|$ $ Pet Ear Infection Treatment: $50 - $225||$ $ $ Pet Ear Infection Surgery: $2K - $5K|
Ear infections are one of the most common reasons why pets have to go to the veterinarian.
These infections can be annoying, painful, and in the most serious cases, can have long-term health consequences for your pet.
These types of infections affect a variety of pets, such as dogs, cats, ferrets, and even rabbits.
There are different causes, symptoms, and treatments, depending on the type of infection and the pet in question.
Let’s review the most important information about ear infections in pets, their treatment, and how much it costs.
Table of Contents
What Is an Ear Infection?
An ear infection, also known as otitis, is the inflammation of the ear, whether it’s in the inner ear, the middle ear, or the external ear canal.
This happens when the structures of the inner ear are affected, and it’s usually a consequence of trauma or an external ear canal inflammation that has made its way to the inner ear.
Otitis interna is the rarest of ear infections.
This inflammation is located in the middle ear and can also happen because of trauma, an infection that comes from the auditory tubes, or a persistent external ear canal inflammation.
This kind of ear infection affects the external structure of the ear canal and it’s the most common.
It can be caused because of trauma, parasites, foreign objects, allergies, hypothyroidism, or certain types of cancer.
Although experts state that in the case of dogs and cats, there are no specific breeds that are more vulnerable to suffer from ear infections than others, excessive hair, long drooping ears, or narrow ear canals, could be factors that make some breeds more prone to get ear infections.
Another factor is the constant cleaning of the ears -or lack of-, and the use of cotton swabs.
Common Symptoms of Pet Ear Infection
The usual signs of ear infections in pets are itchiness, redness, pain in the ears, constant shaking of the head, rubbing or scratching the ears, and dark and foul discharge.
In rare cases, an ear infection can affect the pet’s balance, ability to hear, and appetite.
If your pet has any of these symptoms, take it to the vet as soon as possible.
Diagnosing Pet Ear Infections
The vet will ask some basic questions that will help to get a proper diagnosis along with a physical and otoscopic exam of the ears.
If it’s necessary, the vet will take a blood test, cytology, or will perform a deep exam of the ear canal, which must be done while the pet is sedated.
This entails the use of a camera, X-rays, or even an MRI -Magnetic Resonance Imaging-, could be needed to detect problems in the middle and inner ear.
Pet Ear Infection Treatment
The vet will clean your pet’s ears with a special cleanser and will prescribe you one to use at home, as well as a topical medication, which could be an ointment or eardrops.
Antifungal, antibiotics, or steroid medication could also be prescribed, if the infection is severe.
Surgery is very rarely used, but it could be an option if other treatments have failed.
In this case, the vet will perform a Total Ear Canal Ablation -TECA-, which eliminates the affected tissue.
The treatment for pet ear infections will depend on several factors, and therefore its cost will too.
The city where you live, the medical tests that are needed, if it’s your first visit to the vet with your pet or not, or if any specific specialists have to check your pet, for instance, are elements that affect the overall price of the treatment.
Pet ear infection treatment can cost from $50 to $225, for the regular cases.
If surgery is needed, it could cost between $2,000 and $5,000.