Dog Ear Infection Symptoms
If you think your dog could have an ear infection, look for some of these symptoms.
Common Causes of Dog Ear Infection
Dog infections are common, and while they can’t be avoided completely, understanding the most common causes can help you lower your dog’s risk of infection.
Yes, I said sniff. Healthy ears don’t have an odor. Make a habit of sniffing your dog’s ears, starting when he’s a puppy, so you’ll know how they smell normally. If his ears smell yeasty or downright stinky, it’s likely that a bacterial or yeast infection is brewing.
To clean the ears, tilt your dog’s head downward with one hand and squirt a gentle cleanser recommended by your veterinarian into the ear, filling the canal. Holding the ear closed, give it a nice massage, really squishing the cleanser around in there. That softens any gunk inside. A number of new products include soft application tips and clever devices to apply just the right amount of product.
Your best bet for preventing ear infections is to keep your dog’s ears clean and dry. Bacteria and yeast love a warm, moist environment. Keep them at bay by drying your dog’s ears thoroughly after a swim or bath.
Some dogs are ear infection magnets. If you have a floppy-eared dog or any dog with a history of ear problems, check his ears weekly. There’s no scientific evidence that dogs with droopy ears have more ear infections, but anecdotally they tend to be the ones veterinarians see more often with ear infections. That said, allergies are probably the main cause of ear problems, and they are seen in dogs with all ear types.
That’s all you need to do. Don’t mess around with cotton-tipped applicators. They can drive dirt and debris deeper into your dog’s ear. And whatever you do, don’t clean ears with alcohol or witch hazel. They dry the ear out and can sting if your dog has abrasions inside his ear.
How do you get black gunk out of a dog’s ear?
To clean the ears, tilt your dog’s head downward with one hand and squirt a gentle cleanser recommended by your veterinarian into the ear, filling the canal. Holding the ear closed, give it a nice massage, really squishing the cleanser around in there. That softens any gunk inside.
How do you tell if your dog has ear mites or just dirty ears?
What does an ear mite look like in a dog?