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5 signs that your dog has an ear infection

Ear infections are one of the most common reasons for dogs’ vet visits. Unlike the human ear canal, which lies horizontally, the canine ear canal is mainly vertical, making it the perfect trap for moisture and foreign bodies.

As you can imagine, the combination of warmth and trapped moisture deep inside your dog’s ears creates the ideal environment for bacterial and yeast infections to flourish. An ear infection can also develop due to the presence of ear mites, allergies, and excessive hair and wax.

Ear infections are often extremely painful and need to be treated by a vet to prevent permanent damage to the middle ear and ear canal, which could leave your dog with significant or total hearing loss.

Here are the 5 most common signs that your dog has an ear infection:

  • Scratching the ears and head.
  • There is a foul-smelling, yellow, brown or bloody discharge.
  • The ear is red and swollen.
  • Your dog is rubbing its head against furniture, shaking its head or holding it at an angle.
  • A loss of balance and/or walking in circles.

If you see any of these symptoms, you need to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Especially because these symptoms can be a sign of something more serious. Of course, prevention is better than the cure, so it pays to keep your pet’s ears healthy.

Tips to prevent ear infections

  • Look inside your dog’s ears regularly for any irregular odour, discharge or redness.
  • Clean dirty inner ears gently with a thick cotton ball and a solution designed for dogs. Your vet will be able to advise you on how often you need to do this and the best product for your dog.
  • Make sure you dry your pet’s ears thoroughly after swims and baths.
  • Watch for excessive hair in your dog’s ears. Get it trimmed by a groomer or ask your vet to show you how to trim it at home.

At South Eastern Animal Hospital, we can advise you on the best way to keep your dog’s ears healthy to prevent the pain and expense of infections. Contact us for more information.