Dog Ear infections are quite common as this condition affects about 20% of our dogs either regularly or sporadically.
These infections can affect the outer part of the ear, known as the canal, the middle of the ear, or the inner most part of the ear.
The term most used to describe the inflammation of the outer ear is otitis externa.
These troubling infections can be chronic conditions that linger on, especially external ear infections, or the can happen very suddenly.
Both of these conditions can cause damage to ear canal lining, which will than produce excessive amounts of ear wax in your dog ears.
This in turn will then cause thickening of the lining, and finally results in the ear canal becoming scarred.
In the worst of scenarios of dog’s ear infections, once calcification of the ear canal happens, the only resolution will be to have it corrected by ear surgery.
These infections can make your pet fell down right miserable.
Some of the signs of Dog Ear infections is that your dog will show is they will start to shake their head a lot as they are actually trying to get the debris and fluid out.
They will constantly scratch their ears, and the ears will become inflamed and start to produce an offensive odor from the bacteria build up.
Dog Ear infections will also cause a discharge in the ear of fluid and even a puss like discharge.
Because of the constant pain your pet is in, their behavior will change and they may start to whine, become irritable, and may actually become depressed as well.
So what actually causes of Dog Ear infections and what is the biggest cause?
Although parasites can sometimes be the cause of these infections such as ear mites, ear mites are very rare in dogs but are the number one cause of cat’s ear infections.
Bacteria and yeast cells, as well as foreign organisms that get into your dog’s ears are the top causes of these infections.
Yeast infection will be caused by a build of ear wax in your dog, while foreign substances can enter into your dog’s ears by swimming or rolling on the grass that may be infected with a bacteria (or parasite).
It could also be the result of to much ear cleaning of your dog’s ears can actually put the ears at risk for infection.
Humid climates also make a fertile breeding ground for dog Ear infections
There are other conditions that can put your dog at risk for ear infections as well, such as endocrine diseases like hypothyroidism.
It could also be conditions that can weaken your dog’s immune systems, such as respiratory conditions.
Allergies in dogs, unlike or almost opposite of human allergies, actually put your dog’s more at risk than dogs without allergies.
Because they cause the ears to become inflamed and this makes the ears naturally heat up.
This then begins producing the breeding ground for yeast and bacteria, and also lays the ground for chronic forms of ear infections.
Dogs that are more sensitive to allergies will also be more susceptible to ear infections.\
Some of these breeds include Poodles, Cocker Spaniels, Retrievers (especially Labrador’s), and Schnauzers.
Dalmatians and Greyhounds, because of their natural ear weaknesses and proneness to becoming deaf are also more at risk.
Some breeds of dogs actually have ears that by nature become perfect breeding grounds because of their skin or the glands located in their ear canals.
This includes Beagles, Basset Hounds, Springer Spaniels, and Labradors.
Finally, there are breeds that just flat out have a lot of natural hair in their ears which restricts the airflow into their ears, making them a lot more at risk.
These breeds include Poodles, Shih Tzus, Pekingese, and Lhasa Apsos.
Dog Ear infections can also be caused by plant awns, commonly known as stick-tights.
These substances can stick to your pet’s fur and eventually find their way into the ears. Once there, they will cause trauma to the ear canal.
If you frequent wooded areas, always check your pet’s ears after the visit.
Diagnosing the actual cause of these infections in your dog is best left to your Veterinarian.
They can take cotton swab samples and make the proper diagnosis and then once made, can suggest the proper treatment.
The treatment, of course will depend on the cause of the infection, and then secondary conditions that may be the cause.
Antibiotics are used for most of the bacterial infections, and anti-fungal agents are generally used for the yeast infections.
System diseases that cause ear infections, such as a hormone problems or any type of an allergy, will have to be treated with programs that will treat all of the symptoms, not just the ear infections.
Vitamin C supplements, especially liquid forms because of the superior absorption, are effective in helping to reduce the inflammation that these infections will cause.
There are several varying opinions on the best way to clean your dog’s ears. But there is one definite way not to:
Do not use just plain water to clean your dog’s ears. That will only add to the wax problem.
Cleaning your pets ears with a mixture of vinegar and water is recommended, and there are several herbal remedies that you could try including Calendula.
This is an anti-fungal with very good healing agents, organic grape, a very strong antibiotic and antibacterial herb, and Mullein and Garlic.
Both of these natural treatments have varying forms of antibody and antiviral qualities.
Your dog depends of your observations and help to help them from getting this painful condition.