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Tips on socializing your puppy


Whether you are a new dog owner or you have raised several types of puppies, the term “socialization” will eventually come up in your circle of friends. Although the term is unfamiliar to some, it is a “must know” when it comes to having a well-behaved and happy adult.

What is Socialization?

Socialization of a dog involves the process of preparing your pet so that it establishes positive behaviors around other animals, people and places. Generally it is best to “socialize” your dog between 4 and 14 weeks of age. This period is crucial for developmental stages. It is when your puppy is more sensitive and receptive to new experiences. In fact, quality positive experiences during their sensitive period are vital for your pet’s disposition. Specialists agree that negative experiences during these times can also have long-lasting damaging effects. Socialization is essential if you desire to form positive behavior so that your puppy develops into a secure and happy adult.

When to Train

Although 3 to 14 weeks is ideal for socialization, it is never too late to help your dog socialize. Older dogs really can be trained; it just takes more time. Make sure to keep the experience positive when exposing your pet to new dogs, people and places.

Tips on Socialization

It is relatively pretty easy to socialize your animal especially when you keep the experience positive. However, there are a few tips that can help the process along.


Always start slow or small when introducing your pet to something unfamiliar. For example, introduce the vacuum cleaner while it is turned off. Next, move the vacuum cleaner while it is off. The next cleaning, turn the vacuum on but be in a room on the other side of the house. Never force your dog, allow him to approach the item on his own. Use encouragement and a happy voice. Feeding your pup treats is also a good technique when your pet is near the object. Also, make sure that your puppy focuses on you as well as the item.

Take Your Puppy to the Dog Park

Rendering to the American Kennel Club (AKC), it is important to give your dog ample stimulation, encouragement and socialization or the risk of fearful or aggressive behavior is increased. As well, the AKC) adds that your dog is more apt to bark and have separation anxiety. One of the best ways to add more exercise and socialization is to take your pet to the dog park on a regular basis. Never force your dog and always avoid over-stimulation. Introduce your pet to the dog park by a brief first visit then gradually increase the time. In addition, make sure to pick up after your dog during your visits.

Handle with Care

One of the best ways to ensure that your puppy grows up to be a friendly and confident dog is to have socialization and a variety of sensations for them to experience when they are a puppy and adolescent. One of the most important sensations for a pup is the way they are handled. According to the Animal Humane Society, young puppies need to be handled and cuddled every day and by as many people as possible. The contact should always be nice and gentle. As well, your pet should be held in a variety of positions. Other handling methods include rubbing her muzzle, stroke her back and sides, gently fondling her feet and make sure to look into her ears.

Whitworth Animal Clinic

If you have any concerns or you are unclear about how to socialize your puppy, always contact an experienced veterinarian. In addition, make sure to schedule an appointment while your puppy is still young and easier to train.

At Whitworth Animal Clinic, Dr. Whitworth provides top quality care for your canine. In fact, Charles D. Whitworth, D.V.M. has more than thirty years devotion as a Madison veterinarian. In fact, as a young kid in third grade Dr. Whitworth began his passion for animals and veterinarian life.

If you have any questions about socializing your puppy, contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. The clinic is conveniently located in Madison and serves the surrounding area including north Alabama and communities of Madison like Huntsville and Decatur.

Note: This article is not meant to replace professional medical advice. If you have any questions or concerns about socializing your puppy, make an appointment at Whitworth Animal Clinic.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Canine distemper is now an improved combination vaccine

photo of veterinarian giving a vaccine to the labrador puppy

Canine distemper is a virus that your dog can catch from another dog in a number of different ways. Some of the circumstances that may lead your pet to contract canine distemper include:

  • Contact with another dog’s fresh urine, blood, or saliva
  • Being near another infected pets’ sneezes or coughs
  • Sharing food or water with another pet who has the virus

If your dog shows the following signs of canine distemper, it’s urgent that you see your Madison or north Alabama veterinarian immediately. It’s important to vaccinate your pet against this virus that can lead to central nervous system disorders and even death if not detected, treated, or vaccinated against with a canine distemper vaccination. Some of the symptoms of canine distemper may include the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Thick mucus discharge from eyes and nose
  • Fever
  • Loss of energy
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite

Canine distemper can be prevented in most cases. Puppies and younger dogs are especially susceptible to catching the virus if they haven’t been properly vaccinated, with the first shots given at 6-8 weeks of age. By the time your pet is 4-5 months old, the vaccinations should be completed.

There now exists new and improved combination vaccines to protect your pet against this virus that can spread very quickly. The improved canine distemper combination vaccine is written in a number of different ways on your dog’s health records. It may be recorded as either DHPP, DA2PP, DHPPV, or DA2PPV. This updated combination vaccine protects your dog against canine distemper, canine adenovirus-2 infection, canine parvovirus, and parainfluenza. These are all crucial vaccines included in just one injection to protect your pet from distemper, hepatitis and respiratory diseases, the parvovirus, which can cause death in 90% of untreated dogs, and the canine flu. Your vet may recommend including other distemper combination vaccine elements that protect against leptospirosis, a bacterial infection of the kidneys and liver that can be transmitted to humans. Another component can protect against bordetella, otherwise known as kennel cough. This disease is easily contracted by dogs who are boarded in kennels or regularly interact with other dogs in parks or grooming salons.

If you live in Madison or its surrounding areas and you are concerned about your dog contracting canine distemper, call Dr. Charles Whitworth DVM, who serves the communities of Madison, Huntsville, Decatur and surrounding areas in north Alabama at the Whitworth Animal Clinic.

Keep your pet healthy with the help of our staff at Whitworth Animal Clinic, where you can take advantage of the many services we offer, including pet wellness, surgery, and emergency care. Contact our staff members at Whitworth Animal Clinic today to make an appointment so we can care for your best friend.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Tips on Grieving the Loss of a Pet

older Labrador Retriever at the vet laying on the tableFor a pet owner, nothing is more heartbreaking than having to say goodbye to their loving companion. It is an emotional event that can impact your entire family. Here are some tips to help you overcome the loss of a pet.

Remember the Good Times

While it is perfectly normal to feel sorrow, don’t allow negative thoughts to keep you down. The best approach is to focus on the good times you had together. Whether you are remembering a fun family vacation or thinking about your pet’s funniest bloopers, you are bound to crack a smile at some point. Always try to keep a positive attitude.

Give Your Pet a Memorial

According to a study, some people actually feel more attached to their pet than anyone else. By giving your pet a proper farewell ceremony, you will be able to experience a sense of closure. Don’t be afraid to express your true feelings. Although you can expect to shed a few tears, it will be the first step towards moving on with your life. Bringing out a few happy pictures will really help ease the pain.

Find a Support Group

When dealing with the death of a pet, it is a good idea to lean on others for encouragement. While your family and friends are always a great source of comfort, you can also join a support group. Online pet communities have recently started to become very popular. There are plenty of other compassionate pet owners who can relate to your experience. Whitworth Animal Clinic can certainly point you in the right direction.

Put Your Feelings in a Journal

If you are unable to talk about the loss of your pet, consider creating a journal. A written tribute will forever keep your pet’s memory alive. Most importantly, it helps prevent long-term sadness. As you are writing, you will be able to let your emotions just pour out.

Stay Active

Sitting around constantly grieving will only add to your stress. Make it a priority to get out of the house. Doing something fun will help boost your spirits. Over time, you will gradually begin to feel some relief.

While losing a pet can be disheartening, there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. You can count on Whitworth Animal Clinic to help you overcome the grief. Located in Madison, our facility welcomes everyone in North Alabama and the surrounding areas. From routine vaccinations to emergency care, we provide a number of important pet services.

This article does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Please call Whitworth Animal Clinic if you have any questions.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Dog Flu Update

photo of dog with an ice bag on its head | dog fluThe recent dog flu outbreak has definitely caused some concern for a lot of local pet owners. It is a highly contagious virus that has now been reported in a number of different states. This means that all dogs are at risk. Here are some valuable tips to help keep your own dog safe from canine influenza.

Dog Flu Signs and Symptoms

If your dog is dealing with a mild case of canine influenza, expect to notice respiratory symptoms such as coughing and a runny nose. Decreased energy is yet another common sign of the dog flu. Within a period of 15-30 days, your dog should be able to fully recover. According to the Chicago Veterinary Medical Association, the overwhelming majority of dog flu cases are not fatal.

On the other hand, a severe bout of the dog flu demands immediate attention. Waiting too long to seek treatment could lead to pneumonia. Be on the lookout for symptoms such as a high fever and bloody coughs. The best approach is to have your dog examined by Whitworth Animal Clinic. In the event that a secondary bacterial infection is detected, Charles Whitworth, D.V.M. may prescribe an antibiotic.

How Does the Dog Flu Spread?

Dogs that are regularly exposed to other dogs are far more likely to catch this virus. From sharing toys to simply touching noses, there are plenty of different ways to get infected with the dog flu. Places, such as dog parks and grooming salons, are obviously hot spots for canine influenza.

How Can You Help Prevent the Dog Flu?

While the dog flu is not 100 percent preventable, there are some effective ways to keep it at bay. Be especially careful about taking your dog to certain facilities. If you’ve heard about a particular dog flu outbreak, don’t hesitate to keep your pet at home. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has also approved a vaccine for the dog flu. However, you will first need to speak with a veterinarian to determine if a flu shot is recommend for your dog.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Clinic proudly serves the entire North Alabama area. If your pet is dealing with symptoms related to canine influenza, be sure to contact the clinic as soon as possible. We provide a variety of important pet services, including emergency care and vaccinations. You can always count on Charles Whitworth, D.V.M. to provide expert treatment.

*This article does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Please call Whitworth Animal Clinic if you have questions or a vet practice in your area.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

How to dodge kennel cough

photo of dog on a brown leather couch under blanket looking sick and exhausted | Whitworth Animal ClinicKennel cough is a common respiratory disease that can easily spread from one dog to the next. Although most dogs recover from kennel cough in a week or so, complications can also arise from this widespread infection. Pneumonia is by far one of the most dangerous ailments that can stem from kennel cough. You must take the necessary steps to keep your pet safe.

How to Protect Against Kennel Cough

If your dog is frequently around other dogs, the risk of him or her getting kennel cough increases dramatically. Dog parks, grooming salons, and training facilities are all places where kennel cough tends to circulate. The close interaction can expose even the healthiest of dogs to the disease. Sharing toys and water bowls can definitely transfer kennel cough. American Humane reveals that puppies and young adult dogs are especially at risk.

To give your dog an extra layer of protection against kennel cough, the best approach is to get all of the necessary vaccines. According to Charles D. Whitworth, DVM, the Bordetella bronchiseptica vaccine is highly recommended. It has been proven to lessen the effects of kennel cough. Before taking your dog to a facility, make sure that it requires pets to receive both the distemper vaccine and the bordetella vaccine. The extra peace of mind is well worth it.

What Happens if Your Dog Catches Kennel Cough?

Unfortunately, this disease is not fully preventable. Even if you are extremely cautious, kennel cough still remains a threat. A deep, hacking cough is one of the tell-tale signs that your dog is infected. Whitworth Animal Clinic urges you to get your pet examined as soon as possible. By quickly taking action, you can help prevent the seriousness of the disease. Blood work and chest X-rays will enable Charles D. Whitworth, DVM to rule out any underlying conditions such as pneumonia. While recovering from kennel cough, your dog needs to remain somewhat isolated from other dogs. Remember, it is an extremely contagious disease that spreads quickly.

If you live in Madison or the surrounding areas of North Alabama, be sure to contact Whitworth Animal Clinic. Charles D. Whitworth, DVM and the rest of the staff take great pride in caring for pets. Not only does this facility provide vaccines, but it also offers other important services such as veterinary surgery and microchipping. Don’t hesitate to set up an appointment for your pet.

This article does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Please call Whitworth Animal Clinic or a vet practice in your area if you have any questions.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Exercise for your dog benefits you

photo of a girl with golden retriever in parkDon’t allow your dog to become a lazy couch potato that only wants to eat and sleep. Not only do active dogs live longer, but they also tend to be happier pets. Let’s examine the ways that exercise can benefit dog owners.

A more peaceful home

If you live with a canine that constantly barks, expect to experience your fair share of restless nights. It is a big headache that will only become worse over time. Exercising can definitely help calm down your four-legged family member. Dogs are natural explorers that love stimulating walks. A relaxing stroll through the park will definitely help eliminate excessive woofing.

Fewer medical bills

According to a report from CNBC, exercising is one of the least expensive ways to help your pet live longer. Physically fit dogs experience far less medical problems in the long run. Regular exercise will strengthen a dog’s heart and bolster its immune system. Physical activity also helps your dog to maintain the ideal weight.

Less destructive

A bored dog will cause you a lot of problems. From chewed shoes to torn sofa cushions, the amount destruction will eventually take its toll. When the boredom simply becomes too much to take, some dogs may even try to escape. Exercising enables dogs to release built-up energy and tension. After going for a fun stroll around the neighborhood, you can expect your dog to be on its best behavior.

A tighter bond

Instead of sitting at home watching television with your dog, spend some time outdoors. It’s in a dog’s nature to run and play. A basic game of fetch will truly make their day. Tug of war is yet another exciting activity. Whitworth Animal Clinic encourages dog owners to have a good time. You will be helping create a tight bond that never becomes broken.

A more confident dog around others

In order for a dog to become more sociable, it must get accustomed to experiencing different environments. Avoid keeping your dog completely sheltered from the outside world. While walking the streets of North Alabama, your dog will gradually become used to meeting new people and interacting with other pets.

Located in Madison, Whitworth Animal Clinic proudly serves the entire North Alabama area. From pet vaccinations to emergency care, we provide a wide range of important services. You can always count on our team of professionals to make your pet a top priority. Don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment with us.

This article does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Please call Whitworth Animal Clinic or a vet practice in your area if you have questions.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Are Pet Vaccinations Required?

photo of a veterinarian holding and examining a Maltese Westie cross puppy with a stethoscopeMost people consider their pet to be an important part of their family. Like any other family member, you want your pet to remain healthy and full of life. Getting the necessary pet vaccinations should be a top priority. Here are some important facts that you should know about pet vaccinations.

Which Vaccinations Are Required by Law?

North Alabama necessitates pets to receive certain vaccinations. A rabies shot is certainly on the state’s list of requirements. Both one-year and three-year vaccines are available. Charles D. Whitworth, D.V.M. will counsel you on the best route to take.

What Are Some of the Other Recommended Vaccines?

Whitworth Animal Clinic provides a number of other important vaccines. If your pet tends to be outdoors a lot, it is certainly a good idea to get a Lyme disease shot. Ticks can easily spread this bacterial infection to your pet. Distemper vaccinations are equally as important. Known for attacking a dog’s nervous system, canine distemper is extremely contagious. You must also protect your pet from serious respiratory ailments such as Bordetella.

Why Should Your Pet Get Vaccinated

The world around us has many dangerous diseases. Although most pets have very strong immune systems, they are not invulnerable to getting sick. The best approach is to always take the necessary precautions. Getting the suggested vaccinations will surely bolster your pet’s defense mechanisms. Nothing beats being able to give your beloved friend an additional degree of protection.

There is no overlooking the consequences of not getting your pet vaccinated. In most instances, their life will be severely shortened. According to American Humane, most rabid animals will live no longer than five days after catching the disease. Furthermore, rabies is something that puts the rest of your family at risk. This is a sad situation that no one looks forward to experiencing.

Don’t Over-Vaccinate

For good reason, animal experts consider pet vaccinations to be vital for long-term health. However, don’t make the mistake of over-vaccinating your pet. Dr. Charles Whitworth urges you to stick to the recommended vaccination schedules. An extra dose will not provide any extra protection. Keep in mind that some vaccinations last for more than a year. You don’t want to jeopardize your pet by over doing it.

As you can see, the importance of getting the proper vaccinations cannot be stressed enough. Whitworth Animal Clinic will be more than happy to take care of your pet. From veterinary surgeries to pet grooming, the facility provides a number of important services. We proudly serve Madison and the surrounding areas in North Alabama.

Remember, this article does not take the place of professional veterinarian advice. Please call Whitworth Animal Clinic if you have questions or need help finding a vet practice in your area.

© 2017 Whitwoth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

Pain, pain, go away: arthritis robs active dogs of mobility

photo of a Golden Retriever playing in the park with a stickOne of the most common conditions affecting older dogs is arthritis or degenerative joint disease. As in humans, arthritis can be very painful for your dog. It can also rob your pet’s mobility and active lifestyle.

Generally, arthritis happens when an unstable joint causes the bones to move unnaturally within the joint. As a general rule, cartilage acts as a barrier between bones by lining the joints. However, over time the abnormal movements cause the cartilage and bone to rub against the bone. In turn, the rubbing creates chronic inflammation and pain.

What Causes Joint Problems in Dogs?

According to WebMD, the two main kinds of joint problems in dogs are degenerative and developmental issues. Degenerative problems are comprised of a wide array of issues like cruciate ligament problems and secondary osteoarthritis. Developmental problems include elbow or hip dysplasia where the joint does not develop properly.

Conferring to PetMD, there is no known cause for primary degenerative joint disease (DJD) or osteoarthritis.

On the other hand, there are numerous causes for secondary DJD like abnormal wear on the joints, trauma or congenital defect at birth like an improper shaped hip (hip dysplasia). Other causes include abnormal development of cartilage and bone, dislocation of the shoulder or kneecap and osteochondritis dissecans (OCD).

Signs of Arthritis

In general, the most common sign of arthritis is that your dog does less physical activity or has difficulty doing common activities. Sometimes even getting up on a chair or going up the stairs is very difficult. With more active dogs, the physical activity is quite reduced such as not wanting to play as long as normal or not being able to run as far as their normal distance.
After the initial warning signs, a dog’s condition generally gets worse. Because of the increasing pain, your dog may hold their limb up or hold it awkwardly. As a rule, dogs generally do not show their pain in the beginning of the stages. The pain is typically a slower process.

Breeds Prone to Joint Injury

Rendering to WebMD, there are certain breeds more prone to joint injury. For the most part, it is the larger dogs that are more susceptible to cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) injuries such as Newfoundland’s, Rottweiler’s, Labrador retrievers, golden retrievers and German shepherds. In addition, dogs that are obese and only get occasional exercise are more apt to develop CCL injuries. Certain breeds also have genetic conditions:

  • Rottweilers have more ankle and knee issues
  • Bernese Mountain dogs often get elbow dysplasia
  • Newfoundlands have the highest occurrence of cruciate ligament disease of all breeds


The good news is that there are several steps you can take to prevent arthritis from developing in your dog. One of the best preventative methods is to keep your dog at a healthy weight so that the joints are not so stressed. As well, there are certain diets designed specifically for animals that have arthritis. Some of the recommendations include pet foods high in Omega 3 and 6. However, it is always best to consult with a veterinarian before you place your dog on a certain diet. As well, if you suspect that your dog has arthritis, it is highly recommended that you get a diagnosis from a specialist as soon as possible.

Whitworth Animal Clinic

At Whitworth Animal Clinic, Charles Whitworth, DVM offers premium care for your dog. Dr. Whitworth is renowned for his exceptional care, having over thirty years as a veterinarian in Madison. Moreover, Charles Whitworth, DVM is very passionate about his work and has loved animals and the veterinarian life since he was in the third grade.

If you suspect that your pet has arthritis or your pet is in pain, contact Whitworth Animal Clinic is as soon as possible. The clinic is conveniently located in Madison and serves the surrounding areas including north Alabama and the communities of Madison like Decatur and Huntsville.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

ACL mishaps create agony for dogs and their owners

photo of German Shepherd dog lying on white background“Cute” is what dogs do best. It’s adorable the way they jump, run, twirl, wrestle, lunge, chase, dig, wiggle, and pull. All those delightful maneuvers can be tough on canine knees. For dogs, that means a sprain or tear of the cranial cruciate ligament (CCL) which stabilizes the knee (stifle) joint. When it comes to veterinary orthopedics, CCL injuries are the most common. A rupture of the CCL can cause dogs and their owners discomfort and distress.

The CCL in dogs, known as the ACL in humans, is vitally important to knee stability. Inside the knee joint, two ligaments cross and support the upper femur and lower tibia and cartilage cushions the joint. The CCL keeps the tibia in place and the knee steady and secure. Antics, aerobics, accidents and more can cause everything from a mild strain to a severe injury to these important ligaments.

It’s not surprising that bigger dogs such as Bernese Mountain dogs, Bullmastiffs, Chows, German Shepherds, Golden Retrievers, Rottweilers, Labs, American Staffordshire terriers, and Saint Bernards rack up more CCL problems because of their activity levels and their builds, but there are other risk factors:

  • “Fixed” female dogs lack some hormones that might protect the knee joints.
  • Overweight dogs, male and female: the extra pounds mean extra stress on joints.
  • Inactive dogs, like people, can suffer injury because of lack of muscle tone.
  • Aged dogs’ joints degenerate and leave them vulnerable.

There really is no way to predict knee problems or to protect your dog from them. All dogs, large and small, can have accidents; a simple trip or fall can cause CCL issues. The bad news is animals that have ruptured one CCL are more inclined to rupture the opposite side in 1 to 3 years.

If you suspect your dog (or cat) has a CCL problem, look for these symptoms:

  • A hint of lameness in a hind leg that continues for days
  • Swelling of the knee
  • Weakness or instability in a hind leg
  • Sudden lameness and pain in a hind leg

If you observe these symptoms, it’s time to take your pet to Whitworth Animal Clinic for a thorough examination and diagnosis. X-rays cannot show ligament damage, but they can tell if other parts of the knee joint are damaged or if there is another cause for the lameness. Dr. Whitworth is known throughout Alabama as an empathetic and knowledgeable veterinarian who can be trusted to give your pet excellent care.

Untreated, CCL injuries will lead to permanent damage and degeneration of the joint. When the CCL is torn, the entire leg is unstable, and the bones rub and cause inflammation. Minor sprains may be able to heal with rest, therapy and anti-inflammatories. However, surgery is required in many cases. It’s important to diagnose and treat the problem as early as possible to avoid putting extra strain on the opposite knee and to make sure recovery is as quick and complete as possible. Procrastinating treatment can have dire consequences on your dog’s mobility.

There are several types of surgery to treat CCL tears or ruptures. Dr. Whitworth will discuss your options in detail and guide you depending on the size of your dog and the type and extent of the injury.

The recovery period after surgery can be as hard on the owner as it is on the pet. Activity must be severely limited; the only place your pooch can run is in his dreams. Doggy therapy either at home or in a professional setting is critical. Long walks—on the beach or otherwise—are forbidden for months and the patient will need to be carried up and down stairs. The good news is that with surgery and several months of tender, loving care, your pet will be ready to resume his role as your companion and protector.

If your dog or cat is in pain, it may be a torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament (CCL). Dr. Charles D. Whitworth in Madison, Alabama, will carefully examine your cat or dog and get the treatment he or she needs to regain health and vitality. Call the office today to make an appointment.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.

How to identify and avoid doggone ear infections

photo of a vet checking the ears of a German Shepherd dogA common doggy ailment is the ear infection. They are tricky to diagnose since they can be caused by yeast infections, ear mites, allergies, hypothyroidism, wax, foreign objects, or excessive hair. The ear canal in humans is horizontal, but the canine ear canal is vertical; therefore, moisture or any kind of debris that gets in the ear is usually trapped. This skeletal glitch causes all sorts of disruption when it comes to the ears of man’s best friend.

As a pet owner, be on the lookout for these symptoms if you think your dog has an ear problem:

Unusual behaviors

  • Scratching the ear
  • Rubbing the ear on carpet/furniture
  • Head shaking/tilt
  • Loss of balance/walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

A look inside the ear reveals symptoms

  • A discharge or odor
  • Redness or swelling
  • Crusts or scabs

Candidates for ear infection

Dogs with allergies are far more likely to develop ear infections. If your dog has ears that stand up, he’s less likely to have problems. Cocker Spaniels, Labrador Retrievers and Springer Spaniels are more susceptible to canine ear infections. Some breeds with very hairy ears tend to have ear issues. Any dog can be a victim, however.

Right Diagnosis is critical

Because untreated infections can be very harmful, it’s important to make an appointment with Dr. Whitworth if you think your pet has an ear infection. He will use a special magnifying ear scope for the examination and collect samples to help confirm his diagnosis.

Without an accurate diagnosis, your dog cannot be treated effectively. Don’t let your dog suffer. There are so many possible causes for this condition, it’s important for him to be seen by an experienced professional like Dr. Whitworth.

How Are Ear Infections Diagnosed?

A veterinarian can usually diagnose an ear infection by examining the ear canal and ear drum with a magnifying ear cone similar to devices used on people. This may require sedation, especially if the dog is very painful. A sample of ear discharge may be examined to look for bacteria, yeast, and parasites. If a bacterial infection is suspected your veterinarian may send a sample of the ear discharge to a laboratory to see what bacteria is causing the infection. Other diagnostics may be done (such as checking for an underactive thyroid) if your veterinarian feels they are indicated.

Because there are multiple causes and contributing factors that cause ear infections in dogs, it is important that an accurate diagnosis is obtained by your veterinarian.

© 2017 Whitworth Animal Clinic. All rights reserved.