Ear Infections in Dogs
Whether they are pointy or floppy, long or short, dogs' ears are a sensitive
part of their bodies. Unattended ear infections in dogs can lead to serious
problems and possible hearing loss. If the ears smell bad, your dog is
scratching at them or shaking his head, or if he acts in pain when you touch
them, it could be a sign of an infection and the time to call your
veterinarian. Also, just like the warnings for human ears, dogs' ears are no
place for cotton swabs.
Signs of ear infection in dogs
- Unpleasant odor
- Excessive scratching and pawing of the ear and head
- Sensitivity to touch, often resulting from pain
- Constant tilting/shaking of the head to one side
- Black or yellowish discharge
- Redness or swelling of the ear flap or canal
- Changes in behavior like listlessness, depression or irritability
- Accumulation of dark brown wax
- Loss of balance or hearing and disorientation
- Bleeding or discharge resembling coffee grinds
Causes of ear infections in dogs
Ear problems are relatively common in dogs, especially during the summer
months and in breeds with floppy ears. All ear problems have an
underlying cause, which must be determined. Simply treating the ear for
inflammation and infection guarantees that the problem will reoccur.
Because of the many different causes of a dog's ear infection, it is
important to have your dog examined by a veterinarian, who can then
determine the proper medication or treatment.
- Allergies - In dogs allergies manifest themselves as skin itching and
irritation. The ear is lined with very sensitive waxy skin, which also
becomes itchy in allergic dogs. These dogs scratch and rub at their ears
causing inflammation and the release of exudates that grow bacteria and
molds. Types of allergies: dust mites - cigarette smoke - mildews -
grasses - pollens - weeds - certain ingredients in their food.
- Parasites - Ear mites are tiny infectious organisms resembling
microscopic ticks. Infection usually produces a characteristic dry black
ear discharge commonly said to resemble coffee grounds.
- Bacteria and Yeast - Dogs have long ear canals that can hold water after
a bath, swim, or run through tall, wet grass. Add to this a floppy ear that
prevents good ventilation of the ear canal and you have a warm, moist, dark
environment in which yeast thrive. The more moisture yeast get, the worse
the infection will be.
- Foreign object - It is not uncommon to find foreign objects in the ears
of dogs. The most common are grass seeds. These are irritating and
contaminated with potential environmental pathogens. Affected animals are
extremely uncomfortable and a common complaint is frequent or persistent
head-shaking or pawing at the head.
- Trauma - An ear hematoma is simply a blood clot that forms in between
the skin and the cartilage of the ear. Ear hematomas are usually the result
of excessive blunt trauma that results in broken and bleeding blood vessels.
This trauma is usually self induced and a result of chronic itching.
- Hormonal Abnormalities - Hypothyroidism is an inadequate production of
hormone from the thyroid gland. Hypothyroidism commonly affects the coat and
skin and can causes hair loss (balding), excessive dandruff, poor hair
re-growth after clipping, increased pigment in the skin, and ear infections.
Dog Ear infections
- Aural Hematoma - An aural, or ear, hematoma is a swelling in the
earflap resulting from an injury. When the tiny blood vessels in the
ear's cartilage rupture and bleed, the hematoma ‘- a firm, fluid-filled
swelling - ’ will appear within the dog's ear. The examining
veterinarian will be able to treat this hematoma by any of several
procedures that drain the fluid.
- Deafness - usually brought on by age, trauma, loud noise or
infection, can also be hereditary or congenital. Unfortunately, once
diagnosed, clinical deafness is a lifelong condition.
- Ear Mites - are common parasites that are highly contagious, often
spread from pet to pet. Excessive itching is the most common sign. Ear
mites create dark, crumbly debris that look like coffee grinds.
- Haematoma of the Ear Flap - means blood has accumulated in the ear
flap (pinna). Vigorous head shaking, scratching or trauma to the ear
area result in damage to the blood vessels, often set off by infection,
mites, fleas or debris.
- Otitis Externa - Infection of the external ear canal and Otitis
Media, infection of the middle ear, are usually caused by bacteria or
Other ear problems include accumulation of wax, matted hair, debris or a
foreign object lodged in the ear canal. When seeking treatment, act
quickly. If your dog has an ear infection, he/she will be in
considerable discomfort. Antibiotics are used for bacterial infections
while antifungals are administered for yeast.
Dog ear infections can also be indicative of other problems such as
allergies, hormonal abnormalities or hereditary diseases. Your
veterinary will determine this during your visit and suggest the best
course of action.
Dog Ear Care
Otoscope - A high intensity
Professional Veterinary Otoscope
lets you examine
your pet's ears up close so you can detect ear conditions before they become
Clensing Pads - Keeping your pet's ears clean and dry is
your best defense against ear infections. It's recommended you clean your
pet's external ear canal 1-2 times per week.
Ear Clens Pads
are convenient pads that work gently; yet contain powerful anti-bacterial,
anti-fungal ingredients that help change the pH in your pet's ear, making it
much less likely to harbor the growth of yeast and bacteria.
Clensing Solution - For areas of the ear you cannot
reach with a pad, squirt a few drops of
Ear Clens Solution
in the ear.
Drying Agents - Relieve your pet's irritating ear itch
and help prevent bacteria and fungal growth by keeping ear canals dry. Dry
ears stay clean and healthy and odor-free.
Wax Build-up -
is a cleaning
solution that breaks down the wax buid up allowing you to wipe away.
Ear Mitacide - Ear mites can cause your dog to be
Ear mite treatments
can eliminate these irritating, common parasites that your pet can pick up.
If itchy ears are accompanied by a black, crumbly discharge, there's a good
chance your pet has ear mites. And the constant scratching means that he'll
be more prone to ear infections.
gentle herbal formula
for dogs and cats to clean and disinfect the ears, dissolve ear wax, and
remove foreign debris.