Dogs are not able to tell us when they feel ill or are in pain. If our dog gets an ear infection, he will suffer the same unpleasantness and pain as we would, but we won’t know it. Just as he is our best friend, we must be his caretaker. So it’s important for us to be able to recognize the symptoms of an ear infection and know how to help him.
Dogs depend on their acute hearing abilities. It helps them to know what is going on around them. You have probably observed your dog cocking his head and listening to the different sounds and tones around him. And you have probably heard him let out a yowl when he hears a fire engine or police siren!
Just like our ears, dogs’ ears are composed of an outer, middle and inner ear. An infection can occur in any of those parts.
What Causes a Dog Ear Infection?
– Parasites: Parasites are the leading cause of ear infections for dogs. The ear can be invaded by fleas and mites that remain just outside of the ear triggering skin corrosion and severe itching. The dog may intensely itch and bite as to cause himself harm.
– Warm, Humid Conditions: Ear infections develop quicker in warm, moist climates and regions. Moisture is a fertile bed for yeast and bacteria to proliferate within the ear. You will notice this more in breeds with longer or hanging ears.
– Allergies: Any type of allergies can cause irritation. If your dog is shaking his head excessively, this may be a sign that he is being bothered by allergies. Food allergies could be the culprit, or he may be reacting to grasses or garden pesticides that he is exposed to when he goes outside.
– Allergies: Any kind of allergies can create problems, especially food allergies, which can create a reaction anywhere on the body, including the ears.
– Other Causes: Wounds, insect bites, frostbite, or tumors.
Ear Infection Symptoms
– Face and head rubbing
– Shaking of the head
– Constant scratching of ears
– Shaking of head
– Ear flap thickening
– Ear flap thickening
– Sluggish and apathetic
– Ear scratching
– Head shaking
Which Dogs Are Prone To Ear Infections?
Some dogs or breeds are more vulnerable to ear infections than others are even though they are all at risk. Dogs that frequently bathe, outside or hunting dogs, and dogs that get their hair plucked while being groomed are generally more prone to ear infections.
Here are the breeds more likely to have ear infections: Cocker Spaniels, Chow Chows, Basset Hounds, Terriers, Poodles, Labrador Retrievers, Bloodhounds, Bulldogs and Springer Spaniels.
How To Prevent Ear Infections
If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, the best course of action is a trip to the vet. However, there are important steps you can take to prevent the likelihood of an infection.
– Keep the dogs’ ears clean and dry as possible
– Clean the ears once a week (more if you live in a humid climate)
– Always check your dogs’ ears if they visited a questionable area where they might pick up ear debris
A simple routine of ear inspection can do a lot to make sure your dog does not have to suffer with an ear infection.