Answering Your Ear Infection FAQs


There are several common injuries and illnesses we see at our practices on a regular basis. One of the most common is ear infections!   
Ear infections in dogs and cats can involve the Pinnae or external part of the ear (Otitis Externa), the middle ear and ear canal (Otitis Media) and/or the Inner Ear and Ear drum (Otitis Interna).

Here are a few of the most frequently asked questions we receive at our veterinary hospitals regarding ear infections.

Ear Infection FAQs:

What Causes Ear Infections?
There are many causes of ear infections.  They include, but are not limited to, Flea allergies, food allergies, inhaled allergies (Atopy), foreign bodies, tumors, and anatomy (think Bassett hounds with long floppy ears).

How Are Ear Infections Diagnosed?
Dogs and cats with ear infections typically exhibit pain and scratching or rubbing of the affected ear.  There is often debris in the ear and an odor may be present.  At the office, a complete history and physical exam are often enough to diagnose an ear infection.  We may also perform an ear smear to look for the presence of bacteria and yeast.  If your dog or cat has repeated ear infections, your veterinarian may perform a Culture and Sensitivity to the ear to identify the bacteria and/or yeast causing the infection.

How Are Ear Infections Treated?
Initially, treatment will certain involve antibiotics and anti-inflammatories.  These may be topical or systemic.  There are some wonderful therapies available.  Convenia is an antibiotic for skin/ear infections that lasts for two weeks with a single injection.  Osurnia is an ear gel, applied in the office that lasts for a full week and does not require the administration of any other medications.  

For dogs and cats with recurrent ear infections, we may suggest a hypoallergenic diet, allergy testing and hypo-sensitization, and flea control.

If you suspect your dog or cat has an ear infection, please contact one of our offices below:

The Cat Hospital

5th Avenue Cat Clinic

Paws and Claws Veterinary Hospital

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