Second to smell, hearing is a prominent sense for pups. But without healthy ears, dogs lose an important avenue to understand the world around them.
Ear infections are common ailments among dogs, which can happen in three different forms: otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna. Each has different concerns but all of them need treatment.
Otitis externa occurs when inflammation afflicts the cell layer positioned at the outer or external portion of the ear. This is the least serious form of ear infection. Otitis media is inflammation in the middle of the ear. It’s more serious than otitis externa since it’s farther inside the body. Otitis interna is inflammation in the center of the ear and is the most serious infection.
An ear infection can develop on its own or escalate from another issue. For example, unmanaged food allergies can disturb your dog’s system and cause an infection. The same goes if your dog has an immune condition that makes them vulnerable to infections.
Ear infections can oftentimes come from bacteria entering and multiplying in the ear, whether from rolling in the mud or retaining water inside it after a bath. Dogs with larger ears are more susceptible to infections, as their inner ears are more vulnerable to outside elements.
Thankfully, there are ways to tell when your dog has an ear infection. Here are the signs to look out for in your pup.
Though the symptoms of an ear infection can develop gradually, it’s also common for them to suddenly show signs of one. Dogs are good at hiding minor discomfort, but it might seem like a switch flips in your pup when it escalates. Many dogs with ear infections will go from perfectly happy to showing multiple symptoms almost immediately.
If this happens, don’t panic. Contact your vet about seeing them for a possible ear infection. You can help your pup by staying calm and providing treats and comfort until you can take them in.
We hate to see our pets in pain but taking action when you notice signs can help prevent the discomfort from getting worse and causing major problems. If you suspect your dog has an ear infection, contact your vet about possible treatments to get your pup back to their normal self with healthy ears.
About the Author
Mia Barnes is a health and wellness writer and editor-in-chief at Body + Mind. She specifically enjoys writing about women’s fitness, as well as mental health-related topics. When she’s not writing, Barnes can usually be found reading poetry, taking a dance or cardio class, or hiking.