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Help! My dog has itchy ears, Teneriffe Vet. Part 2.

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Finishing up where we left off yesterday, today we will look at treatments for sore ears.

Help! My dog has itchy ears, Teneriffe Vet.

What can I do if my dog has a recurrent ear infection, Teneriffe Vet?

Visit your local vet. He may do an ear examination, take some samples using swabs, conduct allergy trials or refer you to a veterinary dermatologist for further work ups.

What treatments are available, Teneriffe Vet?

The goals are to identify the different factors, remove or control pre-disposing and primary factors, reduce inflammation and resolve secondary infections (e.g. bacteria or yeast infection). Generally, your vet may recommend using ear drops that have steroidal, bactericidal and fungicidal properties or oral therapies to control infection and inflammation. These treatments require a re-visit to the vet within 1 week to assess their effectiveness and success. Anti-parasite treatments may take a longer time to see a resolution of the problem. If the second ear examination is satisfactory, your vet may then recommend the use of commercial ear cleaning products with drying agents to keep residual moisture at bay.

It is important that the tympanic membrane (ear drum) is not ruptured before any treatment is given as it can aggravate the problem further. Hence it is important to seek your vet’s advice before you attempt to clean your pet’s ear.

If you are looking for a Teneriffe Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog has a sore ear, New Farm Vet. Part 1.

Inflammation of the external ear canal (otitis externa) is a very common problem in dogs. The usual signs of ear problems include head shaking, smelly and dirty ears, itchiness and discharge. Bacteria and yeast are common culprits associated with ear problems. However, it is important to understand that most ear infections are due to an underlying cause. It pays to investigate what is actually causing the problem instead of just treating the symptoms.

Help! My dog has a sore ear, New Farm Vet.

There are 3 main categories of factors that contribute to ear infections and treatments for them can vary.

Primary factors:

Primary factors directly cause ear infection. Allergies such as atopic dermatitis and food allergy are most commonly associated with recurrent ear infections. Another primary factor is ear mites. It is more common to see these kinds of parasites in cats.  Other factors include irritants / foreign bodies like grass seeds, dirt, sand etc.

Predisposing factors:

These factors increase the risk of an ear infection. Narrow ear canals, long ears and hairy ear canals can impair ventilation and clearance of normal secretions from the ears. It is important to note that the presence of dense hair does not mean your pooch will develop ear problems – plucking of hair from dogs not suffering from ear problems may potentially cause ear problems instead. However, if your pet has recurrent ear infection, then removal of excess hair may help. Excessive moisture, due to high humidity in different country regions or frequent swimming/bathing, may lead to disruption of the ear skin tissue, increasing the risk of an ear infection.

Perpetuating factors:

Perpetuating factors prevent the resolution of ear problems. External ear canals can progressively become narrower due to chronic unresolved ear inflammation as soft tissue within the ear canal increases/thickens. This results in stenotic ear canals. Changes in the luminal diameter, moisture level and warmth within the ear carnal can lead to disruption of ear skin tissue and increase microbial growth. The presence of bacteria and yeast usually does not induce ear problems, but can cause it when there are perpetuating factors favourable to their growth.

Stay tune for tomorrow's blog on treatment for recurring ear infection.

If you are looking for a New Farm Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog has mange, Petrie Terrace Vet.

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Demodectic mange (Demodex canis) is a type of mites that live in the fur follicles of doggies. Some vets consider this type of parasites to be a normal resident of your pooch's skin and it is thought that mange is passed from mother to pups in the first few days of life.

Help! My dog has mites, Petrie Terrace Vet.

Most dogs do not manifest clinical symptoms but if they do, areas of fur-less scaly skin on the face, limbs and chest are commonly detected. Often, young dogs are affected and these patches will resolve by themselves with no treatment of any kind. On the other hand, if your pooch has large areas of skin or his/her entire body covered in scaly hairless patch, then your doggie may be suffering from the more serious "generalized" form of mange infestation. Compromised immune system, hereditary problem, hormonal problems or other underlying health issues are thought to be the cause of "generalized" mange and treatment depends on the age at which your doggie developed this disease.

If you suspect your dog has a mange infestation, seek the advice of your local vet. He/she will perform a skin scraping and hair pluck to confirm the presence of adult mites, their larvae and eggs under the microscope.

What happens if my doggie has mange, Petrie Terrace Vet?

Localised mange usually heals spontaneously within 6-8 weeks where as generalized mange can be more difficult to treat. It may be necessary to search for predisposing factors, such as Cushings disease, neoplasia, other medical diseases causing immunosuppression, before a suitable treatment is considered.

Most mange treatment involves using ivomectin over a period of time to eliminate all cycles of this mite. Be careful if you own a collie or similar breeds sensitive to this type of drug. It is also necessary to use a medicated shampoo, such as Pyoben, to flush the follicles where the mites live. Secondary skin infection can be controlled with oral antibiotics.

Skin scrapings are performed monthly, and treatment is continued until two negative skin scrapings, one month apart, are achieved. Your dog can only be declared mange free if skin scraping done one year later, after the last negative scrape, yield negative results.

If you are looking for a Petrie Terrace Vet, call (7) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My ferret has ear mites, Paddington Vet.

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*For my non-QLD readers. Ferrets and rabbits are banned in QLD!

Help! My ferret has ear mites, Paddington Vet!

The ear mite, Otodectes cyanotis, is a common parasite of ferrets. It is highly contagious and can spread to dogs, cats and humans in the same household.

What are the symptoms of ear mites infestation, Paddington Vet?

Head shaking, scratching of ears, fur loss, scabbing of the ear, smelly ears and thick brown earwax are common signs of this infestation. Sometimes, the ferret may become depressed and ill-tempered because of the soreness in the ears. In heavily infested ferrets, running in circles in the direction of the most heavily infected ear or bizarre "spasmodic fits" behaviour is common.

Ear mites can survive outside their host in the environment for up to 4 weeks, so it is crucial to treat the environment your pet lives in, by vacuuming thoroughly and regularly and disposing the content appropriately to prevent re-infestation.

What are the treatment available, Paddington Vet?

Similar to rabbit ear mites infestation, I do not recommend using oil as a treatment to drown the mites out due to their ability to live in the environment. There are many over-the-counter ear mite drops you can purchase from the shops but certain ingredients in these drops can potentially cause more harm, especially to the ear drums. Make a visit to your local vet to confirm that your pet ferret has mites. It is likely that your pet ferret has secondary ear infection that needs antibiotic treatment. Anti-inflammatory medication can also provide much needed pain relief from the soreness in the ears. Your vet will most likely use Selamectin ("Revolution for puppies/kittens) as an anti-parasitic treatment every 2 weeks for 3 treatments to prevent re-infestation. Treat all ferrets, dogs and cats in the same household.

If you are looking for a trusted Paddington Vet, call (07) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.

Help! My dog has pyometra, Spring Hill Vet.

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Pyometra is a life-threatening bacterial infection of the uterus that commonly occurs between 2-10 weeks after a female dog comes out of heat. Girl doggies more than 6 years old are pre-disposed to this illness.

Help! My dog has pyometra, Spring Hill Vet.

Symptoms include lethargy, poor appetite, vomiting, increased drinking and urination or bloody pus discharging from the vulva.

The diagnosis of pyometra is made after thorough history taking, presence of vaginal discharge or visualization of an enlarged, fluid filled uterus seen on xrays or ultrasound. Sometimes your local vet may run blood tests to help diagnose pyometra.

Pyometra is a serious illness, and surgical removal of the infected uterus is the best treatment. Intravenous fluids and antibiotics will be required to aid in the recovery of your pet. If your pooch is a young, valuable breeding bitch, then medical management may be considered. Your local vet may give a series of hormone injections to help the uterus expel the pus. However this method of treatment has considerable risks and your pet may still need surgery at the end of the day.

Prevention is better than cure, so desex your female dog early.

If you are looking for a Spring Hill Vet, call (7) 3216 0045 to make an appointment to see Dr Nic at Fortitude Valley Vet.