Common ear problems in pets in Onalaska, WI

Ear problems in pets in Onalaska, WI are one of the most common appointments our veterinary practice deals with. 

Your cat or dog might not be responding when you call them. They may be shaking their head constantly or scratching. 

There are many conditions that can affect their ears and most are easily remedied when caught in time.

Causes of Ear Problems in Onalaska, WI

Causes of ear problems are varied, and most can be cleared up and treatments or treatment plans can be prescribed. 

The following list are the most common issues found with the ears in your pet.

  • Bacterial and yeast infections: 
  • Ear mites
  • Ear wax or dirt build-up
  • Allergies
  • Ticks
  • Foreign bodies
  • Polyps or other masses

There are tell-tale signs that your pet is experiencing a problem with their ears, some of the most notable being discharge from the ears or a bad smell. They will generally scratch or shake their heads, and you may see redness, swelling, or notice them cringing when you pet their head because of pain.

Breeds with dropped or floppy ears can have smelly ears. The dog’s ears don’t get enough air flow and wax buildup can produce a stale or moldy smell. Dogs can also get “swimmer’s ear”. Water is trapped in the canal and can cause infections. Much like children, you can usually tell this is an issue when your dog is shaking it’s head constantly after swimming or being bathed. 

Reasons to bring your pet in for an exam due to ear problems

The ears of your pet have an odd-shaped canal. It’s difficult to see what may be lodged inside, there may be a build-up of wax that you can’t see, or they may have a tick or ear mites.

If the symptoms don’t go away, your animal may risk serious infections. Scratching alone can lead to lesions in and around the ears that might require antibiotics or topical treatments.

Ear problems can also be a sign of other conditions. Polyps can indicate cancer in your pet and bacterial and yeast infections can be indicators of other issues. If your pet is suffering from allergies, a change of diet or prescription medications may clear up the issue.

Unlike us, there aren’t earplugs that your dog can use when swimming. Size and breed, as well as the amount of hair or fur that grows in their ears, is different from animal to animal.

Regular cleaning is always the first step and making sure that you are doing it properly is key. Use clean cotton or gauze and, again, just like with humans, don’t insert a q-tip in their ear canal. If you have any concerns or haven’t done a weekly cleaning with your pet, we will gladly walk you through the process to make sure that you aren’t doing damage. 

It's quite important to speak with a vet if you notice any combination of symptoms with your pet or if the symptoms seem to be lingering.