A type of earache that causes so much discomfort to dogs and cats that pets can be quieter, hidden, irritated, and even without feeding.
Otitis is an inflammatory or infectious disease that can be caused by several factors such as allergies, heat, humidity, skin problems, excess cerumen (oily skin), the spread of parasites and microorganisms, and the ingress of unsuitable substances into the ears such as water, dust and pollen.
The disease, which is aggravated by the lack of treatment, can cause hearing loss in the pet, manifested in the form of itching, frequent nods of the head, discharge in the ear and an unpleasant smell in the ear area.
Factors such as ducts that are too narrow or excess fur and moisture, cleaning with unsuitable products or objects, as well as long and drooping ears, in the case of Basset and Dachshund dogs, for example, can breed inflammation.
“What happens is that all of this can lead to an inflammatory condition that increases the temperature and moisture in the ear canal, which leads to the multiplication of fungi and bacteria, which increases the inflammation,” explains the vet and technical coordinator. Animal Health, Katya Almeida Soares.
Pets that swim or hang by their ears suffer more
Animals that swim or frequent lakes and pools can also easily develop ear infections, as can animals with allergies.
“The same thing explains frequent ear infections (which occur more frequently) in dogs with more oily skin,” says veterinarian Marcelo Quinzani, clinical director of the Murombi Unit at Pet Care Network.
Puppies with “loose” ears such as the famous Dachshund and Basset Hounds are strong candidates for this problem precisely because of the anatomy of their ears.
Dangling ears create a more clogged and insufficiently ventilated environment, which keeps the place more humid, which helps the growth of fungi and bacteria,” says Quinzani.
It also explains that a “closer” and more protected environment can harbor ticks and mites, further favoring a predisposition to infection.
Itching is the first sign
Shaking the ears or shaking the head is a common action among dogs and cats. But how do you know if a pet is in some pain?
The first sign of an ear infection is itching that begins subtle and the dog or cat shakes their head more insistently, seemingly uncomfortable. If it is not treated initially, pain, more discomfort, and strong odors may appear.
Just like earache in humans, animals can also experience the same sensation, but with a slower progression.
“Pain occurs when there is a bacterial infection (pus) or if there is an advanced picture of lesions in the eardrum caused by an untreated infection,” Quinzani says.
Protecting your ears in the bathroom is a form of prevention
No one wants to see their pet sick, let alone in pain and suffering. Therefore, investing in prevention is always the best option. In the case of an ear infection, Cathia recommends protecting your pet’s ears during bathing or water activity and drying them thoroughly.
Cleaning the pet’s canals as directed by your vet and not removing hair from the ears is expert advice for educators.
When determining the cause of an ear infection, environmental or nutritional (in cases of allergy) management can also help prevent.
Clinical analyzes and tests reveal the disease
When disease is suspected, the teacher should seek veterinary care for the pet. In the clinic, the doctor will begin with a simple evaluation of the outside of the pet’s ear to notice redness and the presence of copious, dark wax with a different smell than usual.
Next, you will observe the inside of the ear with the help of instruments to assess the ears, at which time you can already determine the causative agent of the ear infection.
In other cases, as a pet care vet explains, a test called a video endoscopy may be performed, which allows visualization, through a video monitor, of the inner surface of a dog and cat’s ear. The examination is performed while the animal is anesthetized.
Cell examinations, fungal cultures or bacteria cultures can help identify the causative agent of an ear infection.
Depending on the cause, treatment is with antibiotics, antifungals or anti-inflammatories. “In complex cases, ear washing may be indicated. In chronic and advanced cases, surgical procedures to open the ear canal may be indicated,” Kwinzani explains.