Otitis Externa in Dogs: Symptoms and Diagnosis

What is It?

Otitis externa is an outer ear infection.

What Causes It?

Otitis externa is a common condition it can be caused by wax and debris build up in the ear, flea bites, allergies, bacterial or yeast infections, ear mite infection, and tumors. While all dogs can experience ear infections, dogs with long floppy ears and dogs with long hair are prone to these infections. Always be sure to regularly check your dog’s ears are clean and clear of foreign matter.

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What Are The Symptoms?

  • Discharge from ear
  • Smell coming from ear
  • Redness around ear
  • Excessive scratching of ear
  • Pain when having ear touched
  • Shaking head
  • Depression
  • Scaly skin

Is it Life Threatening?

No. Ear infections are painful and if left untreated can lead to loss of hearing.

Are You Covered When Your Pup Gets Sick?

How is It Diagnosed?

A vet will do a physical exam on your dog’s ear. If you dog is uncooperative, a sedative may be administered to allow the vet to fully investigate the infection and the cause. Wax buildup can negate the effectiveness of topical medication. The hair around the ear will be removed and the entire ear canal cleaned out.

What Are The Treatments?

For dogs that have painful infections, your vet will administer general anesthesia to completely clean out the infected ear and canal. Your vet will likely give you a topical medication and a cleaning regimen to make sure your dog’s ear stays clean. Oral or injected medication are usually reserved for deeper ear infections.

Note: The advice provided in this post is intended for informational purposes and does not constitute medical advice regarding pets. For an accurate diagnosis of your pup’s condition, please make an appointment with your veterinarian. Or, consult a virtual vet here.