The ear canal is divided into three sections i.e., external ear, middle ear, and inner ear. When the inflammation occurs in the middle ear it is referred to as otitis media. When infection of the external ear is not treated well it can extend to the middle ear by breaking through the eardrum. Symptoms of otitis media include the waxy or pus-filled discharge, strong odor, hearing impairment, and pain in tissues surrounding the ear. Diagnosis is made by physical examination using an illuminated otoscope. Debris may be necessary to remove when the amount of discharge is high as it prevents the diagnosis.
For an accurate diagnosis, general anesthesia or sedation may be required because visualizing the deeper portions of the ear of your pet is painful to them.
Treatment involves the following:
For infection- Topical medication (antibiotic/ antifungal)
For inflammation – removal of debris and use of anti-inflammatory medications
Treating the underlying causes such as the presence of foreign bodies and hyperthyroidism
When infection is severe, imaging techniques such as x-rays or CT-Scan may be required to determine the extent of the disease. In case of the presence of a tumor, a surgical procedure is required for its removal. Follow-ups are required for treating the infection completely and prevent it from reoccurring.