Conditions with the ears are very common in both cats and dogs.
Part of your pet’s Wellness Exam includes an assessment of his or her ears. Problems with the ears can be extremely uncomfortable and even painful. Conditions of the ear occur frequently in both dogs and cats, and can result from a variety of causes. Determining these causes is vital to the long term resolution of the symptoms. If you feel that your pet could be suffering from an ear problem, we recommend that you schedule an examination with your veterinarian
Signs your pet could be suffering from an ear condition can include:
- Head shaking
- Scratching and pawing at the ears
- Abnormal odors emanating from the ears
A detailed history and performing a full examination of the patient are critical. Careful examination of the ear with an otoscope helps the veterinarian to visualize the full length of the ear canal and the ear drum, providing information important to the diagnosis. Pain is common in ear disease and some patients will require sedation or anesthesia to be properly evaluated. Additional diagnostic tests are often warranted. Some of these additional steps may involve gathering samples and cultures to check for potential problems and parasites like ear mites.
In uncomplicated ear disease, treatment may be straight-forward when the proper information is gathered. However, most recurrent cases of ear disease involve multiple causes like allergy, infection, foreign bodies, tumors or ear mites. Treating only one cause will limit the response to therapy. This means that a possible combination of medications and procedures may be recommended. Rechecking the ear after each stage of the treatment is critical to providing a long term resolution to the problem.