I get tons of pet care questions about ears. Both in and out of the clinic.. Ears are one of the most common client complaints that bring pets in to see me.
I understand most people think that a smelly, itchy (as indicated by head shaking or rubbing the ears), redness,or pain are all the same thing; an ear infection. But the diagnosis is not so simple. Without a diagnosis it is almost impossible for any of us to give you a treatment.
Here is one of the most common questions that I get:
Question from Chris on Pawbly.com;
"What do you think of Zymox enzymatic solution for treating dog ear infections? (My English bulldog has a red, wet ear with yellow discharge.) What about the different hydrocortisone concentrations - 0.5% vs. 1%?"
Here is my answer;
"Here is the constant dilemma with ears; you have to treat an infection that you are diagnosing. That is the reason we look in the ear and take a sample of the debris to look at it under the microscope, if there is any.
Here is where clients misdiagnose and misuse ear medications.
In many many bulldog cases the ears are inflamed due to an underlying allergy and need both an otic and a systemic steroid or antihistamine, or a combination of both.
These guys need to see their vet when the ears flare up. Often the ears are the first sign of an impending or underlying problem. I love bulldogs to pieces but most need frequent life long management for their skin issues. It is best to start that relationship now. Don't treat on your own. If you guess wrong you will probably make it much harder to treat the next time. In my experience there is always a next time.
Here is my blog on dogs and ears. It has a lot of important information. Ears, everyone has them, no one treats them right.
|My pups, Jekyll on the left, and Charlie, on the right.|
Can you guess which one has ear issues?
(Yep, the long big-eared beagle on the left).
More on Bulldogs here.
More on Ear Hematomas (what happens if your pet keeps shaking their heads).
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