How to Tell if Dog Has Ear Infection

How to Tell if Your Dog Has an Ear Infection

Ear infections are a common problem in dogs and can cause discomfort and pain if left untreated. As a responsible dog owner, it’s important to know how to tell if your dog has an ear infection so that you can seek appropriate treatment. Here are some signs to watch out for:

1. Scratching or rubbing the ears: If your dog is constantly scratching or rubbing their ears, it could be a sign of an ear infection. The discomfort caused by the infection may lead them to seek relief by scratching or rubbing the affected area.

2. Head shaking: Dogs with ear infections often shake their heads vigorously in an attempt to alleviate the discomfort. If you notice your dog shaking their head excessively, it may be a sign of an ear infection.

3. Odor: A foul-smelling odor coming from your dog’s ears is a clear indication of an infection. Ear infections in dogs are often accompanied by a distinct unpleasant smell.

4. Redness and swelling: Inflamed and swollen ears can be a sign of an infection. Look for redness, swelling, or discharge in your dog’s ears as these are common symptoms.

5. Discharge: If you notice any discharge coming from your dog’s ears, it’s likely that they have an infection. The discharge may be yellow, brown, or bloody, depending on the severity of the infection.

6. Sensitivity to touch: Dogs with ear infections may become more sensitive to touch around their ears. They may flinch or show signs of discomfort when their ears are touched or manipulated.

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7. Changes in behavior: If your dog is displaying unusual behavior such as being more lethargic, irritable, or reluctant to eat, it could be a sign of an ear infection. The pain and discomfort caused by the infection may affect their overall behavior and well-being.


1. Can dogs get ear infections from swimming?
Yes, swimming in dirty or contaminated water can lead to ear infections in dogs. It’s important to clean and dry your dog’s ears after swimming to prevent infections.

2. Can ear mites cause ear infections in dogs?
Yes, ear mites can lead to secondary bacterial or yeast infections in dogs’ ears. Treating ear mites promptly can help prevent these infections.

3. Can I use human ear drops for my dog’s ear infection?
No, human ear drops are not suitable for dogs and may even worsen the condition. Always consult your veterinarian for appropriate ear infection treatment options.

4. Can allergies cause ear infections in dogs?
Yes, allergies can contribute to ear infections in dogs. Environmental allergies, food allergies, or sensitivities can cause inflammation and increase the risk of ear infections.

5. Can I prevent ear infections in my dog?
Regular ear cleaning, maintaining good hygiene, and addressing underlying allergies or conditions can help prevent ear infections in dogs.

6. How are ear infections diagnosed in dogs?
A veterinarian will examine your dog’s ears, collect samples for microscopic evaluation, and may perform additional tests to diagnose an ear infection.

7. How are ear infections treated in dogs?
Treatment usually involves cleaning the ears, administering medication (such as antibiotics or antifungals), and addressing any underlying causes. Follow your veterinarian’s instructions for proper treatment.

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In conclusion, knowing how to tell if your dog has an ear infection is crucial for their well-being. By recognizing the signs and seeking prompt veterinary care, you can help alleviate your dog’s discomfort and prevent further complications.