Otitis or inflammation of the ear is acommon condition affecting both dogsand cats.
Signs that an animal may have otitis include shaking of the head or scratching at one or both ears.Occasionally otitis may result in a malodour around the head and ears. The condition is frequently painful and may arise from a number of different causes so prompt diagnosis and treatment are essential.
Your veterinary surgeon will take a full history and perform an otoscopic examination of the ear canals. Sometimes this examination has to be carried out under sedation or general anaesthetic if the animal is too distressed or the ears are very painful.
Often the cause of the condition is easily found. For example ear mites cause the production of copious amounts of brownwax within the ear canal. The mites are about the size of a pin head but can be seen as they try to move away from the light source of the otoscope. If they are not visible but still suspected microscopic examination of a sample of ear wax usually confirms the diagnosis.Regular ear cleaning will keep theproblem under control and prevent infection. Anti parasitic treatment and ear washes will clear up the mites.
Foreign bodies are usually visible to thenaked eye. Grass awns can often traveldown the ear canal causing intense discomfort. These have to be carefully removed under anaesthetic.
Tumours – both benign and malignant can occur within the ear canal. A biopsy of the mass can provide information about whether surgery would be beneficial and also how radical thesurgery needs to be.
Ear infections are also quite common. Itis useful to determine the cause of the infection by microscopic examination of a swab. This helps to decide on the best treatment for the infection and is also agood way of ensuring the infection has cleared up.
If you are worried about your pets ears please contact greay abbey, where can help to sort this annoying and painful condition.