Allergies and Ear Infections

Allergies in dogs often show up as itchy ears or an ear infection in addition to causing itchy skin. If your dog regularly gets ear infections in spring, an allergy may be to blame.
In spring, flowers, trees and grasses all produce allergens which stimulate antibody production. Certain people and dogs either produce too many antibodies, or are more sensitive to it.

Dog have the most antibody receptors on their skin and in their ear canals. So dogs typically get itchy skin and ear infections. If your dog has allergies, then you must treat the cause as well as the symptoms.

 Just like humans, dogs can be allergy tested to find out exactly what he is allergic to. One type of test involves your vet taking blood and sending it to an allergy lab for analysis. You’ll get back a sheet of what your dog is extremely and moderately allergic to.

Food allergies especially seem to affect the ears, so if you find out your dog is allergic to certain ingredients, you may need to change his food.

A couple of foods that have non-standard protein sources and that have worked for me are:
• Natural Balance Duck and Potato Formula
• Wellness Simple Grain Free Salmon & Potato Formula
• Orijen Regional Red

There is not too much to do about environmental allergies like tree pollen and grasses besides recognizing when allergens are highest. Wiping his feet and face after each trip outside helps remove the allergens from his body. Your vet also may suggest being proactive by giving him an oral antihistamine before allergy season.

Keeping his ears clean is especially important before and during allergy season. Clean and inspect them once a week. This also gives you a chance to keep track of and fight any ear infection in its early stages.

Zymox Otic works really well to give relief from itching and significantly reduce the irritation.
If you clean his ears regularly and use Zymox, you can avoid trips to the veterinarian and keep him off antibiotics. Overuse of antibiotics can cause canine ear infections to become resistant to them and increases the risk he develops an antibiotic resistant infection, which could be a serious health problem. But if home care does not totally control his symptoms, or if he develops an ear infection, it is time for a visit to the vet.

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