Dog Ear Infections: The most common dog ear problems and symptoms, and what you should do about them.
Dog ear infections are among the most common of canine health problems. A dog’s ears are delicate instruments that are prone to infection, parasite infestation and damage. And ear problems have a nasty habit of worsening so that, without treatment, minor dog ear infections can quickly escalate into a middle ear infection requiring surgery to correct.
It is therefore important to keep a watch on the health of your dog ears as well as observing his behavior for indication of ears problems.
Scratching the ears and shaking or tilting of the head are telltale signs, while dog ear infections often give off a strong odor that is difficult to ignore.
The list below will guide you through the signs and symptoms of dog ear infections.
|Ageing||Dogs naturally lose some of their hearing capacity as they age.|
|Allergy||Allergies can cause the inside of the ear flap to become red, inflammed and sensitive to touch.|
or yeast infection
|Dog ear infections of the outer ear that often produce a black or yellow discharge. Consult a vet immediately before it turns into a more serious middle ear infection.|
|Certain breeds are prone to blocked ear canals due to hair growing in the ear. Ear wax gets caught up in the hair forming a blockage. This should be removed by a vet.|
|Parasites that irritate the lining of the ear canal, particularly in puppies. Can be treated with vet prescribed insecticidal ear drops.|
|Excessive wax production can cause temporary deafness. A vet may syringe the ears to remove excess wax.|
|Grass seeds, thistles and other foreign bodies become trapped in the fur causing irritation. This dog will often shake his head continually.|
|Haematoma||Constant shaking of the head can cause internal bleeding resulting in blood-blisters. These need to be drained by a vet.|
|The inner ear may become infected via the outer ear, throat, or bloodstream. A dog with an inner ear infection will tilt his head and suffer loss of balance. Confine the dog to an area where he can’t injure himself and seek veterinary help. Anti-biotics may clear up the problem although surgical draining of the ear may be necessary.|
|Microscopic mites that burrow into the skin of the ear tips. They cause intense itching, hair loss and sores. A vet can prescribe a medicated shampoo which kills the mites. Also steam clean or discard the dog’s bedding.|
|Seborrhea||Dog ear infections that commonly occur in dogs with a poor diet, parasites or a yeast infection. Produces a foul-smelling yellow substance that builds up in the ears. The ears will have to be cleaned daily with a vet prescribed fluid.|
|Tumor||Tumors that form inside the ear will need to be surgically removed.|
As dog ear infections can quickly escalate, it is advisable to consult a vet as soon as you notice a problem.