Dr. Fox: Ear Problems in Dogs | Pets

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DDr Fox ear: My 4 year old Cocker Spaniel was just diagnosed with Pseudomona infections in his ear canals. Could you explain how vets can diagnose this, how to treat it, and how difficult it is to get rid of it? This is my second cocker spaniel from the same breeding, and the first also suffered very badly from Pseudomona infections. He had to have part of his ear canal removed. It seems so strange that both dogs had this problem. Is this common with cocker spaniel?

Plus, that same little dog has lost 5 pounds in the past month. He’s being checked for diabetes, and they found a cataract in one of his eyes. Could there be an underlying issue that we might miss? MG, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

Dear MG: Your dog’s condition is called otitis externa, and it is a common complaint in dogs. It is an inflammation of the external ear canal, which is made up of the pinna (auricle) and the vertical and horizontal ear canals up to the level of the eardrum (eardrum). In many cases of otitis externa, there is a secondary infection with a fungus or bacteria.

Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a common germ found in soil, water, and decaying organic matter, but it is not a normal inhabitant of the canine ear. When it shows up there and leads to infection, it can be difficult to manage; treatment is further complicated by the growing number of drug-resistant strains.

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