Your pet's ears are gateways to their auditory sensory system for the sense of hearing.
Infection of the external ear canal (outer ear infection) is called otitis externa and is one of the most common types of infections seen in dogs. Some breeds, particularly those with large, floppy, or hairy ears like Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, or Old English Sheepdogs, appear to be more prone to ear infections, but ear infections may occur in any breed.
Ear infections are painful. Many dogs will shake their head and scratch their ears trying to relieve the discomfort. The ears often become red and inflamed and develop an offensive odor. A black or yellowish discharge commonly occurs. In chronic cases, the ears may appear crusty or thickened and the ear canals often become narrowed (stenotic) due to the chronic inflammation.
An ear swab examination is a test used to determine the cause of abnormal ear discharge. Bacteria and/or yeast organisms or mites are common findings with ear infections. The result of the examination can help determine drug choice. Culture and sensitivity can also be performed on an ear swab sample to determine which bacteria are causing the infection and the best choice of antibiotic treatment. An ear swab examination is indicated anytime there is ear discharge, signs of inflammation or itchiness of the ears.
Conducting a culture and susceptibility is the best way to determine the bacterial pathogens associated with disease in an animal and to guide the selection of the appropriate antimicrobial.
Mail-in collection kits include everything you need to collect and ship the sample back to our partner lab.
Health information is health power.
1. Ear infections
2. Culture and Sensitivity