Ear Infections

Ear disease is one of the most common conditions seen in pets.  It is estimated that up to 20% of the dog population is affected by this disease.  From 2% to 6.6% of cats admitted to hospitals are there due to ear infections.

Signs of Ear Disease

  • Odor
  • Scratching or rubbing of ears and head
  • Discharge in the ears
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
  • Shaking of the head or tilting it to one side
  • Pain around the ears
  • Changes in behavior such as depression or irritability

Causes of Ear Disease

Dogs and cats can have ear problems for many different reasons.  There are several possible causes:

  • Allergies
  • Parasites, bacteria or yeast
  • Foreign material in the ear
  • Trauma
  • Hereditary or immune conditions
  • Excess moisture in the ear environment
  • Problem with the ear anatomy

Prevention and Treatment

The treatment for ear disease will depend on what caused the ear problem and secondary conditions are there as a result.  Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections and antifungals for yeast infections.  Ear problems that are caused by an allergy are commonly treated with regular ear cleaning, antihistamines and fatty acid supplements.

The best treatment for ear disease is prevention. 
  • Check your pet’s ears weekly.  A slight waxy buildup is normal.
  • Keep the ears clean. 
    • Fill the ear canal with a good ear cleaner.
    • Massage the base of the ear for 20-30 seconds to soften and release the debris.
    • Wipe out the loose debris and excess fluid with a cotton ball.
    • Repeat until you see no more debris.
  • Be alert to signs of ear problems. 

Review the Revival Animal Health catalogs for more information on these and other recommended products.

Cotton applicator swabs

Alocetic ear rinse


The materials, information and answers provided through this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of a qualified veterinarian or other pet health care professional. Consult your own veterinarian for answers to specific medical questions, including diagnosis, treatment, therapy or medical attention.

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