Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Ear Infection in Dogs

Dogs with ear infections often need to visit an animal hospital for urgent or emergency care. These infections are usually straightforward to treat when detected early. In this article, our Corpus Christi vets teach you how to recognize the signs of ear infections in dogs and what steps to take if your dog's ears show signs of health issues.

Your Dog's Ears

The unique shape of a dog's ear canal makes them more prone to ear infections compared to humans. Dogs who often go swimming or those with long, floppy ears are at an even higher risk for this condition. Moisture can easily get trapped in their ear which provides an optimal environment for bacteria to flourish. 

Our vets often treat inner ear infections in dogs that have advanced to the point that emergency care is required. If your dog does develop an infection, there's a good chance that it can be cleared up quickly if you head to the vet right away. Left untreated, ear infections can develop quickly and result in symptoms such as balance and coordination issues, pain, and in severe cases, facial paralysis.

Causes of Bacterial Ear Infection in Dogs 

The primary culprit behind ear infections in dogs is bacteria. However, yeast, fungus, and ear mites can also lead to painful infections in your canine companion's ears. Additional causes include foreign objects stuck in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.

The three types of ear infections seen in dogs are categorized based on where the infection has occurred:

  • Otitis media indicates a middle ear infection in dogs.
  • Otitis externa infections affect the outside of the ear. 
  • Otitis interna which are infections of your pet's inner ear.

Signs of Severe Ear Infection in Dogs

Chronic ear infections in dogs can be easy to spot if you know what to look for. If your dog shows any of the following signs of an ear infection, contact your veterinarian immediately to book an examination for your pet. Early treatment of ear infections can help prevent more severe symptoms from developing and reduce the chances of complications.

Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Redness inside the ear
  • Pawing or rubbing at the ear
  • Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Head shaking
  • Crusts or scabs just inside the ear
  • Swelling of the ear
  • Tilting head

If the ear infection is severe, you may notice that your pooch displays other symptoms such as:

  • Indications of hearing loss
  • Loss of coordination or balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles

How Dog Ear Infections Are Treated

Upon diagnosing your dog with an ear infection, your veterinarian will meticulously cleanse your dog's ear using a medicated solution. They will also prescribe antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications tailored to address your pet's ear infection. Additionally, your vet may recommend a topical medication and provide instructions on how to properly apply it at home to promote effective treatment.

With treatment in the early stages, an uncomplicated ear infection will typically clear up within just a week or two. If your dog's ear infection is more severe or is caused by an underlying health condition, treatment may be more challenging and may take months to resolve. In many cases, more severe cases can result in chronic ear infections in dogs or repeated ear infections throughout the pet's lifetime.

Carefully following your veterinarian's instructions will be essential to healing your dog's ear infection as quickly as possible. Not finishing prescriptions, or stopping treatment before the infection has completely cleared, can lead to a recurring infection that becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

Follow-up appointments with your vet are highly recommended for dog ear infections. While it may look as if the infection has cleared, there may still be traces of infection that are difficult for owners to spot.

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs

Our Corpus Christi vets believe that prevention is always better than treatment regarding ear infections. To help prevent your pup from developing an ear infection, it is important to keep your pet's ears clean and dry.

Speak to your primary care veterinarian about the best cleaning solution to use for your dog's ears, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears every week, and always dry your dog's ears whenever they come out of the water.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet. 

If your dog is displaying any symptoms of an ear infection that require urgent or emergency care, visit our Corpus Christi animal hospital right away! 

New Patients Welcome

Everhart Animal Hospital is accepting new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about the health of Corpus Christi companion animals. Get in touch today to book your pet's first appointment.

Contact Us

Book Online (361) 854-1439