February 13, 2013

Dog Ear Infection

Have you ever taken your dog to the vet for a yearly check up and had your vet smell your dog’s ears? Well, I can tell you that the vet is not doing that as some fetish or desire. The vet smells the dog’s ear because that is one way to tell whether or not a dog has an ear infection. Ear infections in dogs are particularly devastating because hearing is one of the, if not the, most important senses dogs have. If a dog has an ear infection, you should take her to the vet immediately.

A dog ear infection is called otitis, which simply means inflammation of the ear, according to PetWave. Two main infections happen: internal otitis and external otitis. Internal occurs inside the ear canal while external happens outside it on the ear drum. Both are dangerous and worthy of attention.

The ASPCA  listed several symptoms to look for if you suspect a dog ear infection. They consist of:

  • Ear scratching
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusted or scabby skin on the near ear flap
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Wiping the ear area on the floor or furniture
  • Head shaking or head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

Should you notice any of these in your pup, then you should immediately take her to the vet. An ear infection is serious not only because of the potential for hearing loss but also because of the important role that the ears play in balance and coordination. Dogs need healthy ears for all these reasons.

Just like we regularly check ourselves for possible illness, we should also check our dogs. This is the best method to preventing ear infections. We should regularly clean our dog’s ears out because in most cases ear infections happen when a dog has a build of yeast or bacteria. Regular ear cleanings help prevent this. Furthermore, take a lesson from your vet and smell your dog’s ears. If an infection is impending, then the ears will smell horribly. Most important, though, if you suspect a dog ear infection, then you should, without a doubt, take your pup to the vet. No one wants to be without hearing, and neither do our dogs.

Image Credit: Photos.com

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Rayshell E. Clapper is an Associate Professor of English at a rural college in Oklahoma where she teaches Creative Writing, Literature, and Composition classes. She has presented her original fiction and non-fiction at several conferences and events including: Scissortail Creative Writing Festival, Howlers and Yawpers Creativity Symposium, Southwest/Texas Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association Regional Conference, and Pop Culture Association/American Culture Association National Conference. Her publications include Cybersoleil Journal, Sugar Mule Literary Magazine, Red Dirt Anthology, Originals, and Oklahoma English Journal. Beyond her written works, she successfully created a writer's group in rural Oklahoma to support burgeoning writers. The written word is her passion, and all she experiences inspires that passion. She hopes to help inspire others through her words.

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