What do you recommend for chronic ear infections?

Ear infections can be very difficult to treat. The first thing we recommend is anesthetizing your pet for an ear flush (thorough cleaning). This is too painful to be done well when the animal is awake.

At-home care is very important, though very time-consuming. Those ears need to be cleaned and treated daily. If the infection subsides, the ears must still be cleaned for the animal’s lifetime.

For infections that do not respond to medical treatment, surgery is the only option. Depending on the damage to the ear, either a lateral ear resection or a total ablation is performed. It may be the only way to keep your pet comfortable.

What tests are available to detect deafness in dogs?

The most definitive test is usually only available at veterinary teaching hospitals. The easiest test is clapping your hands sharply while your dog is not looking and checking for a response.

The fancy test is called a “Brain Auditory Evoked Response Test” and it involves using electrodes in the skin over the head and monitoring brain activity after an electrical impulse is delivered.

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