Otitis media refers to an inflammation of the dog’s middle ear, while otitis interna refers to an inflammation of the inner ear, both of which are commonly caused by bacterial infection. Long-eared dog types with extreme hair and non-erect outer ears, such as the Cocker Spaniel, Labrador Retriever and Springer Spaniel, are believed to be more vulnerable to canine ear infections.
Cats are also vulnerable to these two conditions. If you wish to learn more about how this disease impacts dogs, please check out this page.
Symptoms and Types of Otitis in Dogs
The symptoms apparent in cases of otitis media or interna are mainly dependent on how severe and comprehensive the infection is. Signs may range from no noticeable symptoms whatsoever, to obvious nerve system participation. If symptoms appear, they may include pain when opening the mouth, unwillingness to chew, shaking the head, pawing at the impacted ear, tilting the head, leaning to the side of the impacted ear, and a modified sense of balance (referred to as vestibular deficits). If both ears are affected by inflammation, more symptoms might include wide swinging movements of the head, unsteady uncoordinated body language, and deafness.
Extra symptoms might include vomiting and nausea, unequally sized pupils, inflammation of the ears, ear discharge, a grey bulging eardrum (referred to as tympanic membrane), and in severe cases, signs related to nervous system damage such as facial nerve damage (e.g. inability to blink, or paralysis).
Causes of Otitis Media and Otitis Interna in Dogs
Bacteria are the primary disease-causing agents that result in infection and following inflammation of the middle or inner ear. Other possible disease-causing agents include yeasts such as Malassezia, fungis such as Aspergillus, and ear mites which increase the probability of bacterial infection. Alternate causes include injury to the body, such as from a car accident, the presence of tumors or polyps in the ear, and the presence of foreign things in the ear.
One main diagnostic procedure in cases of inner and middle ear inflammation is myringotomy, a method in which a spine needle is inserted into the air and the ear drum membrane to extract middle ear fluid for microscopal examination. This can help determine any infectious existences, such as bacteria or fungi. Other tests may include an analysis of cerebrospinal fluid in the cranium, where the brain basically floats, urine analysis, blood tests, and computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans.
Treatment for Dog Ear infection
If ear infection is severe and devastating, your dog may be kept in hospital for treatment, and also will have to be examined for possible neurologic symptoms. Stable patients can be treated at home, frequently via medication (e.g., antimicrobials to fight bacterial infection).
Many bacterial infections will fix with early aggressive antibiotic therapy, and will not recur. Nevertheless, if there are frequent ear infections, surgical drainage may be required.
Living and Management
Your animal will have to be examined for resolution of symptoms for around two weeks after treatment.
How To Prevent
Routine ear cleansing might reduce chances of infection. Be cautioned, however, that too frequent and overly vigorous inner ear washes may be damaging to the ear canal. Your veterinarian will determine and advise you on proper care procedure for your dog.