Whilst any dog can potentially suffer from an ear infection, some pets are unlucky enough to experience ear troubles throughout their life.
Here’s why some pets develop ongoing ear infections and why prompt treatment is best:
Why are some pets prone to ear infections?
Certain dogs can be more likely to develop ear infections repeatedly, due to:
- Underlying allergies
- Having ears that are prone to trapping wax or moisture, such as:
- Narrow ear canals in shar peis
- Hairy ears in poodles and schnauzers
- Floppy ears in spaniels
- Having insufficient treatment for an ear infection, e.g. premature discontinuation of ear medications without a veterinary check to confirm the infection has resolved
- Frequent water activities leading to moist ear canals
What are the potential complications of leaving ear infections untreated?
Unfortunately, when a dog experiences recurrent or ongoing untreated ear issues, it can cause thickening and narrowing of their ear canals. Once the ear canal thickens, effectively cleaning the ears or administering topical medications becomes more difficult.
Dogs who vigorously shake their heads or paw at their ears may also develop an aural haematoma when a blood vessel within the ear flap bursts, causing it to fill with blood. The swollen ear flap is uncomfortable for the pet. It can scar and shrivel without proper veterinary treatment, causing a permanent change in ear shape.
As well as long-term pain, untreated ear infections may also progress to middle ear disease, which can cause nerve damage, resulting in:
- Vestibular disease, where the pet loses its sense of balance (similar to vertigo)
- Facial paralysis on one side of the face
So, if your pet suffers from recurrent ear infections, book an appointment with our ear-experienced veterinary team to get it sorted promptly! Hear hear!