Friday, November 13, 2009
Article: Ear Infections by Dr. Susan Wright
This guest post is brought especially to you by Dog Fence DIY's staff veterinarian Dr. Susan Wright. Dog Fence DIY offers the well renownedpetsafe stubborn dog collar for the dog that is not responsive to a regular correction system. There is also a wide variety of different types of pet containment systems at the lowest price. Visit Dog Fence DIY for all your pet containment needs.
You know when your dog has an ear infection. He's constantly scratching at his ear, and shaking his head. He may even whimper in pain. If you look inside your dog's ear, and under the flap (pinna), it may be red, and there may be a smelly discharge. It's very distressing for him, and you don't like to see your dog so uncomfortable.
If your dog scratches and shakes his head too much, he may develop a hematoma, which is like a big blood blister on the pinna of the ear. It occurs when the shaking and scratching break a little blood vessel inside the flap of the ear, so it fills with blood. It is painful, and treatment usually involves surgery.
Ear infections in dogs are caused by bacteria or fungi, but in most cases, there are changes to the skin inside the ear that allow these organisms to grow and multiply. So, just treating the infection with antibiotics and ear drops won't resolve the problem. You need to work out what is happening to allow this secondary infection to develop.
The two main causes of ear infections in dogs are anatomy and allergies.
Some breeds of dogs, such as Labrador Retrievers and Cocker Spaniels, have floppy ears. This means that air doesn't circulate as well in their ear, and any moisture doesn't have the chance to dry out. It is worse if the dog goes swimming and gets their ears wet. Dogs with erect ears have less of a problem with their ears staying moist, but they may still develop ear problems associated with skin allergies.
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