Can you hear me?
Most of the time, our pet’s almost supernatural hearing can shock and impress us. They can hear sounds at a much higher frequency than us mere humans and rely on this ability for different needs. Therefore, it is important as pet parents that we familiarise ourselves with their ears so that we can notice any changes as well as prevent any infections that may develop. A weekly check whilst patting them or snuggling in for a cuddle on the couch, is the best way to keep track of their ear health and if there are any important changes to watch.
The changes you could notice in your pet’s ears
- Sensitivity or pain when touching their ear
- Red colour or thicker skin on the inside of the ear
- Yellow, brown, green or black discharge
- Head scratching or shaking
The causes of the above symptoms can be from allergies or infection. If you notice that your pet is more susceptible to developing ear infections, it could be because of the following:
- Allergies: Some of the common allergies that can cause ear infections include the environment and food.
- Moisture: This can be from baths or swimming.
- Type of ear: Considering the size and shape of their ear is important. Some dog breeds are more prone to ear infections due to oversized or floppy ears. This creates the perfect environment to trap moisture and heat which encourages the overgrowth of yeast or bacteria.
- Environment: The temperature, humidity and surroundings all play a part.
- Lifestyle: Especially if your pet enjoys a swim.
- Underlying health problem: Recurrent ear infections can come from a health issue that has not been identified or treated.
What to do if you notice any changes in your pet's ear
Noticing any changes in your pet’s ear calls for a visit to your Vet. Prepared with their otoscope, they will be able to look further into an ear infection. Any infections that are found calls for a swab of the area so that a cytology can be conducted. This will help to determine any problems as well as which treatment will be best. These steps are vital to be taken by your veterinarian as chronic ear infections can cause the ear canal to narrow. Infections will become frequent and a decrease in the response to treatment will develop.
Treatments that could be prescribed include antibiotics or anti-inflammatory tablets, an ear flush, ear drops, dietary changes or an injection. Following the directions from the Vet is very important as well as having a re-check booked in. If your pet does not have any ear problems, it might also be best to talk to your vet clinic team about the best ways to clean your pet’s ears so that any wax or dirt can be removed. Remember, never use cotton buds in your pet’s ears!
Keeping your pet’s ears in perfect condition is vital for their overall health and wellbeing. Who doesn’t love how quickly their heads prick up when they hear you open any sort of food packet? Let’s keep it that way!