Ear Infection in English Bulldogs

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English bulldogs are genetically predisposed to ear infections.
English bulldogs are genetically predisposed to ear infections. (Image: cute puppy image by Craig Stevens from Fotolia.com)

Ear infections also known as otitis externa, may affect dogs as well as humans. According to petplace.com, ear infections are one of the top 10 reasons that dogs visit the veterinarian. Ear infections may affect as many as 20 percent of dogs. While there are many different causes of ear infections in dogs, English bulldogs have a genetic predisposition to the condition.

Identification

Ear infections in dogs are characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal. English bulldogs that suffer from ear infections often have an increase in symptoms in the summer months because these infections thrive in warm, humid conditions.

Risk Factors

Any breed of dog can develop an ear infection. However, English bulldogs are at an increased risk of developing ear infections because they are often born with abnormal ear canals. Ear infections affect male and female English bulldogs equally. The Chinese Shar-Pei may be born with abnormal ear canals as well. Other breeds of dogs that may commonly develop ear infections are dogs that have a great deal of hair in the ears, such as the poodle and working dogs, because they may get foreign material and water in the ears. Cocker spaniels and springer spaniels have pendulous ears that increase their risk of infection.

Symptoms

The symptoms most commonly associated with ear infections in English bulldogs may include shaking the head, scratching the ears, rubbing the ears, pain when the ear is moved, foul odor in the ear and redness and swelling of the external ear canal.

Causes

The causes of ear infections in English bulldogs may include abnormal ear canals, allergies, trauma, tumors, foreign materials, water in the ears, parasites, skin disease and certain autoimmune disorders.

Diagnosis and Treatment

In order to diagnose ear infections in English bulldogs, your veterinarian will perform a physical examination on your dog. If an ear infection is suspected, the veterinarian may take a sample of the discharge inside the ear and examine it under a microscope. This may help to determine which type of bacteria is causing the infection. Other diagnostic tests that may be performed are a CBC (complete blood count), skin scraping tests and allergy tests.The treatments for ear infections in dogs may include cleaning the dog's ear, medication that is placed in the ear daily (ear drops) and steroids to decrease pain and inflammation in the ear. Oral antibiotics may be prescribed if there is bacteria present, and antifungal medications may be given if yeast is the cause of the infection.

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