ear infections in dogs

What Are Ear Infections in Dogs?

If your dog has suddenly started scratching her ears and whining, or if you’ve noticed that her ears are slightly red and raw from the scratching, she may have an ear infection. These are some of the symptoms she’s displaying that are associated with ear infections in dogs.


Types of Ear Infections in Dogs

There are three kinds of ear infections. They are called otitis externa, otitis media, and otitis interna. They all affect different parts of the ear. Dogs with floppy ears are more prone to these common conditions. Approximately 20% of dogs have some form of an ear disease, which can affect one or both ears at a time.

Otitis externa mainly affects the layer of cells lining the outer or external part of the ear canal. Otitis media and interna afflicts the middle and inner ear canal, respectively. These kinds of ear infections in dogs occur most often, as a result from the external infection spreading to the inside.


Symptoms of Ear Infections in Dogs

Their ear canals are very sensitive, so these symptoms are pretty recognizable. They include:

  • scaly skin
  • excessive or noticeable head shaking
  • odors from their ears
  • whining and pawing at the affected ear
  • itchiness
  • dark, smelly discharge
  • redness and swelling

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?

Some of the most common causes include:

  • bacteria
  • yeast/fungus
  • allergies
  • moisture
  • viruses
  • thyroid disorders
  • drug reactions
  • autoimmune disease
  • endocrine disorders
  • wax buildup
  • injury
  • excessive cleaning
  • meningitis or encephalitis


If you have noticed any of these symptoms, this is a sign of ear infections in dogs. It is very important that you contact our office as soon as possible. This is necessary for your dog’s comfort and for your peace of mind, as well! Please do not attempt to treat this symptoms without first consulting us.