Infection of the external ear canal (outer ear) is
common.

It is called otitis externa.

Some breeds, particularly those with large or hairy ears like Cocker Spaniels, are more prone to ear infections,
but they may occur in any pet.

SIGNS

Ear infections are sore. Most dogs will shake their head and scratch their ears trying to get the debris and fluid
out. The ears often become red and inflamed and develop a bad smell. A black or yellowish discharge is often
seen.

CAUSES

Ear mites are infectious parasites primarily found in young cats. They are spread from direct contact from cat to
cat.

Ear infections are most typical in dogs. Most ear infections are caused by an underlying allergy, such as to food
or environment.

Some are caused by water in the ear after bathing or swimming. Dogs with large floppy ears, such as Basset
hounds, are prone to infections as their ear canals have poor air circulation, trapping moisture and allowing
bacteria and yeast to grow.

SOLUTIONS

CLEAN THEM. White vinegar is very effective at removing debris from the ears and killing the yeast and bacteria
responsible for ear infections. Grab the ear where it attaches to the head (at the ear base), gently squeeze your
thumb and forefinger together, rubbing the solution deep into the ear canals. Wipe the inside of the ear well with
cotton balls to remove debris coming from the ear canal.

SOOTHING SOLUTION: If the ears are painful, and have exposed open skin, I advise something less irritating,
such as Olive oil and Garlic

CATS WITH MITES. The easiest treatment is to visit your veterinarian and get a topical medication called
Revolution. If you want to try a home version, a garlic olive oil combination may work.

FATTY ACIDS. These are a must for any allergy that triggers recurring ear infections. Flax for dogs and fish oil
for cats .

ALLERGY DIET. For dogs that get recurring ear infections it is important to try a less allergenic diet. It should
include a completely different protein with minimal added ingredients. One example commercial diet is made of
fish and sweet potato.


ADMINISTERING MEDICATION

It is important to get the medication into the horizontal part of the ear canal. Unlike our ear canal, the dog's
external ear canal is "L" shaped. The vertical canal connects with the outside of the ear and is the upper part of
the "L". The horizontal canal lies deeper in the canal and terminates at the eardrum. Our goal is to administer the
medication into the lower part of the "L" - the horizontal ear canal.

The ear canal may be medicated by following these steps:

1. Pull the earflap straight up and hold it with one hand.

2. Place a small amount of medication into the vertical part of the ear canal while continuing to keep the earflap
elevated.

3. Put one finger in front of and at the base of the earflap, and put your thumb behind and at the base.

4.Massage the ear canal between your finger and thumb. A squishing sound tells you that the medication has
gone into the ear canal.

5. Clean the outer part of the ear canal and the inside of the earflap with a cotton ball soaked in some of the
medication.

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