Veterinary Resources

Ear Infection Handout

Itching, whining, and headshaking are often recognized as strong indicators that your dog is experiencing an ear infection.

Veterinary Resources

Ear Problems and How To Prevent Them

Otitis Externa
The most common disorder of the ear canal in our pets is called otitis externa, a condition that can be prevented easily, but if left untreated can lead to infection of the middle and inner ear.

This problem arises when the cells/skin that line the ear canal become irritated and inflamed. The ear canal can then become painful, itchy or infected depending on both the cause and duration of the condition.

Symptoms can include discharge from the ear, whining when ear is touched, shaking head excessively and scratching/ rubbing the ears.

Parasites, foreign objects, allergies, bacteria and yeast may all cause otitis externa.
It is crucial that the cause is determined in order to correctly treat the condition and avoid recurrence.

Although some cases of otitis externa are not preventable, (such as ear canal deformities causing inflammation), most of the common causes of this condition can be identified and prevented.

You can check your pets ears regularly at home, looking for changes in temperature, skin color or condition, increased moisture and any discharge. Any marked changes require a prompt check-up with the vet!

If your pet loves to swim, be sure to dry the ears after to keep them free from excess moisture and well ventilated.
Cleaning the ears at home with a gentle ear cleanser is the best form of prevention.

Cleaning The Ears

  • Gently lift the ear flap to visualize inside your pet’s ear.
  • Insert the tip of the chosen ear cleaner into the ear, careful not to insert it too far, and gently squeeze the bottle to release the product.
  • Gently massage the base of the ear in order to aid the cleaner to pass into the ear canal.
  • Using cotton wool (not cotton bud tips), wipe the inside of the ear, collecting any wax or debris and excess cleaner. Repeat this process until the cotton balls are clean when removed from the ear.
  • Repeat the entire process on the other ear.

Ask a member of our veterinary team to show you how to properly clean your pets ears at home!