Ear infections! I’ve mentioned them before and how important it is to have your veterinarian check an ear smear to see what organism is causing the infection (yeast or bacteria). But… what is really CAUSING the ear infection (otitis)? The majority of ear infections in the dog are due to underlying food allergy or environmental allergy (atopy). The otitis will keep recurring if underlying allergies are not addressed and treated. And the longer otitis goes on, the more destruction to the ear canal that results in scarring and possible surgery so prompt treatment is always advised! There is a myth that floppy eared dogs tend to have more ear infections but that has NOT been proven to be true. In fact, some of the worst ear infections I have seen in practice are in breeds such as German shepherds and French Bulldogs-both of which have “perky” ears. As you see in the pictures below, the first is an early start to otitis in a Golden Retriever and the nodular hyperplasia in the second photo is an end stage otitis requiring surgery. Early on, we need to determine what infectious organism is causing the otitis, address the yeast or bacteria, reduce the inflammation, and find out what the underlying allergy is to prevent this from becoming a surgical problem. Have a great day and kiss the pets for me!