Posted By: Harry

Ear we go again

Head shaking and itchy ears are an extremely common presentation that we see here at Shepton and Wells Vets. While there are other causes of these signs, the most common is probably ears infections (or in fancy terms otitis externa). They can be intensely irritating for our pets. There are multiple nasties, which can infect the ears. Different bacteria, yeasts and parasites all can cause infections of varying different severities, some of which can be extremely nasty. Differentiating between the possible options is very useful in assisting the effectiveness of treatment. Taking a swab of the ear will tell us what causes the infection, and the lab can tell us what is best to treat it with. But some animals get ear infections on multiple occasions, why is this? There are many reasons which cause recurrent ear infections. The most common by far is allergic skin disease. Almost half of ear infections are because of allergic skin disease. Sometimes this is obvious, a dog licking its feet, pawing at its face, chewing it groin and armpits. But others may only have mild signs and it is exacerbated in the skin-lined, moist, warm ear canal. Dogs can be allergic to many different things but generally contents of food, mites or pollens. This can be something we investigate and treat as a way of preventing recurrent ear infections. Other primary factors that increase the risk of ear infections include lumps, foreign substances (e.g. grass seeds), breed conformations and many others.

Therefore, recurrent ear infections are not uncommon and can be extremely frustrating. Here at Shepton and Wells Vets we aim to tailor the treatment to your pet and help to provide a long-term management plan to reduce the recurrence of these ear infections.

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