Ear Infection In Dogs Symptoms

Ear infection in dogs can be identified by a number of noticeable symptoms. These symptoms, left untreated, can cause a high degree of discomfort, pain and stress for your dog.

While an infection may start out with a fairly low level of discomfort - such as the presence of a foreign object in the ear, it can quickly escalate to a much more painful and serious inflammation.

You may want to bookmark this page for quick reference in the event that you should suspect an ear problem in your dog. Here are some notable signs and symptoms of ear infection in dogs:

  • If a dog has something lodged inside his ear, you will likely see him trying to remove it by shaking his head.
  • If there is an itchy irritation present, a lot of scratching and rubbing at the affected ear is usually seen. Likewise, frequently rubbing of the ear on the ground or furniture is another clue.
  • Ears that are infected also have the tendency to smell bad and release discharges that are either black or yellow in color.
  • There is swelling and redness on the flap of the ears.
  • Unpleasant discharges and odors may also be accompanied by earwax that smells pungent.
  • Pus may also be present in cases of severe inner ear infection.

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Ear Infection In Dogs Symptoms That Are More Severe

  • More severe infections of the ears may affect your dogs ability to hear. In fact, without prompt attention, the damage caused by infection can result in deafness.

  • If you notice that your dog is not reacting to noises which usually get his attention, then take him to the vet for a prompt evaluation to safeguard his hearing.
  • There are also instances when the inner ear nerves become infected. In the event this happens, your dog may shows signs of disorientation, dizziness, start to walk in circles or begin tilting his head to one side.

Also, if the nerves of the inner ear are involved, your dog may begin to show telltale symptoms of an unusual set of eye movements, known as nystagmus.


Ear Infections and Balance

Keep in mind that the ears of your dog play a big part in his ability to balance.

If you notice your dog walking in a strange way and seems to be falling down or tripping upon himself quite frequently, there may be an injury to his ears that is involved, or an infection.

Immediate veterinarian attention is highly recommended at this point.

There are generally different severities of dog ear infection symptoms. However, it is not wise to go poking about in your dog's ear trying to treat the problem yourself. A dog's hearing is too precious to take chances.

Aside from routine ear maintenance, when you suspect an ear infection, it is always in the best interest of your dog to pay a prompt visit to the vet, not only to identify the problem but also to alleviate the pain.

Other Common Symptoms

  • One frequent symptom seen in dogs with ear an infection is the tilting of the head to one side while keeping it very still - an indication that movement is painful. Vomiting may also occur, as well as circular walking.
  • Inflammation of the ears is a very visible sign of an ear problem. Itchy ears with or without inflammation is another telltale indication that an infection is present.
  • One sure sign of infection is a dog that yelps or howls for seemingly no reason at all. Yelping and howling are signs of pain and if there is no apparent cause of injury, the pain may be originating from within his ears.

A dog that has an infection in his ears will generally be very uncomfortable, and even display symptoms of depression.

He or she may even have a decrease in appetite and general malaise. There may be a lack of energy combined with a more frequent desire to sleep.

Ear Mites

If your dog's ear infection is caused by ear mites, there will be the existence of a black discharge, head shaking and scratching.

Infections of ear mites occur most often in puppies. When ear mites are the culprit, the symptoms usually involve both ears and even other parts of the body.

Sometimes a high fever with temperatures above 102°F is symptomatic of ear infection in dogs, as can be hair loss, lethargy and weight loss due to a lack of appetite emanating from the problem.


It's clear to see that the symptoms of ear infection in dogs are no joke for the affected pet!

Caring owners not only want to help their pets avoid them, but also to end the pain and suffering as quickly as possible should they have one.

Establishing a routine of regular inspection and cleaning is a good foundation to help in avoiding ear infections.

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