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Dog Ear Infections

Dog ear infections are one of the top ailments that a dog is
presented for.  Head shaking, ear scratching and foul ear
odor are all possible symptoms of an ear infection.  Learn
about how we work up
ear infections in dogs as well as
about possible underlying causes of chronic ear infections.

Post a message or ask a question on our new Dog Health Problems Advice Forums

Ear Infections in Dogs

Dogs can get ear infections for any number of reasons.
conformation of certain breeds predispose the ear to
infections. Generally, genetic traits that inhibit air drying of
the ear or normal drainage of ear debris tend to cause an
increased incidence of ear infections. Other reasons for
ear infections in dogs are exposure to water and skin
allergies. Certainly, many ear infections occur for no
specific reason at all.

At our animal hospitals, we believe as veterinarians that in
order to treat an ear infection appropriately, we must have
an adequate idea of what organism(s) we are dealing with.
As a start, after our otoscopic exam, we will recommend
doing an ear cytology exam. An ear cytology exam is a
microscopic look at a stained slide of ear discharge picked
up with an ear swab. With this slide, we can get an idea as
to whether the predominant organism responsible for the
infection is a bacteria or yeast or both. Based on this
determination, we can choose a course of treatment.

Other diagnostic options include doing a culture and
sensitivity of the ear discharge, and possibly x-rays of the
skull to determine the extent of the ear infection. Other
treatment options may include surgery to correct genetic
abnormalities or allergy testing to determine what
allergens your pet is sensitive to.

- Sam D. Meisler DVM

The statements or information on this website have not
been evaluated by the FDA and are not intended to
diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.