What is otitis in dogs?
Otitis is an inflammation of the ear of dogs. There are two types:
- Theotitis externa, the eardrum to the outside, affects the ear canal and external.
- Otitis media, or internal, if the inflammation is inside of the eardrum, depending on the structures affected.
- Otitis externa is the most common, however, this can progress to otitis of the middle or inner ear if the infection enters through the membrane of the eardrum.
- If the bull tympanic or organ vestibular, two parts of the inner ear are affected, there is a risk of occurrence of symptoms of the nervous system, since thevestibular system controls the balance.
- In addition, an infection may pass to the meninges, that permeate the central nervous system, inflaming them and causingmeningitis.
· Symptoms of otitis in dogs
- We usually observe a discomfort strong because the dog shakes its head or scratches its ears.In addition, in otitis externa, there is a redness visible, a bad smell, and an abundant secretion and/or abnormal ears or at the entrance of the ear.
- In otitis media, or inner, in which the outer ear is not affected, we will not see anything abnormal, just afever, and apathy serious that may appear, your dog can walk around you in circles and tilt your head (vestibular syndrome), or you can detect the lateral movement of the eyes (nystagmus), etc. In many cases there is no cure and preventive treatments should be performed for the whole life.
- When the animal shakes and scratches the ears because of the discomfort caused by otitis media, an otohematoma orinternal bleeding can be caused, this is because the anatomy of the ear may not be reabsorbed on its own and surgical interventions become necessary. Let us observe that one ear is much thicker and heavier than the other.
Causes of otitis in dogs
Otitis in dogs is a disease that is very complex, and there are some concepts that must be understood to understand its importance and why treating it is so difficult.
The causes which predispose dogs to otitis
There are some causes that predispose dogs to otitis. On the one hand, the otitis is typical in some breeds of dogs such as cocker spaniel, or yorkshire terrier. In addition, there are anatomical problems, such as the ears drooping or channels eye very small, hair in the ear, etc. that can also cause otitis in dogs.
Primary causes of otitis in dogs
The primary causes are what cause the otitis. If we treated only the secondary causes, the animal would never be healed.
- Allergic diseases (food allergies, atopic dermatitis, etc.).
- Parasites (especially mites).
- Some infectious agents.
- Foreign bodies.
Secondary causes of otitis in dogs
These are the causes which cause the otitis directly. However, if there is a predisposition, the disease can manifest itself.
- Fungi (The Malassezia is the most common).
Causes of chronic otitis in dogs
Causes chronic changes that occur in the ear in consequence of otitis, and that make it increasingly difficult to solve: the development of otitis media, calcification of the ear canal, fibrosis, etc.
For example: a cocker spaniel has ears drooping, which tend to keep the ear a little bit closed, so that little oxygen enters through there. One day a thorn enters into the ear of the dog and, although I shook it, he can not take it from thence. The thorn will irritate the canal, which, being closed, will allow the uncontrolled growth of bacteria and fungi. This will prevent that the thorn is eliminated with the shakes.
If the fungus and the bacteria are treated, the dog will improve, but will not be cured until the root cause of the otitis is removed: the thorn.
If you take a long time to resolve the problem, the thorn can cross the eardrum and affect the inner ear, producing a chronic infection that will be hard to heal.
Diagnosis of otitis in dogs
To say that a dog has otitis is not a diagnosis, it is only to recognize that a problem exists. A correct diagnosis requires identifying the causes and predisposing, primary and secondary, as well as chronic health problems, to be able to perform an appropriate treatment.
If the main causes are not treated, the ear infections will not be cured. The secondary causes should be identified one by one. If there is a cause of chronic, the prognosis can be reserved.
Tests to diagnose otitis in dogs
The first thing you have to do is the check-up of the animal. There are diseases widespread that result in hearing problems, for example, hypothyroidism or allergies.
The ear canal should always be evaluated with an otoscope prior to any treatment with topical products. It is sometimes necessary to sedate or anesthetize your dog.
Cytology allows us to know what to treat, and according to the type of bacteria that has been identified, it may be necessary to send it for a culture.
The cultures and the antibiogramas are the way of choosing the antibiotic treatment appropriate because there are many infections with Pseudômonas, which are bacteria that have developed much resistance to antibiotics.
It may be necessary to perform some tests more expensive complexes such as an x-ray, a CT, an MRI or an endoscopy, especially if the middle ear or the internal is affected.
Treatment of otitis in dogs
The treatment of otitis in dogs is long and complex. In many cases there is no cure and preventive treatments should be performed for the whole life.
An antibiotic treatment for otitis media should never last less than 4 weeks.
The treatment should be continued for a week after the results of the cytology came back to normal.
The cleaning of the ear should be combined with the use of remedies. The wax, secretions, and pus inactivate most antibiotics and are a fertile ground for reproduction of micro-organisms.
Creams can only be used for the treatment if the eardrum does not have any wound. If the eardrum is ruptured, the animal can become deaf for life or suffer neurological problems. That is why the veterinarian should always be the one who will decide what treatment the animal should receive.
In a large percentage of cases, a treatment oral and topical combined (drops) is necessary.
In chronic cases or in conditions of middle ear and internal, is necessary surgery.
In the case of otitis, the medication home is especially dangerous, due to the adverse effects possible that products may have if the eardrum is damaged and due to the risk of bacterial resistance.
Summary of otitis in dogs
The otitis in dogs is an inflammation of the ear and there are two types; external, which is the most common, or otitis media, or internal. There is a predisposition of some breeds such as the cocker spaniel or yorkshire terrier to suffer from this disease, and is seen more often in wet climates. Otitis externa is more easy to detect because the dog may shake his head or scratching the ears, while in otitis media or otitis internal, the dog can suffer from fever, apathy, severe, or he can move in circles, or tilt his head to one side. In any case, the veterinarian will be the one who will have to examine the dog and to detect the causes to make a correct diagnosis.
These swabs of the ear have been designed to clean laces umbilical of newborn babies, not to clean the ears. Its use should be limited to the ear and never enter the ear canal. The only exception is when a professional needs to collect a sample for a culture or a microscopic exam.
The otitis have as a predisposing situations, such as: excess of at in the pipeline , which accumulates the secretion of wax. In this case there seems to be a component of allergic due to the presence of erythema (redness), hyperkeratosis, and hyperpigmentation of the skin (increased thickness and darkening of the skin). This is a sign that the problem is chronic and is pretty typical in otitis allergic chronic.
Otohematomas are accumulations of blood in the atrium. The treatment is surgical, because, if the content is emptied, they tend to fill up again and form fibrosis. They are secondary to meneios head and when the animal itches violently (trauma) or otitis.