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Fact Checked By
Dr. Jamie Whittenburg, DVM
Dogs are prone to many skin infections, but none is more frustrating to pet parents than an ear infection.
Ear infections can bring your dog pain, loss of sleep, itching, and could cause him to be reluctant to participate in the activities he loves.
There are several different types of ear infections, and some dog breeds are more predisposed than others.
Treatment of ear infections can be frustrating and often the issue needs to be approached from many angles to manage it on a long-term basis.
Ear infections in dogs can present in different ways, but there are some classic signs to be on the lookout for. (1)
It is important to remember that ear infections are painful!
These pets are often not feeling well and can exhibit abnormal behaviors.
They may even nip or bite if their ears are touched.
Ear infections in dogs are caused by the overgrowth of either yeast, bacteria, or sometimes, both, in the external ear canal. (2)
Determining which microscopic organism is responsible for the infection is of utmost importance so the infection can be appropriately treated.
However, to prevent recurrence, it is also important to identify the underlying issue that led to the overgrowth of the organism in the first place.
Left uncorrected, the dog will fall victim to more ear infections in the future.
Many simple or first-time ear infections can be treated with medications from your veterinarian.
These medications come in different formulations that can be tailored to unique treatment situations.
Chronic ear infections, or dogs with severe damage to their ear canals, may require surgery.
As the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Ear infections are much better prevented than treated.
Dogs that have allergies or ears that hang down and cover the ear canals will need more at home ear care to prevent ear infections.
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