A girl holds open the huge ears of her dog!

How to Spot Ear Infections in Dogs

Dogs, especially those with folded, floppy ears are vulnerable to ear infections. While they are fairly easy to treat, ear infections in dogs can become quite serious if left untreated. An infection that goes without medical attention can cause facial paralysis, coordination issues, and severe pain. To avoid this awful fate for your pooch, it is important to know the causes and symptoms of ear infections in dogs. 

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs

Due to the shape of a dog’s ear canal, they are more susceptible to irritation than other animals. Folded or floppy ears exacerbate the problem by keeping moisture inside the ears. There are several different causes of ear infections. Bacterial infections are the most common but yeast, fungus, and ear mites can all cause ear infections as well. 

Infections can be in either the middle, inner, or outside ear of the dog. Symptoms can include:

  • Redness in the ear
  • Discharge that is yellow, brown, or bloody
  • Scratching at the ear, shaking the head, or rubbing against furniture. 
  • Swelling 
  • Strange odor
  • Head shaking or tilting
  • Scabbing

Chronic Ear Infections In Dogs

Chronic ear infections in dogs are usually an indicator or a deeper issue. Food allergies, fleas, environmental allergies, parasites, and certain disorders can cause regular ear infections. All of these conditions cause excessive itchiness. When your dog scratches, it breaks the skin and disrupts normal defenses, leaving the ear more vulnerable to bacteria. If your dog continues to suffer from recurring infections, it is time to speak to a vet about treating the underlying causes. 

Home Remedies for Ear Infections in Dogs

If the infection is causing them discomfort, you should skip the home remedy and see a vet to avoid prolonged suffering. Sometimes the infection is in the beginning stages, or not that severe. In that case, there are a few home remedies for ear infections to try before calling the vet.

Apple Cider Vinegar

Use a ration of one part vinegar, and one part water to avoid burning your dog’s ears. This method is especially good for yeast infections. 

Coconut Oil

Coconut oil is antimicrobial and, as a bonus, soothing to the skin. 

Hydrogen Peroxide

A 3% solution will help fight mild ear infections. Any stronger solution hydrogen peroxide solution might damage the healing cells within the ear. 

Ask Get Joy All Your Ear Infection Questions

Ask an expert about your dog’s ears with telehealth through Get Joy. All customers have free 24-hour access to professional telehealth services for their pets. Ask questions about your dog’s nutritional needs, behaviors, health, and more. Contact us to learn more today.