Skip to Main Content
Ask About Financing

Inner and Middle Ear Infection in Dogs

Ear infections are a common problem in dogs, especially in dogs with long floppy ears. Today, our Murfreesboro veterinarians discuss the symptoms of ear infections in dogs, as well as what you should do if your dog's ears aren't as healthy as they should be.

Your Dog's Ears

Because of the shape of their ear canals, a dog's ears are more susceptible to ear infections. If your dog swims frequently or has long floppy ears, he or she is more susceptible to ear infections because moisture can become trapped in the ear, creating an ideal environment for bacteria to thrive.

If your dog develops an ear infection, taking him to the vet as soon as possible will increase the chances that it will be treated quickly and easily. If the early signs of infection are ignored, much more serious ear infections can develop, causing symptoms such as loss of balance and coordination, pain, and, in severe cases, facial paralysis.

Causes of Bacterial Ear Infections in Dogs

Bacteria are by far the most common cause of ear infections in dogs; however, yeast, fungus, and ear mites can all infect and cause pain in your dog's ears. Other causes of dog ear infections include foreign objects in the ear, trauma, and tumors or polyps.

Signs of Ear Infection in Dogs

Ear infections can be excruciatingly painful for your dog, as you might expect. If your dog exhibits any of the following ear infection symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately to schedule an examination. Early treatment of ear infections can help to avoid severe pain and other serious symptoms.

Common signs of ear infections in dogs include:

  • Pawing or rubbing at the ear
  • Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
  • Odor in the ear
  • Redness inside of the ear
  • Head shaking
  • Tilting head
  • Crusts or scabs inside the ear
  • Swelling of the ear

Severe ear infections in dogs can lead to symptoms such as:

  • Hearing loss
  • Loss coordination or balance
  • Unusual eye movements
  • Walking in circles

How Dog Ear Infections are Treated

If your dog has an ear infection, your vet will clean it with a medicated cleanser and prescribe any antibiotics or anti-inflammatory medications that are necessary to treat your pet's ear infection. Your veterinarian may also prescribe a topical solution and instruct you on how to apply it to your dog's ear at home.

An uncomplicated ear infection will usually clear up in a week or two if treated promptly. If your dog's ear infection is severe or caused by a medical condition, treatment may be more difficult and may take months to resolve. More severe cases frequently result in chronic or recurring ear infections throughout the pet's life.

It is critical to carefully follow your veterinarian's instructions to clear up your dog's ear infection as soon as possible. Failure to complete prescriptions or discontinue treatment before the infection has completely resolved can result in a recurring infection that becomes increasingly difficult to treat.

Following-up appointments with your veterinarian are strongly advised for dog ear infections. While the infection may appear to be cleared, there may still be traces of infection that owners are unable to detect. Finishing treatment before the infection has completely healed can lead to recurring, difficult-to-treat symptoms.

Preventing Ear Infections in Dogs

Our Murfreesboro veterinarians believe that prevention is always preferable to treatment when it comes to ear infections. It is critical to keep your pet's ears clean and dry in order to avoid an ear infection.

Consult your veterinarian about the best cleaning solution for your dog, take the time to gently clean your dog's ears once a week, and always dry your dog's ears after he comes out of the water.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pet's condition, please make an appointment with your vet.

If your dog has ongoing or chronic ear infections, contact us! Our team of Murfreesboro veterinary specialists can provide advanced diagnostics and treatments for dogs with more complicated health concerns. 

New Patients Always Welcome

Animal Medical Center is happy to welcome new patients! Our experienced vets are passionate about improving the health of Murfreesboro companion animals. Contact us today to book your pet's first appointment.

Book Online (615) 867-7575