How to know if my dog ​​has otitis

Canine otitis is one of the most common diseases in dogs. Dogs have a very developed and especially sensitive sense of hearing. A sound that to our ears may seem low volume, to theirs is of high intesis, that is why we must pay special attention to the care of the ears of our dog. If we observe that it does not stop scratching the ears, that it seems annoying or even painful, and that lately it secretes more cerumen than normal, our dog may have canine otitis and we should take it to the vet. If you want to know more details about this disease to know if your dog has otitis, keep reading this article.

What is canine otitis?

Canine otitis is inflammation of the ear, either internal (part not visible), medium (internal part visible) or external (external part of the ear). It can affect one of these parts or even all of them, one ear or both. However, the most common in dogs is otitis externa, which refers to the inflammation of the lining epithelium of the ear canal. As a point, the auditory epithelium is responsible for reproducing the sound waves.

Why canine otitis occur?

Canitis otitis can occur for several reasons, however the most common causes are allergies, in atopic dogs or adverse reactions to food, can cause allergic processes that can affect the external auditory canal, causing otitis; the bacteria, the tap water is full of bacteria that, if we do not filter it, go directly to our dog, the otitis by bacteria presents a reddening of the ears, pus and cerumen abundant and malodorous; parasites, the most common is the mite, which spreads very quickly and causes the irritation of the ear of our dog and the appearance of brown or even black discharge, formed by cerumen and blood, and a very strong odor; foreign bodies, if you tend to frequent field areas with your dog, it is possible that when approaching certain plants seeds or spikes have been introduced in their ear, causing canine otitis; the dog itself, an excessive and sudden scratching of the animal itself can cause trauma to the inside of the ear and the resulting canine otitis (a fight with another dog may also be the cause); disorders of keratinization, dogs prone to taste disorders tend to have external otitis with abundant cerumen (this occurs especially in races such as the Siberian Husky or the Alaskan Malamute).

Symptoms of canine otitis

To know if your dog has canine otitis you should look very well at the symptoms. The most common symptoms that dogs with otitis present are:

  • Frequent shaking of the head and scratching of the ears
  • If the infection only occurs in one ear, the dog will turn its head to the damaged side or, in the case of dogs with ears straight up, the affected ear will lower
  • Ear wax increase
  • Discharge yellowish, brown or black
  • Redness of the ear
  • Strong smell of rancid in otitis ceruminosas or putrefacto in serious canine otitis
  • Appearance of pus
  • Changes in behavior towards aggressive behavior, caused by pain
  • Hearing loss in severe otitis

If you notice that your dog has any of these symptoms, do not hesitate to take it to the vet immediately.

Treatment for canine otitis

The veterinarian will diagnose canine otitis by the causes that have produced it and will prescribe the most appropriate treatment to cure it. In general, all treatments have to follow the same steps and the first thing that the veterinarian will do is to clean the ears of your puppy to facilitate the elimination of the causes. The products that are used for the cleaning of the ear will also be a function of the triggering factor of canine otitis and of the state of the ear. For example, a rinsing solution composed of ceruminolitics can be used if the tympanic membrane is intact, or by antiseptics or drying cleansers if there is blood in the inflammation of the membrane.

Once the ear cleaning is done, the veterinarian will prescribe ear drops, specific for the type of otitis suffered by your dog. You must apply them yourself every day, for a certain period. Before putting the drops on your dog, you will have to clean the ear using the washing solution indicated by the veterinarian, gently massaging your dog's ear for half a minute while you wash, and drying your ear as much as possible to prevent the water and the solution stay inside.

For severe canine otitis the use of systemic antibiotics is recommended, which can be oral or by injection, and maintain the treatment a week after the cure of canine otitis. Only surgery will be required in cases of tumor or in which otitis multiplies abundantly and quickly.

How to prevent canine otitis?

The best way to prevent canine otitis is to clean your dog's ear canal once or twice a month. To clean your dog's ear, never use swabs, use clean gauze. Before cleaning, check your ear to make sure it does not show any of the above symptoms. If the ear is healthy, start by cleaning the outside of the ear with a towel moistened with warm water and the soap you normally use to bathe your dog. Clean the outside of the ear making gentle circular movements. Then, dry it well with another clean towel.

To clean the auditory pavilion (visible internal part), we will use a clean gauze . Do not use antibiotics or otologic without veterinary recommendation. Simply cover your finger with the gauze and introduce it very carefully, without getting to the bottom, and clean the walls of your dog's ear.

For the internal part not visible, there are specific products for the prevention of canine otitis, such as dry cleaners, which you can find in your veterinarian.

  • It is very important to filter the water before giving it to our dog to drink, since bacterial otitis can even cause hearing loss.
  • Do not use serum to clean your dog's ear, since it can stay inside the ear and create bacteria.