Any dog can have an ear infection. They do not discriminate. Ear infections or inflammation of the ear is called Otitis. There are three types of Otitis depending on where the infection is located. Otitis Externa in an inflammation of the outer ear. Otitis Medina is an inflammation of the middle ear. Otitis Interna is a serious condition which affects the inner ear and can lead to permanent damage.
The most common cause of an ear infection in a dog is moisture left in the ear after swimming or bathing. Other causes can be allergies, parasites (like ear mites), foreign bodies, hormone imbalances, tumors or polyps and even physical trauma like a deep scratch.
Common symptoms of an ear infection are:
- Continually shaking their head or tilting their head
- Scratching their ear or trying to rub their head against a hard surface
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
- Ear odor
- Hair loss, scabs, or crusts around the ears
- Loss of Balance
- Visible discomfort, whining
- Redness in the ear canal
Contact your veterinarian if you observe your pup having these symptoms. Your dog can be in pain and if left untreated it can lead to you dog becoming deaf. Your veterinarian will perform a thorough physical examination to determine the root cause. The veterinarian may use an otoscope to exam your dog’s ear. The otoscope gives a magnified view of the inside of the ear and helps to identify the cause of the ear infection. It also allows the veterinarian to check the eardrum and make sure it has not ruptured or has been damaged in any way.
Once your veterinarian determines you dog does have an ear infection the treatment may consist of drops, antibiotics, and an anti-inflammatory. Another treatment is to pack the ear with a BCP ointment which will eliminate the use of drops.