Is cream cheese good for dogs
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Is cream cheese good for dogs’ ears?
A good question to ask a vet.
Many vets offer an anti-inflammatory ointment to treat dogs’ ears after an injury. If the ear is red, warm to the touch, painful, itchy, or otherwise bothering the dog, an ear ointment should be applied.
Does that ointment work? Who knows. It could be that a dog’s ear is irritated by a foreign object, by an infection, or by something in the environment. Ointments contain steroids that can cause the dog’s ear to swell and may cause irritation. Some dogs also just don’t like having anything on their ears.
A better question is whether the ointment is actually doing anything to help. We do know that some anti-inflammatories (e.g., ibuprofen) can help manage some types of inflammation, and some studies have shown that some ear ointments contain some anti-inflammatories. We don’t have many studies looking at the “real” question: Does an ear ointment reduce the pain or irritation of an ear injury?
So does using an anti-inflammatory ointment in a dog’s ears help that dog? Or is it just a nice-to-have, a Band-Aid for a problem that otherwise would go away on its own?
This question came up in a question from one of our veterinary colleagues. A dog had a laceration on his inner ear, a condition called otitis externa. The doctor suggested putting some sort of ointment into the ears, to help keep the ear’s skin from getting irritated. It seemed like a great idea – the wound on the ear would heal, the ear would heal on its own, and the dog would be comfortable.
It turns out, the ointment used by the vet was a moisturizing ointment, which is typically used on humans and animals. It had no anti-inflammatory effect at all – it was just putting some oil on the area to help keep the ear’s skin moist.
Here’s what the ointment actually does:
The ointment can be irritating to some animals
The ointment won’t heal the injury, or prevent the ear from getting irritated again
If your pet is allergic to an ingredient in the ointment, it could trigger an allergic reaction and cause the ear to get even worse
And, it won’t prevent a dog’s ear from getting infected, if the ear starts to look a little brown.
So, using this ointment to help manage an injury or infection in a dog’s ear won’t do much to help the ear heal on its own, and it won’t prevent an ear infection from coming back.
Instead, it would be a waste of time and money, and could even worsen the problem.
Your dog’s ear is a very sensitive area, and some dogs are more prone to getting ear infections than others. So, using an ointment to help a dog’s ear heal on its own is a pretty pointless use of resources.
If your dog’s ear starts to look a little brown and is a little tender, try using a warm, wet washcloth to wipe the ear a few times a day to help keep it clean. You should also avoid using too much pressure, and should keep your dog’s ear protected from getting things like toys, water, or sand in it.
Some dogs will need to be treated for a minor infection in their ear in order to avoid future ear problems. Your vet will be able to tell you how to best help your dog with an ear infection, and when to take your dog in for regular treatment.
You should always call your vet or a groomer if you notice your dog’s ears start to look a little inflamed or sore, and you should always try to keep your dog’s ears dry. If you have questions, don’t hesitate to call your vet for help, or contact our office for more information about your dog’s ears.
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