Our previous article explained to you all about external otitis in dogs and cats. Today, we tell you how to get rid of it.
External otitis is an inflammation of the pinna, the ear canal and the ear drum which are the 3 parts of the outer ear. A lot of different problems may cause otitis, all requiring different treatments.
When you notice your animal has otitis (read our previous article to learn how to spot the signs), you must take them to a veterinarian in order to make sure that the ear drum is not pierced, and to determine the cause of the otitis.
Firstly, most of external otitis can usually be cured with a local treatment directly administered to the inside of the ear canal.
You first need to clean the ear, particularly if the earwax is abundant. Your vet will give you a cleaning solution that will help to take off the earwax and all the impurities without damaging the very fragile ear.
To administer the cleaning solution, follow these easy steps:
- Hold the ear pinna straight up and insert the tip of the cleaning solution bottle inside the ear.
- Press the bottle in order to pour the solution inside the ear
- Then, gently rub the ear to peel off the earwax inside the ear canal. Be very smooth and gentle, as your furry friend is probably in a lot of pain.
- Use a cotton ball to clean up the pinna.
- Let your pet shake itself, then clean up with a cotton ball one more time.
Once the ear is clean, wait about 15 minutes until it dries. Then, administer the treatment your vet prescribes. This treatment might be some ear drops or a ear cream. It can contain:
- Anti-inflammatory: it stops the infection and relieves the pain
- Antibiotics: they fight against bacteria
- Antifungal: it fights agains fungus
- Antiparasitic agents: they fight against ear parasites
Depending on the drug and on your animal, the treatment might need to be administrated once or several times a day. You must follow the prescription to make sure that your pet is completely recovered from the otitis.
What if a spikelet is stuck inside my pet's ear?
If your pet's otitis is caused by a spikelet stuck inside his ear, or any other foreign body, the veterinarian will need to take it out. They will probably choose to sedate your animal.
What if it's an allergy?
If your pet's otitis is caused by an allergy, it's important to identify the allergen. This is often a long procedure. The veterinarian will shave a part of your pet's fur and inject a tiny quantity of the most common pet's allergens until they find the one your pet suffers from.
Once your pet's ear is cured, it's important to avoid recurrence. If your dog has hairs inside the ear canal, it's better to shave them. Ask your groomer or the vet assistant to show you how to do it safely. To clean your pet's ear, always use an adapted solution. Do not use soapy water. Do not use a cotton bud (Q tip) to clean your pet's ear.
And always follow your veterinarian's directions!