Dog Ear Infections: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Did you know that dogs can get ear infections just like humans can? In fact, ear infections are fairly common in dogs, and you may end up having to treat your dog for an ear infection at some point during their life.

In the article below, you’ll find out more information about ear infections in dogs. You can check out this information to learn more about the causes, symptoms, and treatments associated with ear infections so you can understand the best way to help your dog feel better as quickly as possible. If you have any questions, call Town & Country Veterinary Clinic in Marinette at (715) 735-9511.

dog ear infections in marinette wiSymptoms

Head Shaking and Head Tilt

These symptoms occur most commonly in association with ear infections in dogs. Your dog may shake their head frequently in an attempt to loosen the pressure building up in their ear, or they may hold their head at a tilt for the same reason.

Pawing at the Ear

If your dog’s ear is itching or in pain, they may paw or scratch at it frequently to try to relieve the problem. This can also be a sign of other problems, such as ear mites, so your vet will need to check your dog out to determine the cause.

Discharge From the Ear

If you see discharge leaking from your dog’s ear, this is a very good indication that they probably have an ear infection.

Visible Redness and Swelling

Visible redness and swelling in and around the ear are also good indicators of ear infection, but they may also mean that your dog has an ear injury or some form of trauma to the ear.

Pain In and Around the Ear

If your dog is aggressive or fearful when you try to touch their ear, this may mean that they’re in pain. That pain could be associated with an ear infection.

Foul Odor From the Ear

A foul smell coming from your dog’s ear usually means that they have an ear infection, although it may meant that they have an ear fungus instead.



Many specific breeds of dogs are more likely to develop ear infections than others. This is because of the shape and style of the ears, which are more prone to infection if they are floppy.


Injuries to the ear can sometimes become infected and contribute to the risk of ear infections.


Moisture is the most common cause of ear infection in dogs. When moisture becomes trapped inside your dog’s ear—from swimming or from bathing—it leads to a buildup of bacteria that culminates in an ear infection.


Allergies can sometimes lead to ear infections in dogs, although this is less likely than some of the other causes listed here.


Too much wax building up within your dog’s ears can lead to frequent ear infections. This is why it is important to clean your dog’s ears often at home or have them cleaned by the groomer frequently.


Medicated Ear Cleaner

This treatment is used to clean out your dog’s ears while introducing medicine that can fight the infection.

Topical Medication

Topical medication is usually in the form of an ointment that you massage into the affected part of your dog’s ear. It is more commonly prescribed for injury-related ear infections than for other types of infections.

Oral Medication

Your dog will probably need to take oral medication such as antibiotics to help clear up their ear infection as well, although your veterinarian will tell you for sure.


Rarely, some dogs may have such severe ear infections that they cannot be cleared up without the use of steroids. Your dog may be prescribed steroids to help his ears recover fully.


In some severe instances, dogs may need a total ear canal ablation. This means the removal of ear canal, and it is only done in dogs who have very serious ear infections that cannot be cleared up through other means.

Thorough Ear Cleaning

A thorough ear cleaning may be the best way of preventing your dog from ever having an ear infection in the first place.

With the help of this information, you should be ready to speak to your vet with any questions or concerns you might have. If you suspect that your dog does have an ear infection, it’s important to get an official medical diagnosis and figure out the right treatment with the help of your vet.

And if there is something going on with your dog’s ears that doesn’t seem to be an infection, it’s also necessary to speak to a vet to figure out the underlying cause of this problem. The sooner you can address the issue, the sooner you’ll have your dog back to his usual healthy self. Call us today at (715) 735-9511.