The importance of the revisit –
Do I really need to come back?

After a diagnosis is reached and a treatment plan agreed, a member of your vet team will likely organise a follow up appointment with you, the first one usually after around a week. 

A follow up appointment allows for multiple essential events to occur:

Hopefully the answer is really well, but if not, this can be detected and discussed early. You could even take notes to share with your vet team. 

Your veterinarian will probably want to re-examine your dog, the ear itself and to repeat cytology. This provides information on whether the inflammation/infection is resolving as expected. If not, the plan can be changed. 

Your vet will also want to check that  the medication is working for you. If you are administering medication at home, your veterinarian can check how you are finding this. This gives you an opportunity to feedback and express any concerns or challenges. Be honest with your vet team – is there a need for a change in treatment strategy?

It’s likely that you have thought of more questions surrounding your dog’s ear condition. This appointment provides an extra opportunity to find the answers. No question is too small, and your vet team will have heard everything before!

The long-term planning – Where do we go from here?

In most of otitis cases, there will be a primary factor which led to the current ear problem. It might be a quick fix like a grass seed in the ear canal or parasites residing in the ear, but in a majority of cases, allergic skin disease is the problem. This primary problem might be further complicated by a less fortunate ear shape or perhaps a habit of frequent swimming. 

Early intervention is beneficial. If you quickly get to terms with the actual cause of your dog's ear condition, you and your vet team will find a long - lasting solution that works for all parties. This might include regular use of an ear cleaner, or an anti-inflammatory ear drop.

This means less pain for your dog and a feeling of understanding and empowerment that you now know what you need to do and when.