Pet ear infections
Understanding common symptoms can help you spot ear infections in your dog or cat
Inflammation of the ears occurs in cats and dogs when the ear canal glands in the lining of the ear enlarge and produce a lot of wax.1 This usually occurs due to allergies, infection, or an accumulation of hair or dead skin in the ear canal.1
A chronic inflammation of the external ear canal is called otitis externa. This causes itchiness, redness, and pain. When it’s chronic, or untreated, it can lead to otitis media.1
Symptoms of otitis externa
Some symptoms of otitis externa include1:
- Shaking of the head
- Bad odor
Otitis media is inflammation of the middle ear and is usually the next step after untreated or chronic otitis externa.1 Fluid buildup from inflammation can cause a rupture in the membrane between the external ear and middle ear (the eardrum).1,2
Dogs and cats of all ages and breeds can be affected by otitis externa. However, dog breeds with longer ears, hairier external ear canals, or smaller ear canals tend to be more susceptible.1 Breeds most prone to otitis externa include1,2:
- Basset hounds
- Cocker spaniels
- German shepherds
- Shar Pei
Young pets can also get otitis externa, most often caused by ear mites.2
Most cases of otitis externa and otitis media can be treated with antibacterial, corticosteroid, anti-yeast, or antiseptic drops.1 If your veterinarian finds an infectious organism in your pet’s ear, he may prescribe an oral antibiotic or antifungal. A corticosteroid may also be used to reduce inflammation and pain.1
Some products for canine otitis externa combine an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and an antifungal to help ensure your pet’s otitis externa does not progress to the middle ear. For first-time infections or infrequent ear infections, ask your veterinarian about Otomax® (GENTAMICIN SULFATE, BETAMETHASONE VALERATE, AND CLOTRIMAZOLE, OINTMENT) or Mometamax® (GENTAMICIN SULFATE, MOMETASONE FUROATE MONOHYDRATE, AND CLOTRIMAZOLE, OTIC SUSPENSION). If your dog has frequent infections or a severe ear infection, he or she may prescribe Posatex® (orbifloxacin, mometasone furoate monohydrate, and posaconazole, suspension).
- Inflammation of the middle ear and external ear canal in dogs. PetMD. http://www.petmd.com/dog/conditions/ears/c_multi_otitis_externa_and_otitis_media
- Otitis externa. American College of Veterinary Surgeons. https://www.acvs.org/small-animal/otitis-externa
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use in dogs with known perforation of eardrums. The use of OTOMAX® ointment has been associated with deafness or partial hearing
loss in a small number of sensitive dogs (e.g., geriatric), though this is usually temporary. If hypersensitivity occurs, treatment should be discontinued. Concomitant use of drugs known to
induce ototoxicity should be avoided. Administration of recommended doses beyond 7 days may result in delayed wound healing. Avoid ingestion. Keep out of the reach of children. For
complete safety information, refer to the product label.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: Do not use MOMETAMAX Otic Suspension in pregnant dogs. The use of these components has been associated with deafness or partial hearing
loss in a small number of sensitive dogs (e.g., geriatric), although it is usually temporary. If hearing or vestibular dysfunction is noted, discontinue use immediately and flush the ear canal
thoroughly with a non-ototoxic solution. If hypersensitivity to any of the components occurs, treatment should be discontinued and appropriate therapy instituted. Concomitant use of
drugs known to induce ototoxicity should be avoided. Do not use in dogs with known tympanic perforation. Administration of recommended doses beyond 7 days may result in delayed
wound healing. Avoid ingestion. Keep out of the reach of children. For complete safety information, refer to the product label.
IMPORTANT SAFETY INFORMATION: POSATEX® Otic Suspension is contraindicated in dogs with known or suspected hypersensitivity to quinolones, mometasone furoate
monohydrate, or posaconazole. Do not administer orally. Immediately discontinue use if hearing loss is observed during treatment. Do not use in dogs with known tympanic perforation.
Avoid prolonged or repeated use of POSATEX® Otic Suspension. Long-term use of topical otic corticosteroids has been associated with adrenocortical suppression and iatrogenic
hyperadrenocorticism in dogs. The safe use in dogs used for breeding purposes, during pregnancy, or in lactating bitches has not been evaluated. Not for use in humans. Keep out of
reach of children. For complete safety information, refer to the product label.
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