Have you noticed your furry canine friend constantly scratching his ears and maybe caught a whiff of a foul smell coming from inside his ear canal?
Those are some of the most prominent signs that a dog may be dealing with an ear condition.
If your dog has developed an ear condition, he’s certainly not alone – in fact, ear conditions rank as the number one reason dogs visit the vet.
What Causes Ear Problems In Dogs?
The most common culprits for causing ear conditions in dogs are yeast, bacteria, mites, wax buildup, excess hair, and trapped moisture.
Dog ears are structured in such a way that makes it pretty easy for unwanted visitors or gunk to burrow their way in or get stuck. When stuff like dirt or yeast or anything else is in there for too long, an infection can develop and start causing your dog problems.
Common Ear Conditions For Dogs
Yeast infections are some of the most frequently occurring ear conditions that develop in dogs and can happen for a number of reasons, but the most common reasons have to do with a dog’s immune system. When a dog’s immune system has been compromised, thrown off balance, or overworked, it can cause a yeast infection.
- When a dog takes a high amount of antibiotics.
- When a dog’s diet is exceptionally high in carbohydrates.
- When a dog has already developed Leaky Gut Syndrome (a condition where pathogens slip through intestinal walls and cause yeast blooms).
- Itching (most apparent sign)
- Incessant chewing
- Constantly rubbing behind across the ground
- Recommended Solutions:
- Having your dog consume a diet that’s low in carbohydrates and grains and contains low carb vegetables.
- Considering making a vet visit to receive further consultation and tips.
- Transitioning your dog to a raw diet (learn more here).
- Ear Infection
When bacteria, dirt, or other foreign debris gets trapped in a dog’s ear canal, an infection can develop. Dog ears naturally contain some moisture, which can be the perfect breeding ground for bacteria and infection, which is also why it’s important to keep their ears dry and not add to the moisture levels that are already naturally there.
- Swimming in rivers, oceans or other open bodies of water.
- Excessive hair in the ears.
- Ear mites or fleas burrowing into the ears.
- Foreign objects getting stuck in the ears.
- An excessive wax buildup in the ears.
- Increased scratching, specifically around ears
- Discharge coming out of ears
- Foul odor coming from ear canals
- Redness or swelling around or inside ears
- Crusts, scabs, or hair loss around ears
- Loss of balance
- Changes in hearing
- Odd changes in behavior (such as pacing in circles, weird eye movements, constant head shaking, etc.)
Dog ear infections can be a one-time event or recurring and can differentiate enough (depending on what pathogens caused the infection) that there’s not necessarily a one-solution-fits-all remedy and various tests may be needed, but these are some recommended suggestions for what to do.
- Depending on if you go to a traditional or holistic vet can determine the sort of test that will be taken and whether drugs will be prescribed or not, but a vet visit is recommended.
- Help your dog boost his immune system by transitioning him to a raw diet (learn more here).