Have you ever noticed that your dog’s ears have a terrible smell or that your dog constantly scratches his ears? These are two of the most common symptoms of ear infection, or Otitis externa in dogs. Ear disease can be caused by any number of factors from bacterial to trauma and they can cause a considerable amount of pain and discomfort for your dog. The problem with treating ear infections is that there are myriad causes and dispensing antibiotics may or may not be an effective treatment. Nevertheless, ear infections in dogs are fairly common and are not usually serious and with a quick visit to the veterinarian you can usually clear up a dog ear infection quickly.
Before visiting your veterinarian, try to identify whether or not your dog is suffering from an ear infection. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Discharge in the ears
- our dog constantly scratches or rubs his ears and head
- Inflammation of the ear flap or canal
- Repetitive shaking or tilting of the head
- Pain in the ears
- Behavioral changes such as depression or irritability
Otitis externa is a type of ear infection that causes inflammation of the outer ear canal and some 20% of dogs will suffer from this condition at one time or another. The causes of ear infections in dogs are numerous and include but are not limited to:
- Bacterial or yeast infections
- Foreign bodies
- Hormonal problems
- Immune conditions
While dog ear infections are typically minor conditions, they can cause an extreme amount of pain for your dog and therefore must be taken seriously. In addition, ear infections can be signs of more serious illnesses so it’s best to have them looked at by your vet.