Companion Animal Hospital
David J. Dolan, D.V.M
18450 Kuykendahl @ Louetta, Spring, TX 77379
(281) 288-4162 Metro (281) 355-8387
Emergency Voice Mail (713) 901-7494
Care From the Heart CompanionAnimalHospital.net
Ear infection or Otitis is a very difficult disease process to completely cure once it has become a long-standing issue, so we take it very seriously. Prevention is the best way to deal with it so we jump on it as soon as it becomes an issue. If your pet has a propensity to develop ear infections you should do everything you can to prevent an early infection from turning into a long term or chronic infection. I generally tell my clients to clean their pets ears once weekly with Epiotic, and if the ears are full of wax, we add Cerumene to the mix by cleaning with Cerumene and following with Epiotic right afterwards. One of the key procedures associated with cleaning the ears is that you need to massage the ear canals filled with the cleaning solution for a full minute (If you don’t, it is like washing your hands without scrubbing them, just running them under running water). I recommend using Kleenex to wipe out the exudates and if you note any discharge or discoloration of the cleaning solution, you need to clean the ears every other day for a week afterwards. If there is continued discharge or exudates, than you need to come see me. I feel that this will give you a chance to clear up the milder, easy to treat cases and give me the more severe cases to deal with. Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, so if the preventative treatment of cleaning the ears regularly doesn’t work then we hit the disease hard and try to keep it from becoming a chronic problem. What that means is that we will not take the problem lightly and we will put the fire out as quickly as possible. That also means that we will continue to attack the problem until it is totally under control (like putting water on the ashes to make sure that it doesn’t start up again.). This may take several rounds of medications and treatments so understand that this may be a drawn out process. What we are trying to do is prevent a long-standing disease process that will not go away without some long-term treatments that may or may not be successful.
Let’s look at what can initiate Otitis. Anatomy, excessive cerumen production, allergies, excessive hair, moisture and trauma are all guilty of causing this problem. Some dogs have such small ear canals that just predispose them to problems. This just leads them to having too much moisture in the ears and sets them up for yeast or bacterial infections. Both yeast and bacteria are normal in the ears just like you have normal bacteria on your skin and in your mouth, but when they get out of control that is when you have problems. Excessive hair does much the same thing by trapping moisture in the canals. Some breeds of dogs (Cocker Spaniels, Springer Spaniels, and Labrador Retrievers) produce too much cerumen and will be much more susceptible to Otitis and so extra care of the ears is warranted. The ears are a special extension of the skin and so any time you have skin problems you will probably have ear problems too. In dogs, allergies are more active on the skin and ears as opposed to the respiratory system like they are in people. That means Otitis could indicate that your dog has allergies. The three main allergies are inhalant (pollens, dust, etc), flea allergies, and food allergies. Food allergies are the easiest to deal with, you just put your pet on a diet that they are not allergic to and they get better. Flea allergies are a little more difficult because it can be hard to completely get rid of the fleas and it sometimes only takes one flea to cause a reaction. Inhalant allergies are the hardest to deal with. Many times it is hard to find out what specifically your pet is allergic to and then treatment can sometimes not be satisfactory. The other key point is that many pets will have problems with 1, 2 or all 3 types of allergies. If we can control some of the allergies, your pet may not suffer quite as much as a result. The point is that if there are continued problems with your pet’s ears we need to find out what the cause is. That may entail dealing with fleas, even if you don’t see them, and putting on a diet for pets with food allergies. We have 3 such diets that we are using at this time. Z/D ultra which has all of its protein denatured so that it would not cause a reaction (Unfortunately, it will sometimes cause intestinal problems). IVD vegetarian is a diet that does not have most of the allergens that cause problems in your pet (Many of the Dermatologist will use this diet). And new D/D Salmon and Potato (which has the added value of a very high level of Omega 3 Fatty Acids which have an anti-inflammatory effect on your pets skin and joints). My personal favorite was IVD Veggie, but I am trying the D/D now after reading the research associated with it.
So, as a review, clean your pet’s ears regularly with Epiotic. If there is a problem come see me and we will work really hard to clear it up before it becomes a chronic problem.