Every pet owner should know about the signs and symptoms of pet ear infections. Infections in canine ears can cause a lot of distress and affect your pet dog’s quality of life. Dog ear infections are often caused by bacteria or yeast infections. Some of the signs of ear infections in dogs include excessive ear scratching, head shaking, redness around the ear, and discharge.

Let’s look in more detail about the causes of pet ear infections and what you can do to treat the symptoms.

Causes of pet dog ear infections

Apart from fungal or bacterial infections causing itching and swelling in your dog’s ears, there are other causes of ear infections. For example, there could be a buildup of earwax or foreign debris in the ears.

Dogs ears are also affected by ear mites that can cause intense ear itching. Or, your pet dog may have an underlying health condition like thyroid dysfunction or allergies.

Symptoms of ear infections in pets

If you have noticed symptoms of an ear infection, it’s important to arrange for a checkup at your local veterinary clinic. There the vet will do a thorough examination and check for other tell-tale signs that one or both ears are infected.

For example, there may be drainage from the ear that has a bad smell which would indicate an infection. Or, the vet may check for red patches of skin or lesions where scabs or crusts have formed.

You should also be prepared to tell the vet about any signs of infection that you have noticed like ear scratching, head shaking, hearing loss, or walking around in circles.

Diagnosing pet ear infections

To diagnose the presence of an infection in the ear, the vet will examine the ear canal. In cases of severe ear infections where there is a lot of pain, it may be necessary to sedate your pet to carry out a proper examination.

Swabs will usually be taken and sent for analysis to check for bacteria, yeast, or mites.

If an infection is confirmed, your vet will recommend the appropriate course of treatment. You are usually able to treat your dog’s ear infection at home

How to prevent canine ear infections

The best way to prevent canine ear infections is to keep your dog’s ear clean and free of dirt. Usually, you can get ear cleaning kits from your vet clinic to clean the outer ear. Another way to prevent ear infections in dogs is to trim excess hair from the outer ear. This will prevent grime collecting there and help to keep your dog’s ears free from infection.