Ear Infections in Dogs: A Sign of Ear Disease

Ear Infections

Ear infections in dogs often manifest through a variety of ear-related symptoms. Ear infection in dogs is usually a sign of ear disease, a common ailment that affects up to 20% of dogs. Symptoms of ear infections in dogs include odor and discharge from the ear. Dog ear problems may cause your dog to scratch or rub at her head. Redness and swelling may occur on the ear flap and inside the ear canal. Canine ear infection causes pain around the ears and can cause your dog to shake his head frequently or constantly tilt his head to one side. Canine ear problems can trouble your dog so much that he becomes depressed and irritable. Canine ear infections can occur for many reasons. Allergies are often at the root of ear infections in dogs. Parasites can contribute to ear infections in dogs. Fungal or bacterial infection can cause ear infections in dogs. Foreign bodies can become lodged in the ear canal and may result in dog ear problems. Hormonal disorders such as hypothyroidism may be to blame for canine ear problems, as may hereditary conditions and tumors. Immune conditions may play a role in canine ear infection. The ear itself may be deformed or the environment may be unsuitable for optimal ear health. Your veterinarian may diagnose canine ear infection by inspecting your dog's ear canal with am otoscope. This will help your vet determine how much swelling appears in the inner ear, whether there has been any damage to the ear drum, and whether there is a foreign body involved. Your vet may test swabs of the ear for evidence of bacterial or fungal infection. A thorough history may be taken and a physical exam performed to ensure that the infection isn't hormonal, allergic, or hereditary. Antibiotics or antifungals are used to treat most ear infections in dogs, hormonal, allergic and hereditary ear infections in dogs respond to appropriate treatments. Cleaning your dog's ears at home can help prevent canine ear infections, and help your dog recover from his current dog ear problems. However, often ear infections in dogs are so painful that your vet may have to perform the procedure under anesthesia. Your vet should advise you on the proper methods for cleaning your dog's ears, as a dog's ears are differently shaped and more sensitive than a human's. Further measures to prevent ear infections in dogs can include clipping any long hair around your dog's ears and checking them regularly, at least once a week, for any symptoms of canine ear infection. If your dog has large ears, swims frequently, or has a history of canine ear problems, be especially vigilant, as he is at high risk for dog ear problems.