The importance of the revisit –
Do I really need to come back?

After a diagnosis is reached and a treatment plan agreed, a member of your vet team will likely organise a follow up appointment with you, the first one usually after around a week. 

A follow up appointment is important and covers a number of steps:

Hopefully the answer is really well, but if not, this can be detected and discussed early. You could even take the ear diary with you to share with your vet team. 

Your vet will probably want to re-examine your dog, the ear itself and to repeat cytology. This provides information on whether the inflammation/infection is resolving as expected. If not, the plan can be changed. 

Your vet will also want to check that  the medication is working for you. If you are giving medication at home, your vet can check how you are finding this. This gives you an opportunity to feedback and express any concerns or challenges. Be honest with your vet team – is there a need for a change in treatment strategy?

It’s likely that you have thought of more questions surrounding your dog’s ear condition. This appointment provides an extra opportunity to find the answers. No question is too small, and your vet team will have heard everything before!

The long-term planning – Where do we go from here?

In most of otitis cases, there will be a primary factor which led to the current ear problem. It might be a quick fix like a grass seed in the ear canal or parasites living in the ear, but in a majority of cases, allergic skin disease is the problem. This primary problem might be further complicated by ear shape or perhaps a habit of frequent swimming. 

Early intervention is beneficial. If you quickly get to terms with the actual cause of your dog's ear condition, you and your vet team will find a long-lasting solution that works for all parties. This might include regular use of an ear cleaner, or an anti-inflammatory ear drop.

A good plan means less pain and discomfort for your dog.   You can feel empowered that you understand what to do to help prevent recurrence and when to seek further advice and assistance from your vet team

So, before you leave the practice, make sure the follow up is in your diary and tell your vet team you will see them then!