Pet Ear Infections

Updated: Feb 19, 2021

Ear infections are very common among pets, especially those pets that have long hair. A dog or cat suffering from an ear infection will remain stressed and uncomfortable if the problem remains untreated.


An ear infection can be caused by many sources, such as fungi, bacteria, parasites, and foreign materials. It can lead to inflammation of the inner, middle, and outer ear. Here are the different types of ear infection and how maintaining regular ear hygiene can prevent your pet from experiencing this problem.


Common Kinds Of Ear Infections

Dogs with allergies may experience more ear infections than other dogs. It can be caused by wax build up inside the ear. It can also be caused by long hair blocking the passage of air and creating a buildup of not only wax but also dirt and debris.

There are three kinds of ear infections that can affect pets of all ages.

  • Bacterial infection

  • Yeast infection

  • Ear mites

Sometimes your pet can be affected by a bacterial and fungal infection at the same time. Ear mites are more common in puppies. Here are some factors that can predispose your pets to an ear infection, such as:

  • Allergies

  • Autoimmune disorders

  • Polyp or tumor

  • Endocrine disorders

  • Any injury

  • Wax buildup

  • Moisture left in ears (provides breeding ground to bacteria and yeast for growth)

  • A trapped object or foreign bodies

  • Excessive cleaning

Signs of Pet Ear Infection

An ear infection can be very painful, so it is important to have it checked with your vet as soon as you see your pet experiencing any of these signs. You can spot an ear infection on your dog by looking for the following tell tale signs:

  • smelly ears

  • discharge

  • excessive head shaking

  • swelling

  • redness in the ears

If your dog seems uncomfortable or is excessively scratching their ears it's probably causing a great deal of distress. If you pet is scratching too hard this can even break blood vessels and cause swelling and bleeding.


You can try cleaning your dogs ears with white vinegar to remove dirt from the ear and promote the growth of good bacteria. Use the vinegar in the same way as the ear cleanser - pour it on and wipe gently inside the ear with the cloth or cotton. This might help ease the infection or even clear it up if the problem was not too severe to start. If the infection is serious it is time to call the vet. It can be cleared up easily. Most often the dog will need some antibiotics to help clear the problem.


If your dog has recurring ear infections the vet might suggest that you clip the hair around the ear or the vet might clip the hair around the ear. This often helps. If the problem is more extreme than that, the vet might suggest surgery to allow for easier drainage of the ear canal.


Some breeds are more prone to chronic ear infections than others any breed of dog with large ears or particularly small ears will get ear infections easier than some other breeds. Now that you know what to look for you should be able to detect ear infections before they become a serious problem.

Importance of Ear Hygiene

Ear cleaning is an important part of dog and cat grooming. It can minimise the risk of your pet getting an ear infection. While cleaning your pet's ear, be sure to clean his ear with a cotton ball and a special solution for cleaning the ears.