Ears are breeding grounds for infection. In fact, infections are one of the most common reasons why pets need a visit to the veterinarian.
What Are Common Pet Ear Infections?
Animals with closed flaps on their ears may experience more issues than pets whose ears are open, but they all can suffer from any of the following problems.
Sometimes vigorous head shaking can cause the blood vessels in the flaps of your dog’s ears to rupture, called an ear hematoma. They can also be caused by scratching if your dog has fleas or mites. Because of the bleeding in the thin flap of the ear, you will notice it when you see a large, swollen mass on the inside of their ear. Cats also can get ear hematomas, usually caused by ear mites.
Otitis Externa, Media, and Internal
This is a medical term that simply means inflammation of the ear canal (media or internal) or the exterior of the ear (externa). If you notice your pet pawing at an ear, give it a closer look to see if there is any noticeable inflammation or redness.
Otodectes cynotis are little bugs that are attracted to the wax in dogs’ ears. When they crawl inside, they can cause a lot of itching.
How Can I Tell If My Pet Has an Ear Problem/Infection?
You might notice your pet shaking their head and find yourself wondering “Is my dog shaking his head more often?” You might even become annoyed for a moment if it’s particularly loud before realizing that they might be trying to shake something out of their ears. And most of the time, that’s exactly how most people first decide to start snooping inside their pet’s ears, because the excessive shaking is your pet’s way of saying something is uncomfortable or hurting.
Other signs you should look out for are discharge spraying from the ears when shaking, sudden foul odor from your dog, swelling on the outside of the ear, and vigorous scratching. Animals will often paw aggressively at their ears if they are infected. These behaviors are definitely signs that their ears need to be evaluated.
What Are The Symptoms for Common Pet Ear Problems/Infections?
Carefully get closer to your pet and check them gently, as they might be in a lot of pain. If you notice an unusual, foul odor or other symptoms, then it’s time to call a vet. You may notice that your pet is licking or grooming themselves much more often, or trying to paw at, chew, or bite themselves. These are all signs that something is irritating or hurting your pet.
What Should I Do If I Believe My Pet Has An Ear Problem/Infection?
While you can buy over-the-counter medicines, you don’t actually know what is causing the infection. Unfortunately, many pet owners have squirted chemicals into pets’ ears that only exacerbated the underlying problem, and added to the misery of their pets. A certified veterinarian can rule out underlying issues, parasites, brain issues, or other illnesses.