Sunday, December 21, 2014

Which At Home Product Works Best on Your Dog's Ears?

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;

"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 Ear Hematomas (what happens  if your pet keeps shaking their heads).

If you have a pet question you can ask it for free at Pawbly is a place dedicated to helping pet people by providing lots of information to help build and strengthen the bond between you and your pet. All answers are provided by people who care, and it is a community built on support and knowledge, all centered on pet care. Please join us today!

If you want to talk to me directly you can meet me on Twitter @FreePetAdvice, or in the vet clinic, Jarrettsville Vet, in Jarrettsville Maryland.

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