Dog ear problems are some of the most common reasons that pet owners take their dogs to see veterinarians. While there are many different types of ear problems in dogs, the most common issues develop due to parasites, foreign material or excessive moisture. Additionally, although ear conditions typically begin as small issues, they can escalate rather quickly.
Common Symptoms of Ear Problems in Dogs
The symptoms that your dog will experience if it has an ear problem depends on what is causing the issue in the first place. However, there are many symptoms that develop in most all ear problems today, and they are listed below. If your pet displays any of these symptoms, you will want to take it to a veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Constant Scratching at the Ear/s
- Shaking of the Head
- Holding One Ear Down
- Holding the Head to One Side
- Excessive Wax Buildup
- Inflammation in the Ear/s
- Foul Odors Emitting from the Ear/s
- Unusual Lumps on the Ear Flap
Ear Mites in Dogs
Ear mites in dogs and other parasites such as mange and fleas can cause serious ear problems in dogs. Typically, if parasites are causing your pet’s ear problems, your dog will experience intense itching, and there will be large amounts of dark wax inside the ears. There may also be hair loss and sores present. Fortunately, these types of problems are easy to treat.
Bacterial and Yeast Infections
Other common ear problems in dogs are bacterial and yeast infections. These are typically caused by foreign material or excessive moisture in the ears due to humid environments and high temperatures. Dogs with long floppy ears are especially prone to these types of ear conditions. Symptoms of ear infections include smelly ears, intense itching, pain and/or swollen ears.
Hematomas in Dogs
Hematomas are known as secondary ear problems, which can develop if an initial ear condition is not treated promptly. When a dog shakes its head frequently due to an ear problem, the tissues of the ear can become damaged and cause blood-filled pockets to form in the ear flap/s. These are known as hematomas. Hematomas can also be caused if the dog damages its ears by scratching at them.
Typical Treatments of Dog Ear Problems
The treatment your dog will need if it has an ear problem depends on the cause of its condition. Thus, your veterinarian will need to examine your pet’s ears and run various tests to determine the proper treatment methods. Nevertheless, you will find typical treatments for the most common dog ear problems listed below:
Treatment of Ear Mites in Dogs
Treatments for ear mites in dogs and other parasites include cleaning the ear canals, ear mite parasiticides (ear mites), antiparasitic medications (mange), anti-inflammatory medications and various flea treatments (fleas). The exact treatments your pet will need depend on the type of parasite it has. You will also need to treat your home, yard and any other pets you have.
Bacterial and Yeast Infections Treatments
Typical treatment methods for bacterial and yeast infections include cleaning the ear canal, various pain medications, and oral or topical antibiotics. It is essential to administer antibiotics for 10 days for them to be effective. Additionally, your veterinarian will likely educate you on how to keep your pet’s ears clean to avoid any future infections.
Dog Ear Hematoma Treatments
The most common methods to treat hematomas in dogs are to drain them or to remove them surgically. However, the veterinarian will also need to prescribe treatments for the underlying cause of the hematoma/s as well. Depending on the underlying cause, this can include one or more of the treatments described above.
While most ear problems in dogs start out as mild issues, they can quickly become serious conditions if not treated right away. Additionally, although there is a vast array of ear conditions that dogs can develop, the most common are described above. However, if you take your pet to your veterinarian as soon as it displays the symptoms listed above, its prognosis is excellent.