There are a lot of ear infections that you can handle. There are some you can not.
You really do need a vet visit if:
- the ears are not getting better after a few days of cleaning
- the ears are too painful for cleaning
- the ear opening is so swollen shut that you can not get any cleaner down there
Your vet can also help you tease out the reason the ear infection happened:
- whether this is just circumstantial, for example from water down the ear
- does your dog have an underlying condition that “turns up the thermostat” inside the ear, such as allergies or an oil-gland imbalance (seborrhea – big issue for cocker spaniels, for example).
If medical treatment can get the underlying issue under control, you may need never to have to deal with itchy stinky ears again!
Pictures of a dog treated with Laser Therapy: the swelling and scarring had closed the ear openings off, no cleaner or medicine could get in. The laser treatments relieved pain, and diminished the inflammation enough to open the canals and let topical treatment work.
And if the do-it-yourself ear cleaning steps do get on top of the ear problem without needing to go in to the vet’s, you will have both a happier dog and a happier wallet!