- Ear infections should not be overlooked: that's because they are very painful for the animal, and because chronic ear
infections often become proliferative and, if that happens, the only effective treatment is surgery. Moreover, in most cases of purulent otitis, the tympanic membrane is perforated with onset
of middle ear inflammation, much more difficult to treat and with possible neurological symptoms.
- Therapies must be performed accurately: follow the instructions of the veterinary surgeon regarding doses and duration of treatment. If you have
any doubt about the practical details of execution or other, ask your vet.
- Do not overtreat: do not increase the dose or frequency and not extend duration indiscriminately.
You could make the situation worse. Do not use products recommended by anyone other than the Vet.
- Topical therapies and ear cleaning :
Drops: apply them trying to make them "fall" into the ear canal > immediately after, block the ear with
the other hand to prevent from shaking his head > massaged for a few seconds, gently, the base of the ear
so drops can pour down in depth.
Cleanings: are often useful both before therapy (to make it more effective), both as prevention of
relapses. A truly thorough ear flushing can only be done by a veterinary surgeon (usually under anesthesia),
but, in a less accurate way, can be done by the owner too. Put gently the recomended ear cleaning liquid
the ear (warm), without penetrating deeply and avoiding air to enter> immobilise the ear and massage
from the base to the outside > then, let the dog shake his head and eject liquid > dry with paper the
of fluid and debris coming out > repeat, if necessary, from the beginning. If in doubt ask yor vet to show
- Try to eliminate or minimize predisposing factors : almost always otitis are the consequence of an underlying problem. The most common disease
that predisposes to recurrent ear infections in dogs is allergy (see factsheets about it). Some dog breeds have ears prone to ear infections for various anatomical reasons (eg. hair
growing in the ear canal; pendulous ears; congenitally narrow ducts) > in these breeds ears should be monitored very carefully by the owners. Water (sea\ river etc,
cleaning baths) penetrating into the ears predisposes the onset of otitis > try to avoid it; put a big cotton ball before shampooing; apply drying medications. A common cause of acute otitis
in summer are vegetal foreign bodies (awns) > try avoid infested lawns and check ears after the walk.