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Inner and Middle Ear Infection in Dogs

Ear infections are a common problem in dogs, especially in dogs with long floppy ears. Today, our Pflugerville veterinarians discuss the symptoms of ear infections in dogs, as well as what you should do if your dog's ears aren't as healthy as they should be.

Your Dog's Ears

Because of the shape of their ear canals, a dog's ears are more susceptible to ear infections. If your dog swims frequently or has long floppy ears, he or she is more susceptible to ear infections because moisture can become trapped in the ear, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

If your dog does get an ear infection, taking him to the vet as soon as possible will increase the chances of him recovering quickly and easily. If the early signs of infection are ignored, much more severe ear infections can develop, resulting in symptoms such as loss of balance and coordination, pain, and, in severe cases, facial paralysis.

Causes of Bacterial Ear Infections in Dogs

Bacteria are by far the most common cause of ear infections in dogs; however, yeast, fungus, and ear mites can all cause your pup's ears to become infected and painful. Other causes of dog ear infections include foreign objects lodged in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.

Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs

Ear infections, as you might expect, can be excruciatingly painful for your dog. If your dog exhibits any of the following ear infection symptoms, contact your veterinarian as soon as possible to schedule an examination. Ear infections should be treated as soon as possible to avoid the development of severe pain and other serious symptoms.

Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Pawing or rubbing at the ear
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness inside of the ear
  • Head shaking
  • Tilting head
  • Crusts or scabs inside the ear
  • Swelling of the ear

Severe ear infections in dogs can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Loss coordination or balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles

How Dog Ear Infections are Treated

If your dog has an ear infection, your vet will clean it with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications that are necessary to treat your pet's ear infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a topical solution and instruct you on how to apply it to your dog's ear at home.

If treated right away, a simple ear infection usually goes away in a week or two. If your dog has a severe ear infection or the infection is brought on by a medical condition, treatment may be more challenging and take months to complete. Chronic or recurrent ear infections that persist throughout the pet's life are frequently the result of more serious cases.

It is critical to carefully follow your veterinarian's instructions to clear up your dog's ear infection as soon as possible. Failure to complete prescriptions or discontinue treatment before the infection has completely resolved can result in a recurring infection that becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

Follow-up appointments with your veterinarian are strongly advised for dog ear infections. While it may appear that the infection has cleared, there may still be traces of infection that owners are unable to detect. Finishing treatment before the infection has completely healed can result in recurring, difficult-to-treat symptoms.

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs

Our Pflugerville veterinarians think that preventing ear infections is always better than treating them. To help stop an ear infection from forming, it is essential to keep your pet's ears dry and clean.

Consult your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution for your dog, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears once a week, and always dry your dog's ears after he comes out of the water.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has ongoing or chronic ear infections contact us! Our team of Pflugerville veterinary specialists can provide advanced diagnostics and treatments for dogs with more complicated health concerns. 

New Patients Welcome

Pfennig Lane Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Pflugerville companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

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