Most of the ear problems seen in dogs and cats involve disease of the external ear canal, a condition called otitis externa (sometimes called canker). Signs of otitis externa are commonly an itchy and painful ear, head shaking, or a slight head tilt, often accompanied by a discharge-as seen below.
There are several underlying causes of otitis externa including ear mite infestations, trapped foreign bodies (such as grass awns) and localized inflammation of the skin lining the ear canals- often as part of a more generalized skin condition. The condition is commonly made worse by opportunistic bacterial and fungal infections.
As with many conditions, early diagnosis and treatment of otitis externa give us the best chance of curing this often painful condition. If your pet is showing any of the signs of ear disease described above, please come and see us for a check-up.