Common ear and eye problems in cats and dogs

Common ear & eye problems in cats & dogs
Pets can experience problems with their ears or eyes throughout their lifetime. Some are common ailments that may happen frequently, others less so and could be indicative of underlying conditions.

What can cause common ear and eye problems?

  1. Ear infections – An ear infection is an irritating and painful overgrowth of bacteria or yeasts inside the ear. Most ear infections develop due to an underlying problem, excessive ear cleaning or wax. Dogs with long floppy (‘pendulous’) ears such as Spaniels, Setters or Bloodhounds are at particular risk, as are dogs with hairy ear canals such as Miniature Poodles and Schnauzers.
  2. Allergies –  Ear problems are often the first signs that your pet may actually have a skin allergy.  Allergies to such things as fleas, pollen or foods can cause the lining of the ear to become itchy. You can find out more about allergies here 
  3. Ear Mites – These parasites live on the skin’s surface, particularly in the ear canal. They’re transferred between animals on contact. The eggs and mites can persist for several months as the life cycle of a mite takes approximately 21 days to complete.
  4.  Dry Eye- Is a condition that stops the eye producing enough tears, causing them to become dry and inflamed. It’s very painful and left untreated can lead to conjunctivitis and eye ulcers, and in serious cases cause blindness. Breeds prone to dry are, Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Pug, West Highland White Terrier, Yorkshire Terrier and Shih Tzu.

How can you tell if your pet has an eye problem?

If your pet has an eye problem, you may notice these symptoms :-

  • The eyes are red/inflamed
  • Your pet is pawing or rubbing their face a lot
  • Weeping or discharge from the eyes
  • Blood in the eye
  • A lump around the eye
  • A change in size or shape of pupil
  • Loss of vision

Tear staining is also something you may see, particularly if you have a white cat or dog, and whilst harmless and not an actual problem, some owners would prefer not to see the staining on the fur from a cosmetic point of view. Products like Ocryl Tear Stain Remover & Eye Cleansing Solution can help with the appearance of tear stains on your pet.

How can you treat eye problems?

Any noticeable changes to the eyes really should be checked out by your vet as soon as possible. Leaving your pet without treatment could lead to serious health problems.

If your pet has been diagnosed with dry eye, your vet will most likely recommend prescription medication and regular eye wiping. There are non prescription eye drops available that can help dry eye, such as Viskyal, used daily, it provides hydration and protection for the eye surface. It’s always best to ask your vet first before you try a treatment.

 

How can you tell if your pet has an ear problem?

Some signs are more obvious than others, but there may be an issue with your pet’s ears if:-

  • They excessively scratch and rub their ears
  • Frequently twitch or shake their head
  • There’s blood coming from their ear canal
  • Experience loss of balance
  • Ears are red
  • There is abnormal or increased levels of discharge from the ears (it’s usual to have a small amount of wax in the ears)
  • Ears are smelly

How can you treat ear problems?

You should be aware of your pet’s general day to day behaviour and if you see some of the signs outlined above starting, or upon inspection, your pet’s ears are different to normal, contact your vet as soon as possible.

Most ear infections and ear mites will require medication to treat. However, there are ear cleansers, such as EpoOtic that can help to keep your pet’s ears clean by removing bacteria, dirt and unwanted wax. As tempting as it is, never use a cotton wool bud to clean your pet’s ears.

Ear problems caused by allergies can take a little longer to identify. Your vet may start by suggesting a change in diet to a sensitive skin recipe and offer some immediate relief and/or treatment if your pet has caused damage to their skin.

Visit our Animed Direct website for our full range of ear & eye products and to search our prescriptions A-Z.