Dog Ear Problems

Dog ear problems are among the most common health issues dogs have, and they can severely limit your dog's ability to interact with the world and enjoy their life. Luckily many of these problems can be avoided with preventative care. Dog ear problems are also usually easy to detect and treat early on, if you know what you're looking for.

How can you tell if your dog is suffering from ear problems?

Watch out for some of these common symptoms:

  • Constant ear scratching
  • Frequent head shaking/strange eye movements
  • Yellow, brown, or bloody discharge from the ears
  • Smelly ears
  • Redness or swelling around the ears
  • Dry and/or crusted skin on the ear flap
  • Loss of balance
  • Loss of hearing
  • Walking around in circles

Constant ear scratching is sometimes caused by debris in the ear, but other symptoms are almost always a sign of serious infection and should be taken seriously. If you notice any symptoms other than scratching and head shaking, take your dog to the vet immediately. Ear scratching and head shaking can be caused by debris caught in the ear, but the rest of these symptoms mean your dog probably has some type of ear infection. A bad ear infection can cause permanent hearing loss and even vision loss if not properly treated.

What are the most common dog ear problems?

The four most common dog ear problems are yeast infections, bacterial infections (which often accompany yeast infections), allergies, and debris caught in the ear canal.

Yeast Infections

Dogs' ear canals are warm, dark, and moist, allowing dogs' ear yeast to grow at an alarming rate. Yeast infections are the most common type of ear infection for dogs.

Bacterial Infections

Bacterial infections in dogs' ears usually grow alongside yeast infections and are able to grow faster because of the yeast infection.

Allergies

Allergies can cause skin irritation around the ears, leading to excessive scratching and potential injury. They can also trigger chronic ear infections in some species of dog.

Debris

Debris in your dog's ears can cause serious injury, either on its own or by making your dog scratch until they injure themselves. These injuries can easily become infected if not treated immediately. This makes it a good idea to clean your dog's ears immediately after long walks in wooded areas and after swimming.

What breeds are most vulnerable to dog ear problems?

Breeds with excessive fur around the ears or floppy ears are more vulnerable to ear infections. This is because floppy ears and extra fur increase the warmth and moisture in dogs' ears, allowing yeast and bacteria to grow even more rapidly.

Some of the most vulnerable breeds are Shih Tzus, beagles, bloodhounds, all breeds of spaniel, Irish Setters, English Setters, and Labrador Retrievers.

How can you prevent dog ear problems?

The best way to prevent dog ear problems is by adding regular dog ear cleaning to your dog grooming routine. Most dogs will be fine with ear cleanings every 4-6 months, but if your dog is prone to skin problems or ear infections you should clean their ears once a month. If your dog spends a lot of time swimming you may even want to clean their ears as often as once a week.

You should always clean your dog's ears with a specialised dog ear cleansing solution. Make sure the brand you choose uses 100% natural ingredients and offers full disclosure of their ingredients on the bottle. It's also a good idea to consult with your vet before purchasing any ear cleansing solution.

Keeping your dog out of dirty water and ensuring that their home environment is clean also helps prevent debris and nasty bacteria from entering the ear.

Why use the Pro Pooch Natural Dog Ear Cleaner?

At Pro Pooch we believe your dog's health is as important as your own health. Our ear cleaner is specially formulated to quickly cut through excess dog ear wax and other buildup in your dog's ears .

This commitment to your dog's health is only matched by our commitment to your happiness. Our Happy Pooch Guarantee lets you return our Natural Dog Cleaner—or any other Pro Pooch product—for a full refund if you're not absolutely in love with the product, no questions asked.

Final advice

At some point in your dog's life you will probably have to deal with some kind of dog ear problem, but many of these problems can be avoided with a proper ear cleaning routine. Your vet can show you how to clean your dog's ears or you can download our free guide, How to Clean Dogs' Ears.