Also, if you have questions about your pet’s ears, it may be best to contact your veterinarian before administering anything internally (like drops or pills).