Continuing the topic of minimizing recurrent ear problems in dogs and cats, today we will discuss proper treatment.
In order to have treatment success the duration of treatment must be adequate. Do not stop treatment just because the ears look better! Even with first-time ear infections one cannot hope to clear the infection with three to five days of treatment. In the case of an ear infection that has recurred, treatment must be a minimum of three weeks. Ear infections that have become chronic (recurred more than three times or never went away) may require treatment for months.
Another important factor in success is using an adequate volume of medication. Two to three drops of medication might be appropriate for a six-week-old Yorkshire terrier puppy, but larger pets will require much more. Studies published in 2005 and more recently show that the ear canal must be filled, or nearly so, to effectively eliminate microorganisms. The most common are yeast and bacteria. This translates to twenty five drops of medication for a seventy pound dog and fifteen drops for an average-sized cat.
Further, the ear canal is typically not the only part of the ear that is infected. The outer portions of the ear must be treated. The pinna (flap of the ear) on the least-haired side needs to have medication all the way up to the hair. The convolutions of the ear must have medication gently applied to every nook, cranny and hiding place.
Cleaning (with DermaPet Ear/Skin Cleanser) must continue weekly, right on through the treatment process, then for a lifetime.
If you are really serious about preventing the pain, misery and expense of future ear problems, clean your pets’ ears at least weekly, after every bath, swim, or any exposure to water. Note that this includes all of your pets as a preventive program for keeping away future ear problems.