Ask Dr. Anna: Hear all about the most common ear condition

Otitis externa which is inflammation of the inner ear canal is a very common problem of dogs.  The most common primary cause is environmental allergies.  Unlike people who develop watery eyes and sneeze, dogs tend to itch.  Their ears itch turn red and are usually painful.  A discharge usually develops, malodorous and either brownish or yellowish.  Additionally, surface bacteria and yeast take advantage of the inflamed skin and cause a secondary infection.

Many veterinarians refer to otitis externa as an ear infection which unfortunately implies that if we can find the medication the “bugs” are sensitive to, we can cure the problem.  Since the infection is a secondary complication, this is not the case.  Unless we can eliminate the source of the allergies, or find another reason for the problem, there is no final solution for many of our dogs.

Read more: Hear All About The Most Common Ear Condition


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