One of the medical conditions we see on a daily basis at our vet clinic is a dog with an ear problem. The pet usually presents with a sore or smelly ear caused by an infection. Occasionally this may progress to a large swollen ear flap known as an Aural Haematoma. Ear infections are caused by organisms such as ear mites, bacteria or yeast growing in the ear or by a foreign object such as a grass seed lodging down the ear canal. Your vet will need to examine down the ear canal with an otoscope and take samples to look at under a microscope to make their diagnosis. Prescription ear drops and sometimes oral medications may be needed to properly clear an infection. Ear cleaners which remove wax and dirt build up may be used to prevent the ear infection from returning in the future. Underlying skin allergies may be the cause of a recurring ear infection as could incomplete medical treatment. An aural haematoma is a big bruise between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. It is often associated with vigorous head shaking, possibly due to an ear infection, trauma or allergies. Surgery under anaesthesia to repair the ear is usually required as well as medications to prevent pain and infection. Untreated haematomas may lead to a deformed or “cauliflower” type appearance to the ear. Recurring ear disease can be frustrating for pets, owners and their vets so a thorough investigation and course of treatment is essential. This is Sheldon the Standard Poodle puppy who had lovely clean ears at his check up at our clinic.
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