Care for the Ear Infection Prone Pet

Posted - July 28, 2020

Some dogs and cats will never know the pain and discomfort of an ear infection. However, for an estimated 20% of the dog population ear infections are a condition they battle frequently or even over a lifetime. While not as common in cats, around 5% of cats will battle ear infections in their lifetime.

Ear infections are so common that they are one of the top health conditions veterinarians see the most.   In addition to being painful, they are also extremely stressful to the pet as well as the pet parent caring for the pet’s needs. 

So, why are some animals spared from ear disease, while others are not? And, what is a pet parent to do for those recurring ear infections?

FACTORS THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO EAR DISEASE

There are several factors that can contribute to ear disease in dogs, cats, and other small mammals.  Small mammals you ask? While the majority of cases that are reported affect dogs,  cats, and small mammals such as rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, gerbils, can also be prone to ear infections. Some very common contributors to pet ear disease are:

  • Breed
  • Allergies
  • Excess wax build-up
  • Endocrine disorders
  • Ear mites
  • Foreign bodies within the ear canal
  • Floppy ears
  • Ears with excess hair growth
  • Living in a humid environment
  • Swimming

THE USE OF ANTIBIOTICS

A veterinarian may prescribe an antibiotic for a pet with an ear infection. While it may be fine for some animals to use an antibiotic occasionally, pet parents of those pets prone to ear infections should consider alternative ear care solutions to mitigate the risk of developing antibiotic resistance. Just like people, the repeated use of antibiotics in pets can lead to antibiotic resistance.  Additionally, some antibiotics may also produce unwanted side effects.

WHAT YOU CAN DO

Providing good ear care is important to the health and happiness of all pets. Some pets may only need an occasional check of the ears but for those prone to ear infections, regular care of the ears can play a very important role in preventing future infections. Establishing a regular grooming routine focused on the ears can help you gauge the health and comfort of your pet and ensure you are doing all you can to stop an ear infection from occurring. Some important things to remember are:

  • Keep ears clean and dry. After bathing wipe the ears dry with clean gauze or cotton balls. Avoid drying agents such as alcohol which can irritate sensitive ear tissue.
  • Use a veterinarian-approved ear cleanser, such as ZYMOX® Ear Cleanser, to gently cleanse the ear, remove excess ear wax, and keep the pet’s ears healthy. This is especially important for those pets who swim.
  • Keep the hair in your pet’s ears trimmed and maintained by a professional groomer.

For those red, painful ears, an antibiotic may be necessary.  However, there are products pet parents can utilize such as ZYMOX Ear Solution which is recommended by veterinarians and has been proven to be effective in providing relief without the use of antibiotics or harsh ingredients. ZYMOX products employ a patented enzymatic formulation that can be safely used without concern of antibiotic resistance or side effects common to antibiotics. ZYMOX is available without a prescription through veterinary clinics, most pet specialty retailers, and select eCommerce sites.

Download this helpful infographic to learn more.