It can be hard to know when your dog is scratching their ear because it was a little itchy and when they are scratching their ear because there is an infection. If left unattended ear infections become extremely painful, smelly, and irritating for your dog. It can cause them to become withdrawn from the family, cry or bite when you touch their painful ear, and can cause them to become snappy towards other pets in the home.
So, what are the signs that your dog has an ear infection?
- Scratching their ears
- Shaking their head
- Funky smell coming from their ears
- Brown/yellow discharge visible in the external ear
- Groaning or crying when you are massaging their ears
If you suspect your dog has an ear infection then the best thing to do is book in for a consultation with one of our veterinarians. We are able to collect a full history of your pet, perform an otoscopic examination, diagnose the type of ear infection using cytology and our in-house lab and prescribe treatment which will get your dog feeling better in no time.
We also can discuss the various causes of ear infections and help to make an ongoing preventative or management plan for problem ears. For severe ear infections, we may need to anaesthetise your pet and perform a thorough ear flush under an anaesthetic.
Our recommendations for ongoing monitoring at home include:
- Checking their ears once a week for any smell or discharge
- Using a dog safe ear cleaner after they have been for a swim or a bath to help ensure the ear canal is dry
- Never using water (or anything other than dog ear cleaner) to clean the ears
- For recurrent ear infections, we will talk about various underlying causes and may recommend a food allergy trial or supplements to help improve the skin barrier.
If you are worried about your dog’s ears book in an appointment with one of our vets here or by calling 02 9086 9130.