Cat Breeds With Big Ears – Good MorningMy name is Dr.
Lesley Hack with Boca Veterinary ClinicToday we are discussing ear infections in dogs.
This is an extremely common problem and is often very poorly understood.
In order to treat it successfully, we need the owner (the doggy parent) to understandthis condition better.
This schematic illustrates, quite nicely thedifference in the healthy ear canal and an infected ear canal.
Firstly, the first question i get asked is which breeds arepredisposed to ear infections.
The answer is, very wide ranging.
Any dog with a wide set head and a very narrow ear canal is predisposed because the ear canalis narrow.
Secondly, any dog which has a floppy ear whichcovers this internal ear canal is also predisposed to ear infections because it traps liquidsand inflammation inside that ear.
So if we look at the dog that presents withone healthy ear and one inflamed ear canal.
The healthy ear canal is going to look morelike this.
This portion from here to here is the verticalear canal.
Down here is the horizontal ear canal.
Together these constitute the external ear canal and this is where the majority of problemsin dog’s occur.
In this healthy external ear canal; the earcanal itself is not inflamed, it is wide open, it is not red, it is not swollen and if youhad to clean this ear canal with a good ear cleaner the ear cleaner would easily be ableto flush out this entire external ear canal.
Both the vertical and the horizontal portions.
In the inflamed ear and infect ear we notice a few things.
It is very red because it is infected and inflamed and the tissue is irritated.
The sides of the canal are very swollen so the opening itself is extremely narrow.
The problem with treating this ear is that it is very difficult for medication to getinto this lower portion, this horizontal portion of the external ear canal.
And it is very difficult for the infection to drain out of the ear canal.
Simply because of basic physics.
The opening is too narrow and there is toomuch pressure on the sides.
So the goals of treatment are two fold.
One is we need to culture the infection.
We need to grow the bad guy, this bacteriaor fungal infection needs to be very appropriately treatedwith the correct medication.
So we need to know what the bad guys nameis to we can treat it appropriately.
Number two, we need to decrease the swelling.
If we do not decrease this swelling then treatment will not be successful in the long term.
Because the anti-biotics or the medication that we are using will not be able to penetratecorrectly, deeply, and in sufficient quantities to this horizontal ear canal.
The inflammation and infection, this purulent material will not be able to drain out ofthis ear canal.
So we have to treat the infection and theinflammation.
Now, what are some underlying causes of thisinflammation? The most common one is probably allergies,because this tissue is basically skin tissue.
The ear itself is part of the skin which hasfolded into the body and the way allergies effect the outside of the skin they also effectthis ear canal.
And they make this very very swollen.
When this becomes swollen it is easy for infections to become trapped inside.
That is probably the single most common cause, there are others as well.
To summarize, we need to get rid of the predisposing causes if we can.
Such as allergies and treat appropriately.
Number two we need to decrease the swellingso that our medication can get in and our infection can get out.
Number three, we need to treat the infection itself appropriately for that kind of infection.
If you think that this situation is occurring in your dog then the best thing for you todo is to go see a veterinarian who knows your pet the best.
Because good care depends on three things.
It depends on the owner.
A good owner whois committed and observant and will diligently follow through with the recommendations isprobably the single most important thing the dog needs.
The second is a veterinarian with whom you have a good relationship and who understandsyour pet.
Number three, obviously the patient.