Ear infection in dogs ( Otitis )

Otitis is one of the most common diseases among dogs.It’s prevalence  in cats is less than dogs. Ear infection can affect outer or middle part of ear- otitis externa or media- or can involve internal part- otitis interna.In advanced otitis interna vestibular system which is responsible of body coordination is inflamed and leads to reveal clinical signs of illness of this part of nervous system.


The ear has three parts:

  1. External part -including  pinna and auditory canal which has two parts: vertical and horizontal
  2. Middle part – including three bones which contact to each other
  3. Inner part – including the membranous

Ear has some special glands which secrete a kind of wax.Wax can trap foreign bodies in the ear canal.Because of anatomy and physiology of ear,treatment of ear infection can be difficult especially in advanced stage.Indeed prevalence of relapsing of ear infection is high.

History and clinical  signs  of patient:

Including one or several of these: Scratching the ears, head shaking, whining because of pain, bad smell  and even discharge from the ears. Otitis can affect one or both ears.Otitis media tend to be more persistent and recurrent. Bacteria or yeasts cause ear canal infection.

In breeds with fallen ears the chance of this infection is higher than those with erected ears because lack of evaporation of ear canal makes a vet area for bacterial growth.

It is necessary to say allergic skin disease and foreign body can mimic these  signs that your veterinarian  can diagnose it with examination.

Diagnostic Approach:

Diagnostic procedures include otoscopy and cytology examination of secretion.If this procedure is painful for your dog sedation is necessary.Sampling from the discharge is necessary specially for whom for the first time has this problem to diagnose the involved bacteria to find the best antibiotic.If not, many cases will become recurrent or chronic.


On the basis of the bacterial or east infection treatment is done.In cases with sever inflammation sometimes using local  or systemic steroid is necessary.After one week of starting the treatment evaluation of the result should be done by your veterinarian.In some patients  continuing the treatment or changing the medication is necessary.


Maintenance of clean ear canal is necessary.This procedure is done by using ear cleaning solution.Your veterinarian can explain how and how often use it.It is necessary to pay attention to treat  skin allergy which can provoke ear infection.



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