Unfortunately, ear infections are not rare in dogs. Usually the disease is accompanied by a lot of pain for the animal; for that reason alone you must treat it seriously.
In this article we will discuss the different causes of ear infections in dogs and explain which symptoms can occur. In addition, you will learn everything important for diagnosis and treatment.
These symptoms indicate an ear infection
In principle, it is almost impossible that you do not notice an ear infection in your dog. Because you will notice this very clearly just because of the pain he has.
Among other things, you will notice that your dog often tilts its head or shakes it back and forth. In addition, he will often scratch the ear or even rub it on the ground.
Because your dog’s ear infection often causes severe pain, he will not like to be touched on his head. He will become restless and his sleep will also deteriorate over time.
It can also sometimes happen that your four-legged friend becomes aggressive. If the ear infection is not treated in time, then eventually there will also be a fever, not wanting to eat and exhaustion.
Symptoms on the ear itself
Also a further look at the affected ear often shows matching phenomena. For example, in inflammation, the ear is usually red and swollen and often produces a liquid or purulent discharge.
Possible causes of ear infections
An ear infection can have very different causes in dogs. In many cases, however, it is not caused by a particular reason, but rather by an interplay of various factors.
Some dog breeds tend to suffer from ear infections due to their hereditary predisposition. These include, for example, the cocker spaniel, which produces a lot of talc, as well as the shar-pei, because of its narrow ear canals.
Allergies can also lead to inflammation of the ears in dogs. This may be the case, for example, with atopic dermatitis, which is triggered by dust mites and pollen, or with a feed allergy.
In case of a feed allergy, we recommend our Landgut-Schmaus, Naturgut-Schmaus and Landgut-Menü varieties with insect protein.
As our customers’ experiences have shown, changing the hypoallergenic dog food helps very well against food allergies and accompanying ear infections in dogs.
Improper cleaning of the ears
Furthermore, improper cleaning of the ears causes irritation and eventually inflammation of the ears. For this reason, you should avoid using cotton swabs and unsuitable ear cleaners, among other things. Also, you should not pull hair from your dog’s ear.
Parasites, such as ticks and mites, can also cause an ear infection in your dog. This is because if a tick pricks the ear, the skin tears there and this can eventually lead to the affected area becoming inflamed.
The same applies to foreign objects that have become trapped in the ear. For example, if sand or the mess from playing outside remain in the ear for too long, sooner or later that will also lead to an ear infection or at least significantly increase the risk.
Other possible causes
In addition, there are countless many more causes that can be responsible for an ear infection in dogs.
This includes the following:
- Drug intolerance
- Viral infections (for example, herpes)
- Tears and holes in the eardrum
- Bite wounds from peers
- Fungal infections
- Autoimmune diseases
A further, little-known yet common cause of ear infections in dogs is kidney problems. The kidneys are an important organ that filters and removes toxins and harmful metabolism from the body.
If they are overloaded and impaired in their functioning, the kidneys will no longer be able to perform this task properly. Subsequently, more and more harmful substances accumulate in the body of the four-legged friend.
This causes a whole series of health complaints, including the more frequent occurrence of ear infections.
In case of an ear infection it is always recommended to consult a vet. Because only he has the ability to determine the exact cause of the inflammation in your faithful friend. Moreover, a thorough examination of the ear is only possible by a professional with suitable instruments. For example, you can not detect any damage to the eardrum on your own.
An ear infection can drag on for a long time. The treatment therefore requires some patience. It depends on the exact cause which steps the vet will recommend. Because of course the cause must be removed for a successful cure.
In addition, medicated flushing fluids are usually used. With these, the ears can be cleaned and crusts removed. The vet may also prescribe tablets against the ear infection.
However, you should definitely not use cotton swabs or similar things with an ear infection. Because with that you cause more pain in your dog and do more harm than good.
Dietary supplements for ear infections
Because, as mentioned, ear infections in dogs are often associated with kidney problems, it may also be useful to detoxify them with a dietary supplement.