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One of the widely known dog health problems nowadays is dog ear infection (otitis externa) and if we don’t take care of it fully and properly, they can become one of the hardest canine problems to deal with. They can repeat again and again, for years… Ear infections do not spontaneously occur. Some event or underlying disease must precipitate it. My top reason why pets get ear infections is allergies. Allergies may be triggered by ingestion of certain foods, like beef, dairy products, chicken, lamb, fish, eggs, corn, wheat, and soy.

What causes dog ear infection?

In most cases, bacteria is the most common cause of dog ear infections. This might a little surprise for you but every dog, including yours, has friendly or beneficial bacteria in their ears that are responsible for ear health and natural stability. They are the ones to ‘’check’’ the harmful bacteria and kill them. However, sometimes this tactful balance can be disordered and when it happens, your dog starts to be at risk and you need to start the right treatment immediately.

Ear Infection types

Generally, vets detect 3 dog ear infection kinds: otitis externa, media, and internal. Each one of these types affect different parts of the canine ear but all of them are, indeed, dangerous if we don’t take care of them.

The statistics show that about 20 percent of dogs encounter with any of those above-mentioned forms of ear disease, especially those who have floppy ears ( like Cocker Spaniels or Basset Hounds).

The signs

Before starting the treatment, first of all, you need to make sure your dog has an ear infection and nothing else just like that. We hope your dog doesn’t have any of these symptoms,  but if you spot one or two of the following signs, take your dog to the vet.

If your dog started to behave unusually, shakes or tilts his head all the time, pays extra attention to his ear or tries to reach or scratch it anyhow – this must be worrying. He may also try to rub his ear to your furniture or something that could be comfortable for him. This is a sign that he feels some unusual pain or discomfort in his ear and tries to get rid of it. As he doesn’t know how to do it, he just does whatever he can. In this, as in all the other cases, we must be the one to understand their needs and try to take care of them. At the same time, we need to mention that such behavior, of course, doesn’t necessarily have to be an infection, but it could be one of the signs.

To make sure you need to look inside the ear. While looking inside your dog’s ear there are multiple signs that can determine the infection. Usually, they are some kind of discharges (brown, reddish or yellow), sweet odor in the ear, ear blushing or unusual swelling. Hair loss around the ear can be another sign.

Because dog’s ear canals are very soft and sensitive, the symptoms of infection are in most cases visible making it easier to put the right diagnosis.

In addition

In addition, we need to mention one more time that some dogs are more susceptible to any kind of ear infections than others: dogs with floppy outer ears and dogs with excessive hair growth in their ear canal.

These outer ear infections are curable and there’s no need to worry too much about it. All you need to do is to be patient and take care of them properly.

These were the signs of the outer ear infections only but if your dog has unusual eye movements, is having issues with his balance or is walking or running in circles it might be time to have him checked more accurately and only with the right equipment because it could be a sign of a deeper infection  this time dangerous for his life.

P.S The good news here is that most infections happen in the outer ear only and can be treated at home with the vet’s guidelines only.