Canine Otitis Interna

Canine Otitis Interna is a common condition that causes inflammation and irritation of the inner ear. It’s usually caused by bacteria, fungi, mites, or parasites. Symptoms can include head shaking, scratching at the ears, and a discharge from the ears. In severe cases, otitis interna can lead to deafness or balance problems. Treatment typically includes antibiotics or anti -inflammatory medications, and in some cases surgery will be necessary.

The best way to prevent otitis interna is through regular ear cleanings. This involves using a moistened cotton ball inside the ear canal to remove debris and wax. It’s important to ensure that the cleaning solution used is specifically formulated for dogs, as human products can damage the ears or cause further irritation. A veterinarian can also give advice on preventing this condition.

It’s important to get medical attention for a dog that has symptoms of otitis interna, because the condition can worsen without proper treatment. Early diagnosis and proper treatment can help prevent serious complications.

Symptoms of Canine Otitis Interna

Symptoms of Otitis Interna include:

  • Head shaking
  • Pawing at the affected ear
  • Loss of balance
  • Excessive scratching of the ear
  • Pain or discomfort

In more severe cases, a discharge from the ear could be present as well as redness and swelling in and around the affected area. Dogs can have a decreased appetite due to discomfort and/or hearing loss.

Diagnosing Canine Otitis Interna

Diagnosing otitis interna can be completed through physical examination and imaging. An otoscopic exam could reveal redness, swelling, or discharge in the ear canal. Radiographs (X-rays) can be used to detect fluid buildup in the middle ear and confirm infection. Tests such as cytology or culture can further identify the underlying cause of their infection.

Stages of Canine Otitis Interna

Otitis interna can progress through several stages, depending on the severity of their infection. These stages can include:

Stage 1

Mild irritation and inflammation in the ear canal, with occasional head shaking or pawing at the affected area. Discharge might not be present yet.

Stage 2

Moderate irritation and inflammation, with more frequent head shaking. A discharge is usually present at this stage.

Stage 3

Severe swelling and inflammation in the ear canal, with constant head shaking and pain or discomfort. Discharge is usually present at this stage.

Treating Canine Otitis Interna

Treatment typically involves antibiotics and anti-inflammatory medications. Ear drops or ointments could also be prescribed to help reduce inflammation and pain. Cleaning the ear can help remove debris that can be contributing to the problem, while topical sprays can promote healing of any damaged tissue. Surgery might be necessary in certain cases where the infection has caused damage to the middle ear.

Preventing Canine Otitis Interna

Preventing otitis interna starts with good hygiene. Regularly cleaning and drying the ears after swimming or bathing can help reduce the risk of infection. Vaccinations could also help protect dogs from any illnesses that could lead to ear infections. Avoiding environmental irritants such as dust, pollen, and smoke can help reduce the chances of developing otitis interna.