Treating Your Cat's or Dog's Ear Infection
Once the veterinarian has diagnosed your cat or dog with an ear infection, there are a few approaches to treatment from which to choose. Depending on the cause of the infection, treatment can be as simple as a good ear flush or cleaning, or may include steroids and antibiotics. If the cause of the infection stems from tumors or cancer, surgery may be necessary.
Steroids and Antibiotics
A common treatment of ear infections in dogs and cats is a combination of topical or systemic corticosteroids and topical or oral antibiotics. The corticosteroids work to reduce swelling in the afflicted area, relieving pain and possibly reducing hearing loss due to inflammation blockage. The antibiotics are used to fight the bacterial growth in the infection. Some common topical antibiotics prescribed for ear infections are Mometamax, Otomax, and Tresaderm, while commonly prescribed oral antibiotics include Amoxicillin, Clindamycin, and Baytril Otic.
If the veterinarian determines the cause of the ear infection is fungus or yeast, a fungicide medication may be prescribed. Itraconazole and Ketoconazole are commonly prescribed fungicides, and are very effective at clearing up excessive fungus or yeast.
Treatment of Parasites
Ear mites, fleas, and ticks can be eradicated by thoroughly cleaning the ear, and using an oral or topical anti-parasitic medication, such as Revolution. It may be necessary to use in addition to antibiotics, if a secondary infection is bacterial.
Homeopathic and Allergy Treatment
If the ear infection is caused by allergic reactions to environmental particles, some veterinarians may choose an holistic approach. Increasing the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids your dog or cat ingests, may reduce the inflammation response. Products such as Yucca Intensive are believed to reduce inflammation response and allergic reaction, reducing the likelihood of scratching that may lead to infection. Steroids also reduce the inflammation response to allergies.
Sometimes, when the veterinarian has diagnosed the dog or cat with a tumor on the earflap or in the canal, surgery is necessary. While the surgery does not directly treat the infection, removing the tumor can reduce the blockage and irritation. Even if the tumor is benign, if it is causing chronic infection or hearing loss, the veterinarian may recommend surgical removal. Steroids and antibiotics are often prescribed pre-and post-surgery to prevent further damage.