Pet Ear Care From Our Santa Barbara Veterinarian
It may be amusing when your pet pretends not to hear your instructions, but a genuine ear condition is no laughing matter. Infections, tumors, and other problems can lead to severe discomfort, ear damage, deafness, or even life-threatening crises. That's when it's good to know that our Santa Barbara veterinarian at La Concepcion Animal Hospital is here to provide soothing, healing pet ear care services.
Common Threats to Animals' Ears
Animals' ears can come in many different shapes, sizes and configurations, from the erect "bat ears" commonly seen in French Bulldogs and the "buttoned-down" look of Scottish Fold cats to the long, floppy ears of Basset Hounds. These various shapes can often make the ears vulnerable to disease threats. Many of these diseases take hold in the outer ear. Infections in this area are called otitis externa, and they may be caused by the presence of bacteria, dirt, foreign objects, yeast, tumors and (especially in cats) ear mites. Otitis externa generally produces visible symptoms such as:
- Dermatitis (skin redness, itching, and irritation)
- Hair loss on the ear
- Swelling of the ear flap
- Foul-smelling discharge
- Obvious signs of distress such as head tilting and pawing at the infected ear
If an external ear infection gets out of control, it may damage the eardrum, destroying your pet's hearing and causing bony buildup in the ear canal. The infection can also migrate to the delicate structures of the inner ear, a condition known as otitis interna. Infection of the vestibular system can cause your pet to become dizzy and disoriented, while neurological damage can even lead to a drooping eye or facial paralysis.
Ear infections aren't the only concern your pet may face. Tumors may occur in any part of the ear, including malignant skin cancer and cancerous growths in the ear canal.
Dermatology and Other Treatment Options
Bring your pet to our clinic for a prompt, accurate diagnosis of his ear condition. Dr. Dalo or Dr. Everitt can administer pet ear care options such as gentle cleansing to remove ear mites, debris, and other irritants, along with topical antibiotics, anti-fungal drugs or other dermatology treatments. (Regular home cleaning of your pet's ears can then help keep ear mites at bay.) We can also perform surgical procedures as needed to excise tumors for biopsy or remove calcium buildup inside the ear canals. Surgery may also be prescribed to help drain fluid that is causing pain and pressure inside the ear.
Contact Our Santa Barbara Veterinarian Today!
New clients get a 15 percent discount on their initial exam at La Concepcion Animal Hospital, so maybe it's time your pet got acquainted with our Santa Barbara veterinarian -- especially if an ear problem is making your beloved friend miserable. Call 805-685-4513 for an appointment so we can start providing those all-important pet ear care services!