Ear Problems In Dogs
There are a number of ear problems that can affect dogs. Ear infections are especially common, but other problems like injuries or deafness may also occur.
As a dog parent, you can help prevent major problems with your dog’s ears by learning how to detect problems early
Signs Of Ear Problems In Dogs
Shaking their head
Scratching their ears
Rubbing their ears or face on furniture, the floor, etc.
Painful, hot, red, or swollen ears
Vocalizing or whining when the ears are scratched or rubbed
Increased production of wax in the ear canals
Discharge from the ear canal that is typically dark brown or rust-coloured
Scabs and crusting on the ears or the face
A fluid-filled swelling within the ear flap (aural hematoma)
Deafness or hearing loss
Causes Of Ear Problems In Dogs
Parasites – Ear mites (Otodectes cynotis) can be common in puppies and can also spread to other animals in the household.
Allergic Skin Disease – Dogs with allergic dermatitis will often have secondary ear infections.
Waxy/Dirty Ears – A build-up of wax can create the perfect environment for bacteria and yeast to grow. This is often worse in breeds with narrow ear canals.
Trapped Water After Bathing or Swimming – This also creates a warm, damp environment for bacteria and yeast to grow.
Excessive Cleaning/Plucking of Hair In The Ear Canal – Be careful not to cause sores or irritate the skin of the ear when removing excess hair.
Foreign Bodies -Occasionally a grass seed or other debris can get lodged in the ear canal, causing pain and irritation.
Ear Shape – Some dogs will be more prone to ear disease than others, such as breeds with ‘floppy’ ears or narrow ear canals.
Growths Within the Ear – Sometimes non-cancerous (polyps) or cancerous masses grow in the ear canal.
Inner or Middle Ear Infection – Infection in the inner or middle ear often causes pain, a head tilt, and/or loss of balance.
How Can You Help Your Dog?
Regularly check your dog’s ears.
Keep your dog’s ears clean. Your vet can suggest suitable ear cleaners for your dog.
Cleaning your dog’s ears after swimming helps to remove water and debris from the ear canal.
If your dog suffers from allergic skin disease, talk to your vet, or make an appointment with us, to see if there’s anything else that you can do to help your dog at home.
If you live in an area where ear mites are common, use appropriate parasite preventatives for your dog.
Not all treatments are effective against mites, so please speak to us or make an appointment with your vet to discuss the best treatment choice for your dog.
Did You Know?
Dogs have around 18 muscles in each ear
Dogs can hear four times better than humans.
When a dog tilts their head, it may have something to do with their hearing.
Dog ears are not only used for hearing they are a key element of body language.
Dog’s ear canals are shaped like an “L”
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