This week we highlight questions asked by our PetMeds Facebook fans and answered by Dr. Dym.
|Both my labs get ear mites/infections on a regular basis. I clean them regularly with ear cleanser then drying lotion. Is there anything more I can do or maybe something stronger I can use to completely get rid of it?
One of the most common frustrating dermatological problems in our pets is the recurrence of yeast and bacterial ear infections particularly in dogs. This can often lead to repetitive veterinary visits and expense, as well as increasing discomfort and pain in affected patients.
Symptoms of ear infections in pets can include:
- Excessive head shaking
- Ear itching
- Progressive odor/discharge
- Redness/inflammation of the ear canals
While treatment with ear cleaners and topical prescription antibiotics such as Mometomax or Otomax are often prescribed, the condition often recurs when medication is stopped or a short time later. In these cases it is important to work with your veterinarian on identifying underlying causes of recurrent ear inflammation such as inhalant/contact allergies, food allergies, foreign body or hair in the ears, and hormonal disorders like hypothyroidism.
Unless these underlying factors are addressed or explored, the problem will tend to recur. In dogs with chronic and relapsing ear inflammation, I will often recommend to animal guardians to regularly use a broad spectrum ear cleaner such as Epi-Otic Ear Cleanser or Zinc Otic by Maxiderm. Products like Zymox Otic with Hydrocortisone can also work wonders on dogs with chronic and recurrent ear inflammation, especially while exploring some of the underlying causes mentioned here.