Why Do Dogs Get Ear Infections?
(Plus How to Treat Them!)
It’s no secret that dogs can be prone to ear infections. If your pup is constantly scratching their ears, whining, or tilting their head, they may be suffering from an ear infection.
Are you concerned about your pup’s ears? It can be alarming to find out that your furry companion is dealing with an ear infection, but don’t worry, with the right knowledge and care, you can help your pup feel better in no time.
But why do these infections occur? In this blog post, we’ll discuss the causes of ear infections in dogs, plus how to recognize them, treat them, and even prevent them.
Dogs and Ear Infections
First, it’s important to understand what causes ear infections in dogs. Ear infections can be caused by an array of issues:
– bacterial or fungal infections,
– foreign bodies, or mites.
The most common cause of ear infections in dogs, and they can be triggered by anything from pollen to certain foods. Bacterial and fungal infections can be caused by dirty ears, swimming, or prolonged exposure to moisture.
Foreign bodies and mites can also contribute to ear infections.
Certain dog breeds are more prone to ear infections than others. Breeds with floppy ears, such as Cocker Spaniels, Beagles, and Basset Hounds, & labs are more likely to experience ear infections due to their ears not being able to properly dry out after being in the water or from sweat.
Additionally, certain breeds have particularly hairy ears which can trap moisture and increase the chance of an infection occurring.
How to Spot an Ear Infection in Your Dog
Ear infections are one of the most common health problems in dogs. Spotting an ear infection early is important, as it can prevent the infection from getting worse and more difficult to treat.
A healthy ear should have a slight scent, but anything more than that could be a cause for concern.
One of the most common and easy to spot signs of an ear infection is excessive scratching or rubbing of the ears. Dogs may try to relieve the discomfort caused by an ear infection by scratching or rubbing their ears.
If you notice your pup excessively pawing at their ears, or rubbing their ears across the carpet, it could be a sign of an infection.
Another sign of ear infections is continual shaking of their head. Head shaking is an instinctive reaction when dogs are experiencing discomfort in their ears.
Unpleasant odor coming from the ear is another symptom to watch out for. If you detect a foul odor coming from your pup’s ear, it could be a sign of an infection.
It’s also important to note that ear infections are often accompanied by other symptoms, such as redness in the ear canal, tenderness of the ear, discharge from the ear, and hearing loss.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your pup, it’s important to take them for a checkup at the vet as soon as possible.
Ear infections may also occur deep within the ear which may mean that an infection is present even though your dog is not displaying any of the symptoms above.
How to Treat an Ear Infection in Your Dog
When Treating an ear infection in your dog, there are two main options you can consider: home remedies or medication. Each of these options has its own pros and cons, so it’s important to understand the differences before making a decision.
These involve using natural ingredients that can be found around the house to treat your dog’s ear infection. A quick google of home remedies bring up advice such as vinegar, rubbing alcohol, tea tree oil, olive oil, and garlic.
Home remedies for ear infections very often are not effective and worse yet, can cause further irritation, damage, discomfort and pain for your dog. It’s best to let a vet assess and treat an ear infection.
Medication is typically prescribed by a vet and includes both antibiotics and antifungal medications. Antibiotics can help to kill off any bacteria causing the infection, while antifungals work to reduce any yeast or fungal growth.
Medication is typically much faster and more effective than home remedies, but it’s important to make sure you follow the directions on the prescription carefully.
Additionally, some medications may have side effects, so it’s important to speak with your vet about any potential risks before starting any treatment plan.
How to Prevent Ear Infections in Your Dog
Ear infections in dogs can be uncomfortable and cause distress for your pup, so it’s important to understand how to prevent them. The good news is that there are several simple steps you can take to help keep your dog’s ears healthy and reduce their risk of developing an infection.
Frequently clean the inside of your dog’s ear with a cloth or paper towel dampened with gentle, pH-balanced ear cleaner. Be careful not to insert anything into the ear canal as this could lead to injury.
Don’t forget about grooming – make sure that you brush through the hair around your pup’s ears regularly so any dirt or debris doesn’t accumulate inside the folds and contribute to an infection!
Regularly check for signs of ear irritation or infection, such as discharge from the ear canal, inflammation or redness near the opening of the ear flap, or a bad smell coming from the area.
Remember that most pets don’t show any outward symptoms until they’re well on their way towards recovery or full-blown illness!
If you notice anything unusual during a routine check up with your vet, they will likely recommend treatment right away to minimize discomfort and improve chances of recovery.
When it comes to ear infections in dogs, prevention is key. Make sure to keep your pup’s ears clean, avoid swimming and bathing excessively, and monitor for any signs of infection.
If you do notice signs of infection, take your pup to the vet for a checkup and treatment. With proper care and maintenance, you can help ensure your dog stays healthy and free from ear infections.