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Dog Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

Dog Ear Infection Treatment and Prevention

Did you know that dogs can get ear infections just like we can get them? It’s true! In fact, dog ear infections are quite common. Infections and ear problems should be addressed, as untreated infections could result in eventual hearing loss.

Ear infections can affect different parts of the ear. According to VCA Hospitals, infection of the external ear canal or an outer ear infection is called otitis externa and is one of the most common types of infections seen in dogs. In some cases, an external ear infection may spread to the middle and inner ear, causing otitis media and interna (infections of the middle and inner ear canal).

Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs

Ear infections in dogs are commonly caused by bacteria or yeast. Ear mites in dogs, allergies, and excessive hair growth in the inner ear can also contribute to the development of an infection. Other factors that may predispose dogs to ear infections include foreign bodies, autoimmune disorders, endocrine disorders, wax buildup, and injury to the ear canal.

In some cases, the ear canal becomes wet from bathing or grooming, and this moisture leads to the growth of microorganisms in the ear—known as swimmer’s ear in dogs. Some dog breeds are simply more susceptible to ear infections than others. For example, dogs with droopy or non-erect outer ears are often prone to ear infections. Some breeds with floppy ears include Cocker Spaniels, Miniature Poodles, and Old English Sheepdogs.

Dog Ear Infection Symptoms

There are quite a few signs of an ear infection in dogs, and they are pretty noticeable if you are on the lookout for them. If your dog has an ear infection, symptoms may include:

  • Yellow or black/brownish discharge from the ear
  • Scratching around the ear
  • A strong odor from the ear
  • Swelling of the ear flap and ear canal
  • Redness
  • Shaking of the head
  • Rubbing of the ear on the floor
  • Bleeding caused by scratching
  • Scabs in the outer ear

Dog Ear Infection Treatment

Dog ear infection treatment may vary depending on how far the infection has progressed. If the infection is caught early, home treatment for dog ear infections is usually successful. A mild infection can usually be treated with an advanced ear cleanser or topical medication. Using an ear formula, such as Terra Septic Drops from Thomas Pet, will help promote healthy ears and combat the growth of bacteria.

Terra Septic Drops help support the normal healing process without harming the tissues of the ears. It helps maintain the health of your pet’s ears and deodorize odors associated with ears. Terra Septic’s pH-neutral silver solution works to help maintain normal eye, ear, and skin functions.

If the ear infection is severe, Thomas Labs® recommends taking your dog to the veterinarian as chronic ear infection in dogs may require professional cleaning, oral antibiotics, and anti-inflammatory medications.

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs

Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly helps prevent infection. Using a general ear cleaner and keeping the ears dry will help prevent bacteria and yeast from growing. Be sure to dry your dog’s ears after swimming and bathing, and check your dog’s ears on a regular basis for any abnormalities.

MicoChlor Plus Flush from Thomas Pet can be used to clean the ears and help prevent ear infections and disease. This cat and dog ear cleaner is easy to use and helps prevent the growth of microorganisms in the ears.

Dog ear infections may seem overwhelming, but treating them is generally an easy process. The key is to catch the infection early and start treatment as soon as possible. Better yet, prevent infection by cleaning your dog’s ears regularly!


The materials and information provided on this website are not intended to replace the medical advice or services of your veterinarian or other pet healthcare professional. Consult your own veterinarian if you have medical questions concerning diagnosis, treatment, therapy, or medical attention.

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