Identifying Ear Infections In Your Dog

Do you see your dog scratching at his ears over and over? if so, it could be a sign of an ear infection! Canine ear infections are more common than you might think, especially dogs with floppy, large ears. These include Basset Hounds and Cocker Spaniels. According to the American Kennel Club (AKC), 20 percent of dogs are estimated to suffer from some type of ear disease, including three types of ear infections. 5 Points Animal Hospital knows you want your dog to be as healthy and comfortable as possible. Treating ear infections in dogs is just one of the many comprehensive veterinary services we provide in our East Nashville office. To help you identify an ear infection in your dog, we would like to tell you more about this common dog ailment.


The three types of canine ear infections have to do with which part of the ear is infected. The least serious type of ear infection that can affect dogs is called otitis externa. This type of ear infection involves an irritation of the cells that line the outer ear canal. The other two types of ear infections, otitis media and interna can be more serious. Why? They affect the middle and inner parts ear, as a result of infection spreading from the external ear. This can lead to loss of hearing, facial paralysis, or other issues. Since early treatment of them is so important, you should be aware of how to identify ear infections!


  • Constant ear scratching.
  • Whining when scratching.
  • Head shaking.
  • Strong and unpleasant odors.
  • A dark-colored discharge coming from the ears.
  • Swelling in the area.
  • Redness inside the ear canal.


Dogs are more prone to ear infections because of the shape of their ear canal, which is more vertical than one of a human. Also, a dog’s ear canal is typically shaped like the letter L. This makes them more prone to hold water. Unfortunately, this moisture creates a prime environment for the growth of bacteria, viruses, yeast, and fungus. These can all cause allergic reactions and infections!

Other causes of canine ear infections include:

  • Thyroid and endocrine disorders.
  • Mites and other foreign bodies inside the ear.
  • Autoimmune diseases.
  • Meningitis.
  • Encephalitis.

If you notice any of the symptoms we mentioned in your dog, you should contact us at 5 Points Animal Hospital as soon as possible! Our expert veterinary staff can make a proper diagnosis, which is crucial to successfully treat your dog’s ear infection.

By Dr. Janet Grace | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Comments Off on Identifying Ear Infections In Your Dog

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