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Posted on 08-21-2012
Is your dog pawing at one ear and/or shaking his head constantly? Does the ear seem to be oozing a yellowish or black substance? These are all dog symptoms of an ear infection. If you have ever suffered from the human equivalent, then you know how irritating and painful an infection can feel. The complications of an untreated ear infection can be quite serious and may even include permanent deafness. A canine ear infection can stem from the presence of ear mites, fungi, bacteria, dirt, or even a tick embedded in the ear canal. A veterinarian will determine the cause by looking inside the ear canal with an otoscope and taking a sample of the foreign matter to prescribe a treatment.
Ear infections can sometimes constitute a veterinary emergency, not only because of the suffering they cause your dog but because they can get progressively worse without prompt treatment. As the severity level escalates, so does the treatment method. A veterinary clinic can often resolve the simplest cases with medicated drops that you can administer at home. The presence of debris, a foreign body such as a tick, or an internal obstruction such as a tumor may require extensive cleansing of the ear canal. A severely swollen or hardened ear canal may have to be partially or even totally removed via surgery, and while this gets rid of the ear infection, it may also leave your dog permanently deaf in the affected ear.
If you suspect that your dog has an ear infection, bring him to Emergency Animal Hospital of Northwest Austin so a veterinarian on our team can evaluate him. We have the experience to deal with all manner of dog symptoms and complications, including treatment for ear infections up to and including surgery. Hopefully we can catch the emergency early enough to simply cleanse the ear canal and prescribe medication to kill the infection. But whatever your pet's ear may need, we can help!
Has your dog recently had an ear infection? What were the symptoms that you noticed?
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