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Ear Infection in Cats and Dogs - What You Need to Know

 

                                 What Every Pet Owner Needs to Know About Ear Infections

Ear infections can cause serious problems for your cats and dogs.  Like all parts of your pet’s body, its ears normally have some yeast and bacteria cells present.  The problem occurs when these organisms increase too dramatically or when disease-causing organisms replace them.
 

  • Outer Ear Infections

Dogs and Cats outer ear infections are fairly common.  This is because the outer ear if most often exposed to bacteria, foreign bodies, ear mites, yeast, and even lake water.  An outer ear infection, however, can eventually cause the eardrum to become porous if left untreated.  This makes it easier for infection to travel from the outer ear to the inner ear.  This can be deceiving because your pet’s eardrum may look fine, but bacteria is actually present in the inner ear.
 

  • Identifying the Culprit

Dogs that swim often generally become infected with a type of bacteria called Pseudomonas.  Dogs who have excessive earwax, on the other hand, are generally struck with a yeast infection called Malassezia.  The Staphylococci bacteria most commonly attack dogs that suffer from hypothyroidism.  Less commonly, dogs may have bacterial ear infections caused by Enterococci, Corynebacteria, Streptococci, E. Col, and Proteus. 

In general, cats with ear infections are caused by yeast, particularly Malassezia.  Typically, cats do not suffer from bacterial ear infections.  When they are struck by bacterial infections, it is generally Bordetella or Mycoplasma and it is found in the middle ear. 
 

  • Risk Factors for Ear Infections

Ear infections in animals are actually quite common.  In fact, one in every five dogs and one in every fifteen cats examined by a veterinarian have some form of ear disease.  These problems range from mild to severe infections.  In humid climates, this number is even greater for dogs. 

Genetic tendencies are one risk factor for developing ear infections.  Animals with certain skin types and glands in the canal are more prone to infection.  In addition, the thickness of the hairs found in the canals has an impact on infections.  Pets with thicker hair tend to get more ear infections because airflow is restricted.  Dogs suffering from allergies are also more prone to develop ear infections. 

Swimming, humidity, and over cleaning of the ear can also lead to ear infections.  Certain diseases, such as hypothyroidism and chronic respiratory infection, also increase a pet’s odds of developing an ear infection.

  • Helping an Ear Infection

Certain products such as Ilium Ear Drops can be used to help clear up an ear infection.  It is best to not squirt the solution into your pet’s ears because this can be quite uncomfortable.  Instead, soak a cotton ball in the cleaner, then place the cotton ball in the ear and gently massage.  Be sure to take your time and work the solution in well to help your pet get back in tip-top shape.