If you’ve ever had an earache (aka otitis), you know how painful they can be. Well the same goes for your dog. Those cute fuzzy little ears you love to scratch could be a source of great discomfort for your dog and emit a foul odour. So, what can you do if otitis becomes a common occurrence, and when despite your loving care and best efforts, they just keep coming back? We understand how frustrating it can be, and we’re here for you. Globalvet wants to help you better understand your pet and their ailments, so here are 5 otitis myths and facts to clear things up!
MYTH: IT’S THE HEAT THAT CAUSES OTITIS EVERY SUMMER.
FACT: Not quite! Although summer may be the time for warmer weather and vacation vibes, the sunny season also has a darker side — bringing heat and humidity, moisture, and pollen — all of which can trigger earaches.
When it’s humid out or your dog takes a dip, their ear canal becomes an excellent environment for bacteria and yeast overgrowth—common culprits behind ear infections. If your dog is prone, we recommend using a drying and cleaning solution to keep those ears clear. Stop into a Globalvet store, we’d be happy to help you find the right product for your pet.
In summer there are also more allergens in the air, like pollen, which can cause a reaction in some dogs. Runny nose, itchy eyes—you know how unpleasant allergies can be. Your canine companion’s symptoms may be a little different, but just as uncomfortable. If your pup has allergies, your vet may recommend ear cleanings with or without an allergy treatment plan.
MYTH: MY DOG GETS OTITIS AND THEY’RE ALWAYS THE SAME. I’LL JUST USE THE OINTMENT I USED LAST TIME.
FACT: It’s true that otitis always looks the same—from the outside. But inside the ear canal, it may be a different story. The level of inflammation and the infectious agent may not be the same every time. That’s why your veterinarian needs to examine your dog to determine the best drops to use for this particular flare-up. Plus, frequent or short-term use of ear ointment can promote the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, making the infection more difficult, more time consuming, and, in some cases, more expensive to treat — all the while postponing your dog’s relief.
MYTH: A DOG THAT GETS RECURRENT OTITIS WILL HAVE THEM FOR LIFE.
FACT: The source of infection causing the otitis (like parasites) can actually be eliminated in some cases. That’s good news, because it means the infection isn’t likely to recur.
Unfortunately, in other cases, otitis is the symptom of a lifelong allergy problem in your dog. It may even be the only observable symptom! But don’t panic—that doesn’t mean otitis is inevitable. The most important thing is to identify the cause of the allergy and take steps to keep your dog’s ears healthy. That’s where we come in. Your Globalvet team of experts can recommend the right tests and come up with an ear-to-ear protection plan.
MYTH: OTITIS MUST BE CONTAGIOUS BECAUSE MY DOG GETS ONE AFTER EVERY GROOMING APPOINTMENT.
FACT: Most otitis isn’t contagious! If your dog gets one after going to the groomer, it may be an adverse reaction from having their ear hair trimmed, from the cleaner being used, or from moisture left in the ear canal after their bath. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure! Check with your vet to see if your dog’s ear hair really needs to be trimmed. They can also recommend a mild, drying ear cleaner you can bring to your dog’s next grooming session.
MYTH: EARACHES IN CHILDREN ARE OFTEN TREATED WITH ORAL ANTIOBIOTICS—THAT WOULD PROBABLY BE MORE EFFECTIVE FOR MY DOG THAN EAR DROPS.
FACT: You might treat them like your fur baby, but a dog is not a child! In kids, otitis usually develops in the middle ear as a result of an infection of the respiratory system. In dogs, it’s usually the lining of the external ear canal that’s affected. Oral antibiotics aren’t very effective at treating an infection through the earwax and secretions found in the ear canal. So for dogs, ear drops are a better option—and in most cases, a necessity.
No matter what, your Globalvet team can offer insight and advice tailored to your and your pet’s needs. Otitis doesn’thave to be a constant hassle for both of you. You can rest easy knowing that your best friend’s health problems are under control. And that should be music to everyone’s ears!