Dog and Cat Ears
Dogs have ears which have evolved to be self-cleaning. The skin grows outwards and carries debris towards the opening of the ear, like a conveyor belt.
The external ear canal is L-shaped with a vertical canal, then a horizontal canal, leading up to the ear drum (the membrane separating the delicate hearing and balance organs from the outside environment).
While the common yeast or fungal growth on a dog's skin is quite normal and causes no problems, it can proliferate and cause disease when there is a change is the dog's underlying health.
Ear problems in dogs are not uncommon. Many normal dog ears will have some bacteria present, but a change in the underlying health of the ear can make this normal flora proliferate, cause disease and can allow other environmental bacteria to invade.
Ear disease is quite common in dogs and can result from a range of factors, including bacterial and fungal infections, ear mites, allergies, foreign bodies such as grass seed or sand, tumors, over-active glands or skin cell replacement.
Ear disease is quite common in dogs and can result from a range of factors, including bacterial infections, fungal infections, ear mites, allergies, foreign bodies such as grass seed or sand, tumors, over-active glands or skin cell replacement.
Ear mites in dogs and cats cause intense irritation and can lead to otitis externa ¿ i.e. external ear infection. Pet ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) are external parasites which can infect dog and cat ear canals. Although ear mite infestations do occur in dogs, cats are more likely to suffer from ear mites.
Ear mites are highly contagious between animals and are not host specific. Adult ear mites live on the surface of the external ear canal and do not burrow. Ear mites may be seen as tiny white dots in the animal¿s ear but more commonly the owner will identify a dark brown to black debris and discharge in the ear canal. Ear mites can predispose the ear to secondary ear infections with bacterial and yeast overgrowth so the appearance of the ear discharge may be somewhat altered in these cases.