Treating ear or skin infections in your pet can feel like a never ending race, just when you think you are over the last hurdle along comes another! Smelly ears, brown or yellow green discharge from the ears, reddening of the skin folds (with/without crusty deposits in breeds such as pugs) and/or brown stains on the fur between the toes, are the tell-tale signs that something needs to be done.
So why does your pet suffer?
Ear infections in particular can be caused by a number of factors including parasites, debris in the ear and even excessive hair growth. Dog's ears have both a vertical and horizontal part to the ear canal which make it difficult for debris (for example a grass seed) to exit the ear once it has got in. In breeds which enjoy a good swim, water can collect in the ear making it an ideal warm wet environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. Long-eared rabbits can also develop issues with the ear canal being a warm and damp environment. Cats and dogs can both get ear mites (a small parasite) which are readily passed on.
Recurring issues may also point towards an underlying condition which may or may not be seasonal - some allergies, for example.
What can be done?
Thankfully there are number of treatments available but they do require a hands-on approach from both the vet and you. Some pet owners may struggle to administer ear drops to a particularly reluctant pet especially if the ears are already painful to the touch. In some cases the vet may need to sedate the pet in order to properly clean out the ears before then applying treatments to remove the infection. If you do struggle to apply ear drops then you can always discuss nurse appointments with us so that we can support you in completing the course of the medication. In essence, do not struggle in silence!
Prevention is better than cure!
Regular checking and maintenance of your pet's ears and skin will hopefully reduce the need for you to visit us. These days there are a range of good products available from the vet which will help you maintain the health of your pets ears and skin; from medicated wipes designed to clean between the toes and skin folds to ear cleaning products.
Regular checking of your pet's paws, skin folds and ears will not only get them used to being handled but will also alert you to any issues at an early stage.
10% OFF Ear/Skin Treatments in June 2017
as part of Station Bridge Veterinary Surgery's Ear and Skin Infections awareness month