Dog Ear Infection - Symptoms

Dog ear infections can be painful! Don't we owe it to our pets to learn about common causes and symptoms and what we can do to help make our dogs ear problems a thing of the past? Of course we do...read on to discover how to spot the signs of an ear infection.

Symptoms of Ear Infection in Dogs

It's a well-known fact that Cocker Spaniels often suffer from ear problems, especially if they're not checked and cleaned on a regular basis, but do you know what signs to look for?

Discover the symptoms of dog ear infections and keep your Cocker Spaniel safe.

Well, there are a few classic signs that may indicate a problem and by checking your Cocker's ears often you'll be able to deal with an infection sooner rather than later - and long before it becomes a serious problem!

Common indicators of infection and other problems can appear as follows:

  • the inside of your pet's ears look inflamed or swollen;

  • there's a strong, foul-smelling odor coming from his ear(s);

  • they're tender or sensitive to touch;

  • you notice a dark, strong-smelling, waxy discharge;

  • more than normal amount of ear wax;

  • your dog shakes his head as though he's trying to shake something out;

  • he starts to tilt his head to one side, as though he's listening to something;

  • he rubs his head or his ears along the floor;

  • your Cocker scratches his lugs more often than normal;

  • you notice hair loss around the entrance to the canal;
  • there is crusting or flaking of the skin inside the ear;

  • blood blisters or blood inside the ear;

  • melanomas (tumors);

  • your Cocker appears not to hear you;

  • he seems to lose his balance occasionally;

  • a change in your dog's behavior, ie depression, irritability or lethargy.

If you notice one or more of these symptoms in your pet, it's probably a good idea to take him to see his vet who'll be able to confirm your suspicions.

It's best not to clean his ears, because if you do, you'll be removing any visible evidence of infection, which will only make it more difficult for your vet to make a speedy and accurate diagnosis.

I don't recommend you try to diagnose or treat the problem yourself.

Dog ear infections can be quite tricky to treat and if you don't get it right, you may just be making matters worse.


What Can Cause Dog Ear Infection?

There are many things that can cause ear problems in our dogs, but one of the main causes is an increase in yeast or bacterial growth, and believe me, your dog doesn't want a yeast infection in his ears.

Dog ear infections are common in cocker spaniels like this one.

There are also many illnesses and diseases that can cause infection too, but one of the main culprits is water.

If your Cocker's ears hold water after swimming or being groomed, bacteria will multiply (because bacteria love dark, warm, moist places) and that's when the problems begin!

It's a good idea to clean your Cocker's ears with a gentle ear-cleaning solution and then dry them thoroughly each time he's been in contact with water.

Allergies are another common cause of ear problems in dogs.

Your pet may be allergic to pollen, grasses or even a certain food, all of which can manifest as ear problems.

Parasitic diseases, such as ear mites, fleas and ticks can also cause ear infections, (as well as allergies) so it's important to treat your cocker for parasites regularly.

Most of the above problems can be avoided by keeping your dog's ears clean and dry to prevent bacteria from growing in the first place, unless of course the infection is simply a symptom of an underlying illness, in which case the illness will also need to be treated - that's why it's important not to try and diagnose or treat your pet yourself.

Prevention is often better than the cure and cleaning your dog's ears regularly will help you to keep bacteria at bay, allowing your dog a better chance of avoiding infections altogether.

Regular check will also alert you to any potential problems sooner rather than later, which means your vet can diagnose and treat earlier before it becomes a serious problem.


More Relevant Pages for Dog Ear Infections

Cocker Spaniel ears need extra care so it's important to understand how to care for them and what 'general maintenance' tips we can follow to keep infection at bay.

Follow the link to learn more about dog ear yeast infections and what you can do to prevent them.


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