Tilting their head - A sign of an infection that has reached the middle ear
A lack of balancing skill - A sign of an infection that has reached the middle ear
Strange eye movements - Also a sign of an infection that has reached the dog's middle ear
Treatment for Common Dog Ear Infections
The Boxer dog must be examined by the veterinarian. Tests will be performed such as examine the ear canal and in many cases, flushing the ear to examine the drum. For dogs who are sensitive, the dog may be sedated so that he or she does not jump or move erratically during examination and potentially causing harm.
The veterinarian will perform a professional cleaning and then medication will be given to you, to bring home to treat your Boxer dog. Most infections clear up in a week or so, if medication is given properly and ears are kept clean.
What About Reoccurring Dog Ear Infections?
There is help for a Boxer dog with reoccurring ear infections. Some dogs have chronic ear problems, that keep coming back as soon as the medication is gone and with some dogs, medication just does not seem to help. For the sake of your Boxer dog's health, if your dog's veterinarian is not willing to do extensive tests to determine the exact cause of the reoccurring infections...get a 2nd opinion from a new vet! As long as the dog keeps getting hit by infections, scarring will increase and lead to even bigger health issues.
If this is the case with you dog, several steps must be taken:
1. The veterinarian should take a sample of the dog's ear discharge. This should then be cultured to pinpoint the exact culprit so that it can be specifically treated.
2. Owners must regularly perform ear washings at home
3. Testing may show that the infections are being caused by allergies. This is the #1 reason for reoccurring problems. Allergies take time to figure out...however once you can pinpoint the allergy trigger with a dog....treatment is easy.
A dog may be allergic to an external element or an internal element.
Think about all of the external elements that affect your dog and remove 1 element every 1 weeks. In doing so, you will clearly be able to determine which element is causing problems for your dog. Common external elements are:
In internal allergy will be one that is caused by something that your dog is ingesting; it will be an ingredient in his or her dog food. This can easily be fixed by switching to a hypo-allergic dog food. If you home cook your dog's food, you will want to eliminate 1 ingredient per every 2 weeks until you see a change in your dog's health.
Pseudomonas Ear Infections
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a very rare type of bacteria and it is resistant to almost every antibiotic. When a dog has reoccurring infections, most likely every antibiotic has been tried. When this happens, most of the bacteria is killed off, but not all. What remains is a strain that is extremely resistant.
When the culture of the dog’s ear discharge is done, this will show if it is indeed Pseudomonas. This will also show if this strain is still vulnerable to the antibiotics Enrofloxacin or Orbifloxacin.
One of these two types of antibiotics should be given, in very high doses. Small doses would just make the bacteria more resistant. In addition, a topical treatment will be given as well to use at home.
Still No Relief?
If nothing can be determined as to the cause of the reoccurring dog ear infections and medication is not working, the next step would be for an experienced veterinarian to surgically open the vertical canal. The ear is then easily and completely cleaned out and treated.
Consistent ear infections can cause a dog's ear canal to become scarred. In some cases, this scarring can become so severe that the canal becomes almost closed. In these cases, a surgical procedure called an Ablation is the final option and only done is the most severe health cases with dogs n which no cause can be determined and medication just does not help. In this procedure, the entire ear canal of the dog is removed. Healthy tissue then regrows. This is not performed by a general veterinarian; a specialist will do this and costs can run quite high.
Prognosis is quite good; the majority of dogs then go on to have zero ear infections for the rest of their lives.
Prevention and Proper Care at Home
Proper grooming in regard to the your dog’s ears will make a big difference. Dogs with a medical history of ear problems do much better with correct home care.
Remove excess hair - Hair stops the natural flow of air into the dog’s ear canal. Excess hair should be plucked out with tweezers.
Flushing - Once any excess hair is removed, the ears should be flushed and cleaned. This can be done with solution given to you by your dog’s veterinarian or over the counter dog cleaner products. After doing this, carefully and gently massage the base of your dog’s ears to help move the solution in and around the folds inside the ear. This solution will not only clean, but will dry the canal and help keep the pH balanced properly.
This should be done 1 time per week and any time after your dog has a bath or swims in water.