Diagnostic and Therapeutic Procedures

WHAT IS AN EAR SWAB EXAMINATION?

An ear swab examination is a test used to determine the cause of abnormal ear discharge. Bacteria and/or yeast organisms or mites are common findings with ear infections. The result of the examination can help determine drug choice. Culture and sensitivity can also be performed on an ear swab sample to determine which bacteria are causing the infection and the best choice of antibiotic treatment. An ear swab examination is indicated anytime there is ear discharge, signs of inflammation or itchiness of the ears.

There are no real contraindications to performing this test in an animal with ear inflammation, discharge or itchiness.

WHAT DOES AN EAR SWAB EXAMINATION REVEAL?

An ear swab examination reveals the presence of bacteria, fungi and parasites. Determining the underlying cause of ear discharge, pain or itchiness can help determine appropriate treatment.

How Is an Ear Swab Examination Done?

To perform an ear swab examination, a cotton tip applicator is placed within the ear canal. With a gentle movement, some discharge or debris is captured on the swab. This discharge is then smeared on a glass slide, stained and examined under a microscope. Results are usually available within 1 to 2 hours. Sometimes, the sample is submitted to an outside laboratory for evaluation. Some test results may not be available for up to 2 to 4 days.

IS AN EAR SWAB EXAMINATION PAINFUL?

Usually, obtaining an ear swab sample is not painful but can cause some discomfort. For some animals, severe ear disease may be present and placing a swab in the highly inflamed, tender canal can be quite painful.

IS SEDATION OR ANESTHESIA NEEDED FOR AN EAR SWAB EXAMINATION?

Neither sedation nor anesthesia is needed in most patients; however, sometimes ear disease is so significant that obtaining an ear swab sample can be quite painful. In these situations, tranquilization or ultra short anesthesia may be needed.

Dear Valued Clients

During these challenging times, there have been some unforeseen changes at The Big Easy Animal Hospital. I cannot express enough my sincere apology for any inconvenience you have experienced at The Big Easy during these times. As we strive to make the practice safe to protect everyone including you, your family, and our Big Easy team and their families, I’ve decided to make certain changes while we are under this pandemic. These changes will be temporary.

 

Monday through Friday:

Walk Ins start at 10:00am, check-in starts at 9:00am.There are a limited amount of patients we can accept. Our receptionists will be happy to assist you with options to help guide you and your pet(s).)

 

Starting Saturday, August 1st

Saturdays will be TECHNICIAN APPOINTMENTS only. These will include boosters, bloodwork, nail trims, certain diagnostics, etc. There will not be a veterinarian on site. While I understand these changes can be inconvenient, I have listed local veterinary clinics that we have contacted and are open to see walk-ins throughout the week and Saturdays as well. For life threatening emergencies that occur outside business hours, please contact the following 24-hour animal hospitals below.

Please, be safe and healthy.

Thank you all for your understanding. -Aileen Ruiz, DVM

 

24 Hour Emergency Care:

 

Pittsburgh Veterinary Specialty and Emergency Center

807 Camp Horne Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)366-3400

 

AVETS

4224 Northern Pike
Monroeville, PA
(412)373-4200


VCA Castle Shannon Animal Hospital

3610 Library Road
Pittsburgh, PA
(412)885-2500


Veterinarians Accepting Walk in Care:

Penn Animal Hospital

2205 Penn Avenue
(412)471-9855
WALK—IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 10:00 AM – 1:30 PM


North Boros Veterinary Hospital

2255 Babcock Blvd
(412)821-5600
WALK-IN’S—MONDAY THRU FRIDAY from 9:00 AM – 12:30 PM

 

 

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