Dog ear infections are not only painful for your dog but they can prove dangerous. Infections are classified as either Otitis Externa, Otitis Media, or Otitis Interna, according to whether they are in the outer, middle, or inner ear respectively. Outer ear infections are painful and they need attention because if they progress to inner ear infections they can lead to deafness and even neurological damage.
Treatment costs vary according to the type and severity of infection, as well as other factors, but tends to range between $50 and $250 for the whole treatment.
The Importance of Dog Ear Infection Medicine
Ear infections are common in most pets, but especially in dogs. They can be caused by anything from ear mites to bacterial infection or physical injury.
The most common symptom is your dog scratching or messing around with their ear, but more advanced symptoms include a brown discharge coming from the ear as well as a strong smell in the area. The ear may become red and swollen and your dog may suffer some degree of hearing loss. If the infection is particularly bad, it can cause your dog to lose balance or walk in circles. Generally, floppy-eared dogs are more prone to infections, while those dogs that love to jump in puddles and ponds are more likely to experience bacterial infections.
Left untreated, an ear infection can become progressively worse and may, eventually, lead to hearing loss and to neurological disorders. It is important that you consult a vet if you believe your dog is suffering. They will be able to identify the cause and severity, and they will be able to advise on the best course of action.
Otitis will not usually go away on its own. It needs treatment. Your dog may become better equipped to cope with the discomfort and pain, which may make it seem like the infection has gone, but this isn’t the case. You will need antibiotics or another course of treatment to help ensure it has been dealt with.
How Much Does Dog Ear Infection Medicine Cost?
There are different treatments available for ear infections and the one your vet recommends will usually be determined by the cause of the infection, how bad it is, and whether it is an outer or inner ear infection. One of the most common treatments is a wax-based antibiotic treatment called BNT. This comes in a tube and needs to be applied regularly to your dog’s ear. The medication itself costs around $50 but including the cost of visiting the vet and having any check-up or follow-up meeting puts the total cost of treatment at around $150 to $250.
Does Pet Insurance Cover Dog Ear Infection Medicine?
Ear infections are usually covered by pet insurance, although only if it is a new infection and not one that has resurfaced or one that was present before the insurance coverage started. If your dog has previously suffered with ear infections, your policy may not cover any new instances of it, and it is worth checking whether this is the case with your insurance. If you have a breed that is known to be especially susceptible to ear infections, it is worth checking that any policy you are considering specifically includes coverage for this type of complaint.
The relatively low cost of treatment means that your policy may not kick in. For example, if the total cost is under $100 and you have a $100 excess, you will have to pay for everything yourself.
How To Help Prevent Further Infections
If you do have a breed that is susceptible to ear infections, for example, because it has long, floppy ears, or your dog has specifically had ear infections in the past, there are some general steps you can take to help reduce the likelihood of infection.
Water from puddles and other sources creates a literal breeding ground for bacteria and is one of the likely culprits of an ear infection. If your dog does like swimming and runs straight for the puddles or lakes, ensure that you dry their ears out when you get home. Use a towel to wipe away the majority and cotton balls to get any excess or small amounts that are left after. Alternatively, if your dog will let you put one on, consider a dog snood or a dog hood. These cover the ears and create a physical barrier that prevents moisture from getting in in the first place.
If you do suspect your dog has an infection, you should avoid cleaning the ears yourself and, instead, let your vet take a proper look. Poor cleaning could exacerbate the problem and could lead to further infection. It could also cause your dog pain.
If your dog’s ears are healthy and you are looking to clean out dirt and keep them healthy, though, you can make an apple cider vinegar solution that is equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Pour some of the solution into the ear, but only the outer section of the ear. Do not attempt to squirt the solution into the inner ear. You can massage the liquid into the ear gently, though. Your dog will likely try to shake or scratch the liquid out, but even the shaking motion of the head will help to get some of the liquid where it needs to be.
Ear infections are painful, uncomfortable, and they can become increasingly severe if they are left to their own devices. If you notice your dog scratching his ear more often, and especially if doing so seems to cause pain, inspect the ear but avoid the urge to try and clean the infection if you spot one. Consult a vet and let them determine the cause and the best course of action.
Usually, you will be given antibiotic cream that needs regular application and will fight the infection. The medication itself costs around $50, and you will have to pay veterinary costs on top of this with the total cost reaching somewhere between $100 and $250. If you have pet insurance, ear infections are usually covered, unless they are specifically excluded or, in some cases, if your dog has suffered such infections in the past.
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