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Otitis externa is an infection in the region of the ear that is on the outer side of the eardrum.  These infections can be challenging to resolve due to the deep "L" shape of the outer ear canal in dogs and cats.

This page explains the usually recommended ear treatment protocol.  If you have been given other instructions by the doctor for your pet's particular case, please follow the instructions given to you.  If you are unsure about the instructions to follow, please call us at the office.  Our animal hospital is always here for you to answer any questions you may have about your pet's health care needs.


You should flush the ear out once daily at home for at least the first seven days.  If the ear medication has already been dispensed, apply it twice daily for this first week also, though not at the same time as the flushing.  Apply the medication into the ear at least one hour after flushing and again in the PM.


Once daily FILL the affected ear canal(s) with ear cleanser.

 Massage the ear(s) to help break up the debris within.

Allow your pet to shake.  Fluid and debris will be sprayed all over, so this is best done outside or in a garage.  DON'T GET FLUID IN YOUR EYES.  IT STINGS.

Wipe debris from the ear canal(s) with a cotton ball.  If a lot of debris comes out, repeat the above steps.

Apply ear medication (if dispensed) twice daily.  Wait at least one hour after flushing ears to apply med.


If you are no longer getting a discharge from the ears, stop flushing and continue apply into the ear the topical medication twice daily.  Apply enough medication to coat the inner lining of the canal(s).

The medication would have been dispensed at the office visit unless  Culture and Sensitivity tests were performed.  In this case, the medication will be selected based on the test results, and you will need to return to Birdneck Animal Hospital to get it.  If a C&S was performed and you have not heard from us by seven days after your pet's appointment, please give us a call.


It is extremely important to have your pet's ears rechecked by our veterinarian at our Virginia Beach Animal Hospital after the two weeks of treatment.  It is not unusual for treatment to be needed for a longer period.  Also, if the problem is not completely resolved it will recur, possibly with bacteria that are now resistant to the antibiotic.

Virginia Beach Veterinarian | Birdneck Animal Hospital
508 North Birdneck Rd Suite C
Virginia Beach, VA 23451
Phone: (757) 355-5694