Dog Ear Infection; Causes, symptoms, and Treatment

dog ear infection

Dog Ear Infection

When we talk about dog ear infection we can refer to two types: Otitis media and otitis interna. The first refers to an inflammation of the middle ear while the latter refers to an infection or inflammation of the inner ear. Dogs with larger and hairier ears are thought to be the most exposed to infection.

Causes of Dog Ear infection

The primary agents for otitis are bacteria. These cause an infection that leads to an inflammation of the middle and inner ear. Sometimes it can also be caused by some other pathogens such as yeast, fungi, and ear mites.

Animals suffering from some kind of allergies to infectious agents such as mites, mold, or a type of food are more susceptible to catching a dog ear infection. Other causes of an ear infection can be a trauma caused by an accident, strange objects in the ear, or the presence of polyps or tumors in the ear.


Usually, the symptoms of an ear infection are easy to detect. Be mindful and check for the following signs and symptoms:

  • Scratching of the area around the ears
  • Yellow or bloody discharge
  • Strong odor in the ear
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Loss of balance
  • Hair loss around the ear
  • Rubbing of the ear against the floor
  • Walking in circles
  • Vomiting and nausea
  • In severe cases, it can cause damage to the nervous system and facial paralysis.

What should you do?

As a prevention, clean your dog´s ears periodically. Moisture promotes the growth of bacteria. Keep in mind that those breeds of dogs that do not have erect ears or are furry are more prone to an infection.

If you notice any of the symptoms described above, you must take your dog to the veterinarian. He will take a sample from your dog´s ear to examine it and confirm the infection.

You will have to clean your dog´s ear with a mild cleanser (prescribed by your vet) as this might be painful. Place a cotton on the ear to act as a lid as you massage the base of the outer ear. Clean as many times as needed. Very importantly, do not use Q-tips to try to clean your dog´s ear as you might push debris deeper into the inner ear.