Ear Infections in Dogs – Causes, Therapy, and Preventive Measures

Dogs with ear infections need medical attention because they might experience excruciating discomfort and itching. Early signs of infection often include ear redness, and dogs with uncomfortable or itchy ears frequently shake their heads or scratch them. Understanding the reason is essential for efficient treatment since bacterial or fungal infections may develop owing to a variety of triggering circumstances.

Why Do Ear Infections Occur?

Inflammatory responses to bacterial or fungal (yeast) overgrowth in a dog’s inner or outer ear canal results in ear infections. They can simply affect the outside part of the ear, but if untreated, they will spread and irritate the interior parts of the ear. It gets difficult to treat and cure infections in the deeper parts and can be very detrimental too.


  • The smell from the ears (odour)
  • Shaking of head excessively
  • Tilting the head
  • Scratching the ears
  • Rubbing the ear on a flat surface like the ground, mattress  etc
  • Keeping the ear down
  • Discharge from ear
  • Blood on ear
  • Don’t like ear being touched
  • Irregular eye movement
  • Loss of equilibrium
  • Loss of hair on the ear
  • Loss of hearing

A bad smell and ear discharge might sometimes be caused by an ear infection. Occasionally, hair loss or blood from frequent rubbing and scratching of the ear will be visible. The trauma may cause ear hematomas to develop on the exterior of the ear. Hearing loss, strange eye movements, and a loss of balance might happen if the infection has spread to the middle or inner ear.


There are many reasons

  • Water in the ear: Moisture in a dog’s ear provides the perfect conditions for yeast and germs to flourish. The germs in the water may result in an ear infection even if the moisture itself does not.
  • Allergies: Dogs that suffer from allergies may be more prone to ear infections. Secondary, recurrent ear infections may be brought on by dietary allergies as well as environmental allergies, particularly those to skin irritants like pollen or dust.
  • Excessive hair in and around the ear hole may carry germs or dampness, leading to ear infections in dogs. Additionally, parasites and irritants that may invade and infect the ear canal can be carried by hair.
  • Ear Mites – These are small, excruciatingly itching parasites called ear mites. Due to the environment, an ear mite infestation may result in ear infections. Even if the ear mites haven’t spread a secondary infection, the symptoms of ear mites are very similar to those of an ear infection. Visit your veterinarian as soon as possible if you think your dog may have either disease.
  • Ear tumours or growths, benign or not, may cause ear infections if they are present in the ear or cover the ear hole. Infected polyps may develop in blocked glands that produce wax and obstruct the entry to the ear, preventing normal bacterial and yeast control.


Please go to the veterinarian.

Dogs’ ear infections are often treated with ointments or drops that are applied topically. But if the afflicted ears are very painful, your veterinarian can recommend using oral painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs.

The ear must be clean before topical drugs are applied. Your veterinarian could suggest an over-the-counter remedy or prescribe a medicated ear cleaning. The topical treatment may be used after the ear has been thoroughly cleansed and then gently rubbed into the ear canal. Your dog may need to be sedated or anaesthesia in order to have its ear cleaned by a veterinarian if it is particularly sore or filthy.

Although rare, surgery to remove the ear canal may be necessary if a dog has acquired significant chronic inflammation and treatments are no longer working.


Quick treatment is crucial. Even though ear infections are common, topical medicines may effectively cure almost all of them. Your dog will often start to feel better in a few days. The infection will go away in one to two weeks.

Some ear infections are difficult to cure and may be drug resistant. A dog’s hearing may also be affected if an ear infection is neglected for a long time since it may result in severe inflammation, irreversible eardrum damage, and extreme inflammation.


There are a few simple steps you can do to help stop your dog from getting an ear infection. One of the finest preventative actions you can do is to clean and dry your dog’s ears after a wash or swim. Furthermore, if your dog has a lot of hair in and around the entrance of its ear, trimming or plucking extra hair will help to lessen the heat and moisture that can cause an ear infection.

You must control allergens by dietary adjustments or restricting exposure to irritants if your veterinarian identifies an allergy as the root cause of your dog’s ear infection. Removing a growth that has developed in or close to the ear canal may help stop further infections.

Are Animals & Humans Affected by Dog Ear Infections?

There are certain exceptions to the rule that ear infections are not infectious to other animals. A secondary ear infection might readily occur in another dog or cat if the ear infection is caused by an ear mite infestation. Additionally, it may spread to other animals if the bacterium causing the ear infection is methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus pseudintermedius (MRSP). This may spread to people too. This is quite uncommon, particularly in healthy individuals.

Call your veterinarian right away if you think your pet is ill. Always contact your veterinarian with any health-related queries since they have evaluated your pet, are familiar with its medical history, and can provide the best advice for your pet.

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