Dogs, particularly those breeds with larger, floppier ears, can be prone to ear infections. No matter how well you take care of your dog or how clean you try to keep them, sometimes ear infections just happen. It is important to know the signs that your dog might have an ear infection and what you can and should do if they do have one. That way, you can be sure that you are doing everything you can to take care of their ear health now and in the future.
Scratching at Their Ear a Lot
If your dog is not usually an itchy dog and they start to scratch at their ear quite a bit, you may be looking at an ear infection. Now, sometimes, this scratching can be due to a bug bite or mosquitoes buzzing around their ears.
So, it is important to take a look at the ear that they are scratching quite a bit. If you do not see anything that looks like a bite and there are no insects around, an ear infection is a likely culprit.
Head Tilting and Shaking
Along the same lines as scratching, your dog may start to tilt their head to one side a lot or start shaking their head back and forth often. These are signs that your dog has ear discomfort that they are trying to deal with in the only ways they know how.
Their Ear Smells Strange
Another sign of an ear infection in dogs is if you notice a strange smell coming from your dog's ears. Oftentimes, this is a yeasty smell because many dog ear infections are yeast infections. If your dog's ears smell odd at all, though, you will want to take them to the veterinary clinic to get checked out. There are various types of ear infections a dog can develop, and most cause the ears to smell odd.
You Notice a Lot of Ear Discharge
Another sign of ear infection in dogs is ear discharge, specifically if it is dark brown or yellowish. There is a chance that dogs could have bloody discharge from their ears as well if an infection is severe. If you notice a lot of ear discharge of any color, though, you are likely dealing with an ear problem of some sort that needs veterinary care.
What to Do
When you notice one or more of these signs of ear infection in your dog, the next step is to pay a visit to your local veterinary clinic. They will be able to officially diagnose your dog with an ear infection and determine what type of infection it may be (fungal or bacterial in most cases). Then, they will prescribe medication to help with the infection. Usually, this includes topical medication to be placed in the ear, though oral medications may also be needed.
Now that you know some of the signs of ear infection in your dog, you can be sure you are taking care of their ear health going forward.