Ear Problems in Canines
Hearing is one of your dog’s keenest senses, so when his ears are bothering him, it’s a major concern. Several conditions can cause your dog’s ears to become irritated. Some of the most common are:
- Ear infections from bacteria, yeast, moisture, wax, allergies, or excessive fur are common in dogs, especially breeds with long floppy ears.
- Parasites such as fleas and mange mites can also create ear problems. Fleas create the urge to scratch, which can lead to more irritation. Mange mites cause hair loss, itching and inflammation.
- Ear trauma such as bite wounds, frostbite, over-exposure to the sun, or blunt force can result in pain and hearing loss.
- Polyps, tumors and masses may cause inflammation and itching and can affect hearing and balance.
- Weather extremes such as hot, humid conditions can encourage yeast and bacteria to grow, leading to infections. Extremely cold temperatures can cause frostbite, and the ears are especially vulnerable.
What are the symptoms of canine ear problems?
- Scratching their ears or shaking their heads
- Rubbing their ears against the floor or furniture
- Foul odor in the ear
- Redness and/or swelling
- Brown, yellow or bloody discharge
- Loss of balance
- Hearing loss
Ear problems can be painful for your dog. If they aren’t addressed, scratching and head shaking can cause an aural hematoma (blood-filled pocket) to develop. Check your dog’s ears regularly and call us if you notice any of the symptoms above. If left untreated, ear infections can harm the ear canal and middle ear and result in hearing loss.
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