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Your Pet’s Ears

What You Need to Know About Ear Infections

Your pet’s ears are distinctly different from ours—part of the ear canal is positioned vertically, making it difficult for dirt and debris to work its way out. That’s why regular ear cleanings can go a long way toward keeping your pooch’s ears free and clear.

Ear infections are among the leading causes for trips to the veterinarian. They are often caused by an overgrowth of bacteria and/or yeast/fungus but can also be caused by parasites such as fleas and mites, foreign objects and allergies. They can lead to a host of problems for your pet. Pets with floppy ears and pets that live in warm, moist climates can be particularly vulnerable to ear infections.

Signs that your pet has an ear infection include:

  • Redness or inflammation
  • Head shaking
  • Excessive scratching
  • Head tilt
  • Unpleasant odor in the ear
  • Walking in circles
  • Rubbing the ear on furniture or the floor
  • Loss of balance

What It Means for Your Pet

Ear infections can be extremely painful at worst, and uncomfortable at best. Excessive scratching brought on by ear infections only worsens the condition and can lead to a blood blister or a hematoma. If the condition goes unattended, pets suffering from ear infections may experience dizziness, loss of balance, and hearing loss.

How You Can Help

If you suspect your pet has an ear infection, consult your veterinarian. To help prevent ear infections, do weekly ear checks and cleaning when you see waxy buildup or detect a bad odor. This can go a long way toward avoiding bacterial and fungal overgrowth, which can lead to painful infections.