Otitis media in dogs. Causes, symptoms, treatment

Otitis media is an infectious inflammation of the hearing organs. According to statistics, the prevalence of this disease among dogs is in second place after parasites.

Pathology seriously affects the quality of life of a pet, causing discomfort and physical suffering. If the animal shakes its head regularly, after cleaning the ears are again filled with sulfur and the dog is constantly scratching them, an unpleasant smell appears, do not hesitate to visit the doctor. Most likely, the dog is sick with otitis media, and it's time to take urgent measures.

Classification of otitis media

The localization of the inflammatory process can be one of three:

  1. Otitis externa - develops in the outer part of the ear canal (between the entrance to the auricle and the eardrum).
  2. Otitis media - the infection affects the space behind the tympanic membrane, and in case of complication or neglect of the disease, the inflammation affects the middle and outer ear and is accompanied by suppuration. For which the form was called purulent otitis media.
  3. Internal otitis media is the most serious form of pathology that affects the inner ear and often provokes complications of varying degrees.

The classification by type depends on the causes of the disease:

  • Primary - the disease is independent, not burdened by concomitant pathologies.
  • Secondary - otitis media developed against the background of dermatological, autoimmune, endocrine ailments.

According to the causative agent, otitis media is divided into several types:

  • Chronic . Infection is caused by pathogenic bacilli - Pseudomonas aeruginosa, intestinal, staphylococcal, streptococcal.
  • Bacterial . Pathogens enter and multiply in the organ of hearing, often affecting both ears.
  • Fungal (otomycosis) . Fungal bacteria actively multiply in the sulfur mass and cause inflammatory damage.
  • Allergic -The consequence of allergic reactions or hormonal disorders.
Ear infections are caused, among other things, by a breed predisposition. In fact, the structure of the ears of dogs plays a big role. Lop-eared and big-eared breeds automatically fall into the risk group, since air access to the hearing organs is difficult for them, and these are ideal conditions for "bad" microflora. Spaniels and poodles are # 1 in the list of contenders.

But breeds with too open ear canals are also completely unprotected from bacteria and pathogens and the development of infection. For example, the East European Shepherd Dogs.
The reasons for the development of ear pathology

Primary otitis media can be the result of hypothermia, trauma, poor diet, parasites, allergies and / or weak immunity.

The infectious nature of the disease is due to the multiplication of bacteria, the most famous of which are staphylococci and streptococci. Normally, they are present in the body of any animal, but they pose a danger only to weakened pets.

Symptoms of otitis media in a dog

The outer ear glands constantly secrete a secret, normally its amount should be such as to protect the ear canals from dust accumulation, foreign substances or water. But, if the discharge is abundant, and later pus, blood impurities and an unpleasant odor join them, this is a clear sign of otitis media.

Other components of the clinical picture:
  • Pet anxiety, lethargy, loss of appetite.
  • The dog constantly shakes its head.
  • The opening of the ear canal is red, inflamed, edematous.
  • The lymph nodes are enlarged (from the side of the sore ear).
  • The ear is hot to the touch.
In severe cases, the animal may suffer from the following complications:
  • Purulent discharge from the eyes.
  • Significant loss or complete loss of hearing.
  • Strabismus development.
  • Eating problems due to severe pain, incl. while chewing.

Diagnostics in a medical facility

To make a diagnosis, a whole range of measures is carried out:
  • Visual examination using an otoscope to examine the outer ear canal and middle ear.
  • Sampling of biomaterial for laboratory study (blood for general analysis, secretory fluid, purulent discharge, particles of the epidermis).
  • X-ray. For completeness, a picture is taken to identify / exclude polyps, tumor-like formations.
  • CT and MRI. In especially severe cases, in addition to the sore ear, it is also prescribed for examination of neighboring organs and the degree of their damage.

A correct and timely diagnosis is already half the key to a successful recovery. And here it is unacceptable neither an independent determination of the causes of the disease, nor, even more so, self-medication.

Drug treatment

Due to the variety of types, types and forms of pathology, we are not talking about one treatment regimen for all otitis media. The complex of therapeutic measures for each type of disease is different.

Purulent form:
  • Antibiotics (Otibiovin).
  • Chlorhexidine treatment.
  • Hydrogen peroxide treatment.
Chronic form:
  • Antibiotics (Otoferanol).
  • Compresses with dexamethasone.
  • Antifungal drops (Candibiotic).
Fungal form:
  • 2% Gazelan solution.
  • Phosphoric acid treatment.
  • Drops of Candibiotics.
Bacterial form:
  • Antifungal.
  • Antibiotics (Normax).
  • Complex products (for example, Surolan).
Allergic form:
  • Antipruritic remedy.
  • Antihistamine.
  • Diet.

Otipax and Framycetan are used to relieve pain and inflammation. For the treatment of ear surfaces - camphor oil, averxetin ointment, Dekta, for ear mites - Amit (ointment, gel). It is imperative to maintain and strengthen the pet's immune system - Askorutin, Gamavit, Vitam, etc.

Prevention of otitis media in dogs

To keep your pet healthy, it is enough to follow a number of simple recommendations:
  • Do not overcool your pet.
  • Absorb water from the ears with a cotton swab after bathing.
  • Clean and inspect the auricles and passages regularly (1-2 times a week).
  • Provide adequate nutrition and vitamins.
  • Limit your dog's exposure to untested animals.
  • Do not create traumatic and stressful situations.
  • If you suspect a disease, do not hesitate to visit the veterinarian.
It should be remembered that otitis media can cause deafness and other serious complications. The attention, care and constant control of a loving owner will ensure a happy and fulfilling life for a four-legged friend.

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