Ear inflammation - when things go wrong
Ear inflammation is a commonly seen condition, vets call it 'otitis externa'. Sometimes there is ear inflammation alone or sometimes there will be microbial overgrowth (or infection). Otitis externa can be categorised by causes and factors. Let us tell you more about the 3Ps of otitis externa.
Certain factors predispose your dog to otitis, so they make otitis more likely to happen. These factors do not cause inflammation by themselves but they can make it more likely to occur.
A Spaniel, like Pogo, is an example of a dog with floppy ears, a factor that might be predisposing to ear disease
These are the factors which make a dog’s ear problem harder to manage. Frequent recurring ear inflammation or a chronic, long-standing case, make subsequent flare-ups harder to treat.
If the inflammation is ongoing the ear canal can develop chronic changes. These can include permanent swelling and hardening of the ear cartilage or a ruptured ear drum with inflammation or infection spreading to involve both the middle and sometimes inner ear.
This can lead to hard-to treat infections, hearing loss or possible deafness, head-tilting to one side and balance problems as well as pain for your dog and heartache for you as an owner.
A chronic case of otitis often needs deep ear flushing under a general anaesthetic or even extensive surgery.
Image (CWalker, ThePhotoVet)
Work with your vet to get to the bottom of your dog’s ear problem at an early stage to avoid chronic changes and don´t skip your revisits!