Believe it or not, dogs in their natural healthy state smell good. The only reason dogs smell bad is when they have an ear infection, dental tartar/oral infections or skin infections. The easiest way to tell if your dog has an ear infection is to smell their ears.
Dog ear infections must be taken seriously and it is important to get them diagnosed and treated quickly to prevent further suffering.
Causes of Dog Ear Infection
Dog’s ear canal is more like an L-shape, it is very easy for excessive moisture and debris to accumulate inside their ear. As moisture and debris build up, infections can set in as bacteria, yeast, and fungi multiply in such warm, dark and moist environment.
Some breeds of dogs are also more susceptible to ear infections because of their type of ear flaps.
Stinky? Inflamed? Dog Ear Infection Symptoms
Here are some symptoms that can indicate your dogs may have an ear infection;
Head tilting or leaning to the side of the affected area
Pawing of ears or rubbing ears on furniture or the ground (or begging you to do it for them!)
Scratching the ear and surrounding area
Discharge from the ear canal that is brown, bloody or yellow
Redness, inflammation, and swelling
Unbalanced movements or walking in circles
Scabs or crusts around the ear
Odors from ear canal
Always get your dog to your vet for a formal diagnosis and treatment advice if they are showing any signs of inflammation.
Dog Ear Yeast Infection
Yeast infections occur when yeast, which is a natural organism in a dog’s body (and ours) to keep the immune system working, goes out of balance and grows out of control. The balance of yeast in a dog’s body and their ears can be affected by medications, other illnesses, their diet, and their daily activity.
Dogs that enjoy a lot of swimming, running, and just rolling around out in the heat of the sun can have water and sweat gather in the nooks/crannies and creases in their ears that yeast loves to grow in.
Moreover, yeast thrives on sugar, so any sugary treats can throw yeast levels out of balance.
The Importance of Antibiotics for Dog Ear Infection
Some clients prefer to use home remedy but for serious cases, the prescription of antibiotics to kick-start the healing and pain relief for your pet is needed. Antibiotics attack any bacterial infection present and help with the immediate relief of any inflammation.
Cleaning Dog Ears — How Often Should It Be Done?
When your dog’s ears are healthy they will mostly take care of themselves.
A cleaning solution can be applied externally occasionally, especially if there are signs of dirt. Otherwise, make sure your dog’s ears are dried properly after swimming or a bath, and wipe with dry cloths to remove any excess moisture.
Prevention is Key
If your dog’s in an overall healthy condition, there should not be a need to clean their ears very often. The process takes care of itself naturally.
Do always make sure you dry the exterior of their ears properly after you have bathed them, or they have been for a swim. When you do need to clean their ears just wipe gently around the outer area and in any creases and flaps to remove any dirt.
Dog Ear Infection — It Can Get Serious If Not Dealt With!
Ear infections, if left untreated, may spread to the inner ear that can result in permanent deafness, loss of coordination/ balance and so forth. Therefore, it is critical that you consult your vet to confirm the cause and the best way to treat ear infections and overall pet health.