Ear infections in dogs are a common health problem. Dirt, wax and insects are what causes dog ear infections. Checking your dog’s ears frequently will prevent infections.
Healthy ears are pink. Any signs of redness can be a sign of infection or inflammation. A small amount of earwax is normal and healthy. Wax is produced by glands in the outer part of the ear canal and it protects the ear canal and drum. An excessive amount or a change in color or consistency can be a cause for concern.
If your dog’s ears have an unusual smell or strong odor, it may have a health problem, such as an infection or allergies.
An ear infection in a dog can be uncomfortable and agonizing. If left untreated, canine ear infections can compromise hearing and cause permanent deafness,
Heavy and overhanging ear flaps are a cause of dog ear infections.
Yeast and bacteria live in a delicate balance in a healthy ear. Oil, moisture or excessive wax in the ear canal are what causes infections. A yeast infection in dogs takes full advantage of oily, waxy or moist conditions which disrupts the balance and creates inflammation and discomfort. Two main yeast infection symptoms are severe itching and a foul odor in the ear.
The most common ear disease is otitis externa which is an inflammation of the external canal. Otitis media which is a middle ear infection can develop from otitis externa. Allergies is the biggest cause of an ear infection. About seventy-five percent of dogs with a food allergy or atopy have ear disease.
Here are some inner ear infection symptoms:
Shaking, tilting, rubbing or scratching the head and ears more than usual
Excessive waxy or oily debris
Hair loss around the ears due to excessive scratching
Black debris that resembles coffee grains
Redness or inflammation
Discharge of any kind
Soreness to the touch
Bacterial infection, allergies or fungi can account for many of these signs, but coffee grains debris usually indicates ear mites in dogs. Mites are microscopic parasites that cause severe itching and require medical treatment. Your vet will treat the infestation with an insecticidal ointment for at least ten days. Frequent head shaking can result in blood clots in the ear flaps called a hematoma. Excessive scratching can lead to secondary infections.
Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly prevents wax and oil buildup. Excessive amounts of earwax can provide a fertile environment for bacteria and fungus. You should regularly pull out any hair in your dog’s ears. This improves airflow in the canal which prevents infections and infestations.