Itchy ears and weepy eyes

Itchy ears are a common complaint in dogs. Certain breeds like Spaniels with their long ears and Labradors that like to swim, are more at risk.

Itchy ears: symptoms to look out for

• Repeated, vigorous scratching of the ear

• Discharge

• Bad smell from the ears

Itchy ears: diagnosis and treatment

It’s absolutely essential that you get your dog to a vet if he shows any of these symptoms. Never, ever try to self-medicate unless your vet has shown you how. Pouring something into your dog’s ear could damage his ear drum and permanently damage his hearing. Never use earbuds on a dog.

Your vet will perform a thorough examination and take a slide smear to see if there is a bacterial or yeast infection. Your vet will then prescribe the correct medication to treat the infection.

Itchy ears: when the infection is chronic

Itchy ears may also indicate chronic ear infections. If your dog suffers chronic ear infections, your vet will first determine whether or not he has an underlying allergy which may be the cause. Without identifying and treating the allergy, the ear infections will continue.

Your vet will also investigate the potential for a drug-resistant bacterial infection. In this case, he or she will prepare a culture to determine the right kind of antibiotics.

Swollen or ‘cabbage’ ears

Sometimes a dog or cat’s ear flap will swell up. This is usually as a result of bleeding in the ear.  Your vet will investigate underlying causes, like ear mites or infection. Surgery is usually prescribed to rid of the ear of the blood. If it isn’t drained, the ear becomes deformed or ‘cabbage-like’. This affects blood flow in the ear and can put the animal at higher risk of infections.…-whats-the-cause/

If your dog or cat has ear problems, they must be urgently addressed in order to avoid chronic problems in the future.

Eye issues

Given how sensitive and important our own eyes are, pet owners often become very stressed if their pets show any signs of eye discomfort yet there are only two serious eye emergencies pet owners need to worry about. They are: if the eye is hanging out of its socket, or if there is a foreign object in the eye. Any other problems must seen to by your vet as soon as possible but they are not considered emergencies.

Corneal ulcer

This is the most common eye ailment seen by vets. It is caused by a surface injury to the eye as a result of trauma. It is usually easily treated, unless the pet owner has waited too long to bring the pet for treatment. There is no risk of sight loss.

Dry eyes

This is a common problem among dogs that don’t produce enough tears. Symptoms include thick, yellow-green discharge. Chronic symptoms can leave scars on the eye, and the dog may go blind unless this condition is treated.

Never, ever self-medicate. You could permanently damage your pet’s eyes. The only time you apply ointment or drops to your pets is those that have been prescribed by your vet for that particular ailment.

Cats’ eyes

If a cat has a sore eye or there is discharge, it is usually as a result of a viral infection like snuffles though it is always important to have it checked by your vet so that the correct treatment can be prescribed.

The bottom line is: don’t panic if your dog or cat’s eye is giving him trouble but don’t wait either before taking him to the vet. The quicker it is treated, the more successful the treatment.


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