Diseases of the ears in dogs: causes and underlying pathologies

Otitis and other ailments affecting the ears are very unpleasant and serious diseases. If someone suffered from an inflammation of the ear, then he will probably agree with us. But what about our smaller ones? Also, because ear diseases in dogs cause a lot of problems both for the animals themselves and their owners.

How to determine the presence of the disease?

In general, even a person very far from veterinary medicine and medicine can do this, since the signs are characteristic:

  • Extremely unpleasant odor from the ears.
  • The dog constantly scratches and scratches the auricles.
  • From the ear canals can exudate.
  • The auricles themselves noticeably redden, swell, become inflamed. This is especially noticeable at the tips of the ears.
  • The dog walks with his head bowed, trying to constantly keep it in one position.
  • If the owner touches the ears of his pet, then a pronounced pain reaction occurs.
  • Behavioral changes, such as depression or irritability.

These are the signs of ear disease in dogs. In general, ear diseases in all domestic animals are quite common. It is believed that at least 20% of all dogs in the world are affected by otodectosis (ear mite), but in practice it turns out that these figures are greatly underestimated.

The reasons

The causes of the development of ear diseases can be completely different and extremely diverse. Here is a short list of them:

  • Allergies, atopic reactions, ear mites.
  • Secondary ear infection.
  • Primary diseases, including those caused by the ingestion of fungi, yeast, viruses or bacteria.
  • Foreign bodies, and a considerable danger are pieces from grass stems. They are sharp and capable of causing dangerous damage.
  • Injuries.
  • Hormonal pathologies (hypothyroidism).
  • A large amount of water gets into the ear canal. For dogs, this is highly undesirable.
  • Hereditary or immune diseases, including tumors. Very common in small dogs (dachshunds).

Now let’s take a look at these factors better.

Allergic reactions

Almost any allergic reaction is dangerous for thin and delicate skin of the auricles. In general, it is precisely the problems with the ears that may be the first sign of an onset allergy. So, if your dog suddenly swells, turns red and becomes painful, urgently call a veterinarian, as this may well be a formidable symptom of hypersensitivity. If the manifestations of an allergic reaction are weak, then the owners begin to "treat" their pet for an unknown infection, often using strong antibiotics. As a result, a dog’s condition can quickly become critical. Do not do that!

The treatment of these pathologies is quite simple: antihistamines are prescribed, in severe cases, diuretics are also prescribed to help relieve swelling. Be sure to try to identify the allergen that caused the reaction, since in the future the animal from this substance must be isolated.


An ear mite, Otodectes cynotis, can now be found in at least 60% of all cats in the world, but it has not deprived dogs of its "attention" either. We already wrote about this above. By themselves, ticks do not pose a danger to the body, so in some animals the symptoms of their appearance are not recorded at all. Worse, when the products of their vital activity cause an allergic reaction, to which any secondary bacterial infection immediately builds up. All this causes a severe itch, because of which the dogs literally tear apart their ears.

The therapy is similar to that used in the previous case. Firstly, it is always useful to prescribe antihistamines that will relieve itching and swelling. Secondly, dogs are prescribed medications that act directly on ticks. The modern pharmaceutical industry produces such a lot: the same drops of Bars, Amit, Rosinka lotion and others. It does not hurt to clean the ears from dirt and scabs with a 3% hydrogen peroxide solution, or sterile vegetable oil.

Infectious pathologies

It is difficult to say anything definite about them, since dozens of varieties of microorganisms or fungi can cause diseases. Pathogenic fungi are especially dangerous. In the normal state, the ears are well protected from their action, but under the influence of some strong adverse factors (stress, allergy), the body's immune status drops dramatically. Fungi can cause severe inflammation, and the use of antibiotics and standard antimicrobials in this case does not give any pronounced effect.

In this case, the first thing is the diagnosis! Microscopic studies, allergic tests and culture media. Only after identifying the pathogen can it be possible to prescribe an effective specific treatment. As a rule, powerful antibiotics with a wide spectrum of action are prescribed.

Foreign bodies entering the ear canal

Burdock, cereal stubble, just pieces of stems, bark, sedge and other foreign bodies in the ears - this is the "disease" of the ears in dogs, which is often encountered by owners of hunting and service dogs. Of course, if the animals are used for their intended purpose. Not even the injuries that dogs receive as a result of their penetration into the delicate tissues of the ear canal are dangerous, but the pathogenic microflora that has got there.

And therefore, after any walk through the forest or even the park, carefully check the ears of your dog, as this can save him from major troubles. In addition, this way you will timely find ticks, which may well be carriers of dangerous blood-borne diseases. As for the treatment, in many cases it involves the extraction of foreign objects from the ear. If inflammation and suppuration have developed, antibiotics and other antimicrobials are prescribed. The ear cavity is washed with weak solutions of hydrogen peroxide.

Ear Injury

If your pet is a peaceful dog or a poodle, then you are unlikely to encounter serious injuries to your pet's ears. But in the event that your favorite is a bulldog or a bull terrier, then the problems with ears completely torn to shreds are a harsh reality (see photo). And for this there is no need at all to use your dog in the fighting arena, since the breeds listed by us are aggressive in nature, and therefore do not miss the chance to intervene in the next dump.

What to do in this case? Firstly, all these breeds are subject to stopping not only the ears, but also the tail. And this is done (including) to protect the dogs themselves from injury. So do not neglect stopping! Secondly, we do not recommend washing the wounds on our own. And frankly stupid would be an independent excision of the affected tissue (and this happens, alas). Contact your veterinarian right away, especially since your pet could have been hurt in a fight with a rabid animal.

Hormone metabolism and yeast

One of the most unpleasant varieties of the pathologies we describe. Problems on hormonal soil are fraught with various dermatitis and dermatoses, the occurrence of autoimmune reactions. Thyroid and sex hormones, as well as glucocorticoids, are the most “harmful” substances in this regard.

These pathologies are extremely dangerous, since they are extremely difficult to correctly diagnose. An accurate diagnosis can be made only on the basis of a full biochemical blood test, ultrasound and radiography of the endocrine glands. Therapy is also quite complicated. As a rule, only drugs that reduce the secretion of unwanted hormone give a more or less good effect. All therapy is carried out under the strict supervision of an experienced endocrinologist, otherwise, by healing the ears, you can kill the whole body.

Against the background of inflammation, which is accompanied by the release of a large amount of secretion, colonies of pathogenic yeast often settle in the ear canal. Such pathologies are especially hard on the health of dogs with long ears (dachshunds, cockers). A distinctive sign of this kind of disease is inflamed and wet skin, from which comes a disgusting smell. This should be treated urgently, since sepsis is likely. This is done with the help of various antimicrobials and fungicidal drugs, the names of which any veterinarian knows.

Watch the video: About Fever In Dogs - Causes, Symptoms and Treatment (January 2020).