Most ear problems in dogs can be treated easily, though some will require further intervention and, on occasion, even surgery.

Symptoms of Ear Problems in Dogs

Bacterial Ear Infections
Some ear problems in dogs are cause by a bacterial infection, also known as otitis externa. This is one of the most common ear problems in dogs that we treat.

The symptoms of ear problems:

* Shaking of head
* Excessive scratching at ears and around head
* A smell or discharge from the ears
* Reluctance to let you near their head
* Aggressiveness if affected ear is touched


There are many different causes of ear problems in dogs, including skin allergies, bacterial infections, mites and foreign bodies. Depending on the problem your vet will provide the appropriate treatment necessary, which may involve topical drops, ear cleaning, oral medications or surgery.

Ear Mites

The next most common ear problem that we come across with our canine patients are ear mites also known as Otodectes cynotis.

If your dog is suffering from ear mites you may notice some or all of the following symptoms:

* Shaking of the head
* Excessive scratching at ears and around head
* Brown particles which look like coffee grains just inside your dog’s ear
* Black or brown waxy secretion


Due to the nature of the symptoms further complications could result in blood pooling as blood vessels in the ear can fail due to scratching and shaking of the head. This condition can easily be treated with ear drops which are used with an ear cleaner but it’s important that the problem is professionally diagnosed by a vet before the relevant course of treatment can be decided.

Foreign Objects (like grass seeds)
It may be surprising to know that we also treat dogs who have got something in their ear which shouldn’t be there! One of the most common foreign objects that cause ear problems in dogs are grass seeds. This is usually a seasonal problem occurring during the summer months when they have been playing in long grass. The seeds sharp tip pierces the skin getting lodged and causing irritation.

The symptoms of this problem include:

* Vigorous scratching of the ears
* Shaking of the head
* A collection of seeds in or around the ear
* Inflammation in or around the ear


If the seed has become inflamed you may also notice a small amount of blood in your dog’s ear.

Treating Ear Problems in Dogs

To successfully diagnose and treat problems with the ear it is always recommended to bring your dog to a vet. If your dog is found to be suffering from an ear problem, the best course of treatment for the individual case will be prescribed, which may often be a course of antibiotics. Because there are so many different types of ear problems dogs can get the treatment varies from topical solutions and wipes to antibiotics and surgery. For example:

Vets can conduct simple tests to diagnose a bacterial ear infection and prescribe topical solutions and or antibiotics.

Getting rid of foreign bodies in your dog’s ear, such as grass seed, can include your vet attempting to flush the ears or removing the items surgically while the dog is either under general anaesthetic or sedated. This will be followed with pain relief and antibiotics.

What to do if your dog is suffering from ear problems
If you think your dog may be suffering from ear problems then the most important first step is to take a trip to your vet. Ear disease is very unlikely to simply clear up on its own and the longer it remains untreated then the harder it is to clear up the problem.

It’s true that some breeds of dogs – ones with long dangly ears such as Springer Spaniels – are more prone to ear problems than others. Dogs which spend a lot of time in water may also suffer from regular ear problems, as well as dogs with allergies.

If your dog is the kind of breed that is susceptible to ear problems or has long ears make it a part of your grooming routine to check your dogs ears regularly. To keep the ears clean use one of our recommended canine ear cleaners and if you spot a problem please contact us on 01604 648221.

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OUR LOCATIONS

Veterinary Hospital Northampton

Veterinary Hospital
491 Kettering Rd
Northampton NN3 6QW

Opening Times:
Monday - Friday: 08.00 - 20.00
Saturday: 08.00 - 18.00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 10.00 - 12.00

Emergencies Only
08.00 - 10.00 & 12.00 - 17.00

Outside of these times you will be directed to our dedicated out of hours emergency service provider, Vets Now.

Telephone: 01604 648221

OUT OF HOURS COVER
Telephone: 01604 648221

OUR LOCATIONS

Veterinary Hospital Northampton

Veterinary Hospital
491 Kettering Rd
Northampton NN3 6QW

Opening Times:
Monday - Friday: 08.00 - 20.00
Saturday: 08.00 - 18.00
Sundays & Bank Holidays: 10.00 - 12.00

Emergencies Only
08.00 - 10.00 & 12.00 - 17.00

Outside of these times you will be directed to our dedicated out of hours emergency service provider, Vets Now.

Telephone: 01604 648221

OUT OF HOURS COVER
Telephone: 01604 648221

Veterinary Surgery Northampton

Veterinary Surgery
Tudor Court
Wootton Hope Drive
Wootton Fields
Northampton NN4 6FF

Opening Times:
Mon, Tues, Thurs & Fri
09.00 - 18.30
Wed: 09.00 - 20.00
Sat: 09.00 - 12.00 noon

Telephone: 01604 700366

OUT OF HOURS COVER
Telephone: 01604 648221