Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment of Dog Ear Infections

Do you think your dog may have an ear infection? Do you know what to do about it if she does? What is the best way to prevent your dog from getting ear infections in the first place?

Ear infections are relatively common in dogs, and many dogs experience this problem at least once in their lives. In the article below, our Crown Point, IN, veterinarians will discuss the potential causes symptoms, and treatments of this condition. 

Causes of Dog Ear Infections in Crown Point, IN

dog ear infections crown point, in

Moisture Buildup

One of the most common causes of ear infection in dogs is a buildup of moisture inside the ear. This moisture can cause excess growth of bacteria and funguses that lead to infection.


Allergies may lead to secondary ear infections, especially if your dog’s ears are commonly affected by her allergies. Even food sensitivity and food allergy can contribute to ear infections in dogs.

Foreign Object

It is possible for dogs to get foreign objects lodged within the ear. This is an uncommon problem in dogs with ears that flop over themselves, but dogs with short ears that stand up straight may be more at risk. If your dog has a foreign object stuck in her ear, it may cause significant discomfort and can lead to an infection as well.


In some instances, wax buildup may be so significant that it causes ear infections. This is an uncommon problem in dogs who regularly have their ears cleaned at home, by a professional groomer, or at vet visits. However, if you don’t keep up with your dog’s ear cleaning needs, this could be the cause.

Symptoms of Dog Ear Infections

Head Shaking and Tilting

This symptom may be associated with much more serious problems, like brain tumors; however, it is considerably more commonly related to ear infections in dogs. If your dog is shaking or tilting her head often, she may be trying to reduce the pressure building up in her ear from the infection.

Pawing and Scratching

Your dog may also scratch and paw at the ear that is bothering her if she has an ear infection. It is normal for dogs to scratch their ears now and then, but frequent scratching can indicate a problem.

redness in dog's ear

Visible Redness and Swelling

As the condition progresses, your dog’s ear infection may lead to noticeable swelling and redness of the ear and ear canal. If your dog’s ear is so badly infected that you can see the infection, this means she needs to go to the vet immediately.

Discharge and Odor

If your dog’s ear has a fluid leaking from it, and especially if that fluid has a foul odor, this is a telltale sign of infection. In some instances, these are the first symptoms pet owners may notice of a canine ear infection.

Treatment of Dog Ear Infections

Topical Medication

Certain infections can be resolved with an application of a topical medication that remains in the ear for 2-4 weeks. 

Medicated Drops

Your vet will prescribe medicated ear drops for your dog. These drops should be given according to the dosage provided by your vet, but typically are given a couple of times per day. They should be gently massaged into the affected ear to help treat the infection at its source.

Ear Cleaning

You will also need to gently clean your dog’s affected ear. Your vet will give you a medicated cleaner to help make this easier. You should not clean your dog’s ear infection with water, as this is likely to make the problem worse. Follow your vet’s guidelines for ear cleaning in your pet.

Pain Medication

Your dog may be given enough pain medication to last for the first few days of her treatment. After those few days, if you have been keeping up with her treatment as needed, she likely won’t be in much pain from her ear anymore.

Our Crown Point, IN, Veterinarians Are Here to Help with Your Dog’s Ear Infection

As you can see, ear infections may be common, but they are also easily treatable. Many dogs experience ear infections, but your pet doesn’t have to suffer for too long with this problem. If your dog is showing signs of an ear infection, take her to the vet as soon as you can—but don’t worry about rushing to the emergency vet.

With the help of our Crown Point, IN, veterinarians, you can choose the best treatment option for your dog and help her get on the road to recovery very quickly. Stick with her treatment to help her ear infection clear up within a couple of weeks.

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