Ear Infections


Many dogs suffer from chronic ear infections with red, painful ear canals, yeast overgrowth, and thick, dark discharge.  You might see the dog digging in his ears with his toenails, or rubbing his ears on the floor or furniture.  Infected ears often have a foul smell, and generate a lot of discomfort for your dog.


Treating the cause of the ear infection is really more important than treating the infection itself, as without identifying the cause the infection will return and require more treatment, and more expense, for the owner.


Ear infectionsAlpine Animal Clinic takes a modern approach to this common problem by focusing on the source of the problem rather than just cover it up with ear ointments and antibiotics.  With a careful history your veterinarian might select to eliminate certain environmental factors, do a diet trial, or choose special blood testing to pinpoint the source of the problem.  


There are also modern medications that are safer and have fewer side effects than the prednisone treatments of the past, and your vet might recommend medication to help your dog reduce sensitivity to the cause of his ear infections.


Surgical Intervention is available for very severe, long-standing infection of the ear. Fortunately, most infections will never reach this stage, but when ear structure has been destroyed by long-standing infection and allergies, Alpine Animal Clinic has the ability to surgically remove the diseased portion of the ear canal without taking away the hearing portion of your dog's ear.



This photo (above) shows an ear after severe destruction by unchecked allergies.

ear op photo

A careful margin around the diseased portion of the ear canal, while leaving the external ear flap structure and the internal hearing apparatus.  This service generates a comfortable, healthy dog without the severe infection and pain from the diseased canal. The final picture shows the end result after the diseased tissue has been removed.



This dog healed her ear beautifully, and her owners reported she was comfortable for the first time in years, with better hearing than she had before now that the diseased ear canal was gone. Perhaps the most important part of her care was permanently removing the foods to which she had allergies.