Causes and Treatments of Ear infections in Dogs

Causes and Treatments of Ear Infections in DogsOur Japanese Chin, Yoshi is the only dog in the house who has had several episodes of ear infections. She started having problems a few years ago. I first noticed her scratching her ear, and shaking her head. Her ear was quite irritated and had an unpleasant smell. Off to the vet we went.

Yoshi had an infection in both ears. Our vet put her on a regiment of ear cleaner and antibiotics. This helped and the infection cleared up nicely.

But then it returned.

Veterinarian, Dr. Henry Cerny, DVM, MS, points out that “ear infections in dogs are common and most dogs suffer from this painful condition sometime in their life.”

And according to the ASPCA, canine ear infections are most often due to bacteria or yeast.”

Ear problems and infections can be causes by allergies also.

Yoshi seemed to have a lot of yeast in her ears and the vet blamed allergies for her condition. We treated her again and hoped for the best.

Apparently dogs with floppy ears (like Yoshi) are prone to ear problems.

Her ears did improve and now we try to keep her ears as healthy as possible.

I have tried many products to maintain her ear health and one that I really like is, ZYMOX. This is an over the counter pet med and it really seems to help prevent ear infections.

Ear infection in dogs can be quite serious and must be treated by a vet. Don’t hesitate if your dog is exhibiting signs of ear problems.

And in case you have some time, there is a long list of videos on Youtube that cover everything from cleaning and medicating to emergency medical treatment.

This is one of my favorite ones which focuses on the anatomy of the ear and how to handle your dog and clean the ear.

Here are some good guidelines regarding ear infections according to the ASPCA. Symptoms may include:

  • Ear scratching
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Crusted or scabby skin on the near ear flap
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Wiping the ear area on the floor or furniture
  • Head shaking or head tilt
  • Loss of balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles
  • Hearing loss

Prevention is important, so here’s a checklist to consider:

  • Check your dog’s ears regularly for discharge, odor, swelling and other symptoms of infection.
  • If his ear canal appears dirty, clean with a cotton ball dampened with a solution suggested by your vet—but don’t clean so often or deeply that you cause irritation.
  • After baths and swimming, be sure to dry your dog’s ears as thoroughly and carefully as you can.
  • If your dog is prone to infections, ask your vet if canine ear-drying solution would be beneficial.
  • If your dog grows hair in or around the opening of his ear canals, periodically tweeze it away (if your dog tolerates it) or request that your groomer do so.
  • Inner-ear skin is delicate, so ask your vet to demonstrate the proper method for maintaining your dog’s ear health.

Yoshi is doing well now. Her ears are fine, but I am always checking and striving to maintain her ear health.

Please see your vet if you suspect an ear infection!


5 Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner RecipesUPDATE:
A reader sent in this suggestion for a related article titled “5 Homemade Dog Ear Cleaner Recipes.” It covers how to clean your dog’s ears and gives you the best homemade dog ear cleaner recipes so that you can take care of your dog’s ears properly. It also discusses how to make ear drops for dogs to take care of minor issues and tells you how to know when professional help is needed.


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