Did You Know that Dogs Get Ear Infections Too?

Whenever I hear the children’s song “Do Your Ears Hang Low?” I think of a basset hound or another dog with long ears with their ears tied up in a bow on top of their head. As funny of a picture as that is, we don’t suggest actually trying it at home. It turns out that a dog’s ears are one of the more sensitive parts of their bodies. Ear infections are very prevalent in dogs, especially in breeds with long or heavy ear flaps.

What Causes an Ear Infection?

An ear infection happens when bacteria or yeast grows deep in the ear and irritates it. A change in environment is what usually causes the bacteria to grow. This can be caused by:

  • Water
  • Mites
  • Ticks
  • Pieces of grass
  • Allergies
  • Hair growth

In other words: almost anything that could bother or irritate the ear has the potential to cause an ear infection!

Does Your Dog Have an Ear Infection?

Since your dog can’t tell you if their ear is bothering them, you need to pay attention to some of the signs. Mostly look for if your dog is shaking his head or at his ears. Because the ear helps control your center of balance, your dog might also experience a lack of balance.

More physical symptoms include redness, inflammation, and even (in serious cases) a yellow or bloody discharge from the ears.

Treating an Ear Infection

Just like with any illness, the best way to treat an ear infection is to prevent it. Be careful to prevent water from getting in your dog’s ears. In addition, ask your veterinarian for advice on how to clean the dog’s ears. You should be cleaning and examining them about once a week.

If your dog does contract an ear infection, take her to the vet right away. Often a simple cleaning and some medication will clear it up. However, for more serious cases, surgery might be required.