Summer is here! And when you have a furry friend, that means long walks, trips to the beach, and soaking up the surf and sun. If your pup loves swimming this time of year, remember that proper care and grooming are necessary for keeping them healthy all summer long. Today, our Pine Valley Team is diving into a topic that’s as common as it is preventable— ear infections in dogs. Let’s take a closer look at what causes these pesky infections, how to spot them, how we treat them, and the best ways to prevent them. Ready to become an ear infection expert? Let’s go!

Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs

Ear infections in dogs can occur any time of year (especially in the summer months) for a variety of reasons:

Moisture: Pups who love to swim or have their ears cleaned too often can retain moisture in their ear canals— a perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to thrive.
Allergies: Just like humans, dogs can have allergic reactions to food, pollen, or dust mites, which leads to inflammation in the ears.
Ear Mites: These tiny critters can cause major irritation and infection.
Foreign Objects: Sometimes grass seeds, dirt, or other foreign objects can get stuck in your dog’s ear and cause an infection.
Underlying Conditions: Hypothyroidism or autoimmune diseases can also make your dog more susceptible to ear infections.

Symptoms of Ear Infections

If you think your pup may be getting an ear infection, look out for these telltale signs:

Frequent Scratching: If your dog is constantly scratching their ear or shaking their head, it might be more than just a regular itch.
Redness and Swelling: Check for redness, swelling, or discharge in the ear.
Odor: A strong, unpleasant smell coming from your dog’s ear can be a sign of infection.
Discharge: You might notice a yellow, brown, or bloody discharge.
Pain: Your dog may show signs of discomfort or pain when you touch their ears.

How We Treat Ear Infections

At Pine Valley Animal Hospital, we offer a variety of treatments to help your pup feel better fast:

Ear Cleaning: Our team will gently clean your dog’s ears to remove debris and discharge.
Medications: Depending on the cause of the infection, we might prescribe antibiotics, antifungal medications, or anti-inflammatory drugs.
Follow-Up Care: We’ll schedule a follow-up appointment to make sure your dog’s ears are healing properly.

Preventative Care

Preventing ear infections is all about regular care and a few simple steps:

Regular Ear Checks: Make it a habit to check your dog’s ears weekly. Look for redness, swelling, or unusual discharge.
Keep Ears Dry: After baths or swimming, make sure to dry your dog’s ears thoroughly.
Proper Grooming: Keep the hair around your dog’s ears trimmed to allow for better air circulation.
Healthy Diet: Feed your pup a balanced diet to support their overall health, which includes their ears.
Allergy Management: If your dog has known allergies, work with our team to manage them effectively.

Let’s Keep Those Ears Perky and Healthy!

At Pine Valley Animal Hospital, we’re here to help your furry friends stay happy, healthy, and ear infection-free. If you notice any of these signs, don’t hesitate to bring them in for a check-up. Your pet’s health is our top priority, and with a little care and attention, we can keep those tails wagging and ears flapping!