Management of otitis externa

Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 1994 Sep;24(5):921-52. doi: 10.1016/s0195-5616(94)50109-8.


Otitis externa represents one of the most common reasons that pets are presented for veterinary attention. They are also some of the more frustrating entities practitioners are called on to deal with. Successful management depends on an understanding of the primary, predisposing, and perpetuating factors involved in the pathogenesis of otitis externa. Emphasis is then placed on establishing a diagnosis through physical examination, cytologic examination, culture and sensitivity testing, radiographs and biopsies. The general goals of management are to resolve, remove, or control primary factors, clean and dry the ear, reduce inflammation and resolve secondary infections. These goals are achieved through various cleaning techniques, topical, and systemic therapies. Therapeutic alternatives are given for otitis involving bacteria, Malassezia, otodectes, demodex, allergies, ceruminous disorders, the idiopathic inflammatory/hyperplastic otitis externa of cocker spaniels, "Swimmer's Ear", contact/irritant reactions, overtreatment, and concurrent otitis media.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cat Diseases / etiology
  • Cat Diseases / therapy*
  • Cats
  • Dog Diseases / etiology
  • Dog Diseases / therapy*
  • Dogs
  • Otitis Externa / etiology
  • Otitis Externa / therapy
  • Otitis Externa / veterinary*