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Insight Into: Ear Infections

By September 1, 2023No Comments

Ear infections are a common health concern that can affect your pets. Just like humans, pets can also experience discomfort and pain due to infections, particularly in their ears.

What Causes Ear Infections?

Ear infections occur when the ear canal becomes inflamed and infected. They can be caused by various factors, including:

  1. Allergies: Allergic reactions can trigger inflammation that predisposes the ear to infection.
  2. Microorganisms: Bacteria, yeast, and sometimes even mites can take advantage of a warm and moist environment in the ear canal, leading to infection.
  3. Anatomy: Certain breeds with floppy ears or narrow ear canals are more prone to trapping moisture and debris, creating an environment conducive to infections.


Watch for these signs that might indicate your pet has an ear infection:

  1. Ear Scratching: If your pet is constantly scratching or rubbing their ears, it could be a sign of discomfort.
  2. Head Shaking: Frequent head shaking or tilting to one side can indicate ear pain or irritation.
  3. Odor: A foul odor coming from the ears could be a sign of infection.
  4. Discharge: Discharge that is yellow, brown, or even bloody might be present in the ear canal.
  5. Redness and Swelling: Inflamed or red ears, often accompanied by swelling, can suggest an infection.


If you suspect your pet has an ear infection, it’s essential to have them examined by a veterinarian. The vet will use an otoscope to look into the ear canal and may take a sample of ear discharge to identify the type of infection and choose the appropriate treatment.


Treatment will depend on the type and severity of the infection. It may include:

  1. Ear Cleaning: Thorough cleaning of the ears to remove debris and infection-causing agents.
  2. Topical Treatments: Ear drops or ointments may be prescribed to directly target the infection.
  3. Medications: In severe cases when the ear canal is so swollen, medications can be used to decrease the inflammation and allow topical medications into the ear.


Preventing ear infections involves regular ear hygiene and addressing underlying issues. Here are a few tips:

  1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your pet’s ears as recommended by your veterinarian to prevent excessive buildup of debris and moisture. Make sure to use a veterinary prescribed cleaner as many over the counter products do not contain a drying agent.
  2. Allergy Management: Address allergies promptly to prevent inflammation that can lead to infections.

If you suspect your pet has an ear infection or notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, don’t hesitate to reach out to your veterinarian. Early detection and appropriate treatment can help your pet feel more comfortable and prevent complications.