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Ear Disease in Dogs and Cats: What You Need to Know

Knowing what causes ear problems in dogs and cats, plus what to look for, can help save you time and money on their treatment.


Common Causes of Ear Disease in Dogs and Cats

  • Ear infections caused by overgrown bacteria, yeast, or a combination of both
  • Ear mites
  • Ear wax or dirt build-up from improper ear cleaning
  • Allergies
  • Ruptured eardrum
  • Tumors/polyps within the ear canal

What Signs to Look for In Your Pet

  • Shaking the head more than usual 
  • Tilting of the head to one side 
  • Change in the appearance of the ear flap 
  • A bad smell or musty odor coming from the ears 
  • Heavy wax or discharge in the ears 
  • Grumbling or groaning while scratching the ears 
  • Crying (yelping or meowing) when the ears are touched  

What Do I Do If I Think My Pet Has Ear Disease?

Ear disease is uncomfortable and painful for pets. To keep the problem from getting worse, don’t try to treat them at home. Take your pet to a licensed veterinarian and talk about your concerns. They will be able to diagnosis the cause and help provide guidance on the best treatment options.