Does your dog often seem to have itchy ears? This is not a problem you want to ignore. Not only can itchy ears have a worrisome underlying cause, like an infection or ear mites, but they can also lead to more serious issues, such as hematomas, if you ignore them. There is a lot that vets can do for itchy ears. Your vet may recommend one or more of the following treatments, depending on what they suspect is contributing to your dog's itchy ears.
Ivermectin is an insecticide that can be used topically. It can be used to kill ear mites. If your vet thinks that ear mites may be contributing to your dog's itchy ears, then they'll probably apply some ivermectin to your dog's ears, and then they will send you home with drops to apply a few more times over the coming weeks. Once the ear mites are gone, your dog's itchiness should clear up.
Ear infections are another common cause of itchy ears. It's not uncommon for dogs to have both an ear mite infestation and a bacterial infection in their ears, either. While some vets may administer a topical antibiotic cream or drops, most will just prescribe oral antibiotics for an ear infection, since the infection tends to be in the deeper, inner portion of the ear. The itchiness often disappears within a few days of starting antibiotics, but it's important to keep giving them for as long as your vet advised, which is usually 7 to 10 days. Otherwise, the infection may come back stronger.
Sometimes a vet will prescribe a corticosteroid medication, such as prednisone or prednisolone, in conjunction with either an antibiotic or ivermectin. The steroid helps bring the itchiness down even faster. It reduces inflammation and speeds healing. If your dog has been itching very intensely, and your vet is concerned they will cause damage to their ears in the process, then a steroid is likely to be given. Your dog will typically need to take a full dose for 10 days, and then you'll taper down their dose over the next week or two.
Those are the three key treatments vets prescribe for itchy ears in dogs. In addition, they may wrap your dog's ears or put a cone on their head to keep them from itching. With any luck, your dog's itchiness will subside, and they'll be back to themselves in no time. If your dog is exhibiting symptoms of itchy ears and you're worried, make a visit to a local vet clinic, like Johnstown Veterinary Associates.