“Do you hear what I hear?” If you hear the sound of jingle bells, you’re just as excited as I that the winter holidays have arrived! Snowflakes kiss our cheeks, gingerbread warms our bellies, and although we’d much prefer the scent of peppermint dancing around our nose, some of us catch a whiff of our pet’s smelly ears instead. Outer ear infections (termed otitis externa) are relatively common in many dogs and cats, particularly among certain dog breeds such as cocker and springer spaniels, German shepherds, Shar Peis, Chows, and English bulldogs. Pets may scratch their ears, shake their heads, or yelp in pain if they have an ear infection, or you may notice malodor or discharge from your pet’s ear canal. Recurrent ear infections can also be a sign of other health problems, such as an ear mite infestation (especially in kitties), inflammatory polyps in felines, food allergies, skin atopy, canine hypothyroidism, or aural tumors inside the ear canal. If your dog or cat battles frequent ear infections, consult with your veterinarian. If left untreated, outer ear infections can extend further inside the ear canal, causing middle and inner ear infections (otitis media-interna), which are more painful and more difficult to treat and can cause a head tilt, dizziness, nausea, and sometimes a ruptured ear drum. Surgery is sometimes required to manage these severe cases.
Ear infections may arise from either bacteria, yeast, or a combination of these organisms. Antibacterial or antifungal therapy prescribed by your veterinarian is imperative to treat the infection, as is managing any underlying conditions which may trigger an ear infection. To prevent re-infection, at-home care of the ear canals is important. Ladies, I hate to spoil your cheerful holiday moods, but I’ve got to drop the “M” word. You know the one we all hate: M-O-I-S-T. (Yes, even veterinarians cringe at the word.) Excess moisture and the buildup of wax inside the ear canal can perpetuate ear infections by providing a warm, moist (ew!) environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. Water logging in the ear after a bath or swimming can lead to an ear infection if the ear canal does not properly dry.
After you have used the otic antimicrobial medication prescribed by your vet and have been informed that you can safely use ear cleansers at home, reach for Pro·Sense® Ear Solutions Cleanser
. This liquid cleanser, great for both dogs and cats, contains a mild enzymatic formula to reduce waxy buildup and debris. Pro·Sense® Plus Ear Cleansing Solutions Wipes for dogs
is another perfect choice, allowing you to gently wipe dirt and wax from your dog’s outer ear while mitigating irritation with calming aloe vera.
Whether your pet has been naughty or nice this holiday season, add these ear cleansers by Pro·Sense® to your pets’ Christmas stockings to keep their ears healthier in the approaching new year. The Meowing Vet and Pro·Sense® wish you and your pets Happy Holidays!
- Maranda Elswick, DVM – The Meowing Vet (www.themeowingvet.com
Dr. Elswick was compensated by Pro·Sense® brand for writing this blog post.