Dog Ear Infection Symptoms
If your dog has an ear infection (otitis), you might notice a yeasty smell coming from your pet's ear. The ear might be red and swollen. There might also be some waxy buildup visible. Your dog might be scratching at their ears, and shaking their heads more than usual. If they scratch and then smell their paw, and lick it after, or have any other of these signs, you should probably have your veterinarian take a look at the ear canal.
Over time, as the infection moves from the outer ear to the inner ear, your pet may become deaf. If the nerves running through the inner ear are affected, your pet may become dizzy, walk in a circle, and have unusual eye movements called nystagmus.
In summary, pets with an ear infection may display the following signs and symptoms:
- Head shaking
- Smelly ears
- Ear discharge
- Pawing and scratching the head
- Red and swollen ear canal
- Head tilt
- Nystagmus (unusual eye movements)
Which Bacteria and Yeast Cause an Ear Infection?
Dogs usually have yeast (Malassezia) and bacterial infections (Staphylococci, Pseudomonas). Dogs that swim typically develop Pseudomonas, and dogs with increased cerumen (earwax) typically have Malassezia. Dogs with hypothyroidism
typically have Staph ear infections. Less commonly, dogs have bacterial infections caused by Corynebacteria, Enterococci, E. Coli, Streptococci, and Proteus.Cats usually have yeast (Malassezia) infections, but don't usually have bacterial infections. Occasionally bacteria (Mycoplasma and Bordetella) are found in cats with middle ear infections, but it is unclear that these bacteria actually cause the infection.
How Are Pets Diagnosed with Ear Infections?
Otitis (ear infections in dogs and cats) is diagnosed by using an otoscope and looking deep into the ear canal. The skin inside the ear turns deep red if your pet is fighting an infection. The type of discharge deep in the ear can be seen, and some can be removed to send to the lab to identify the specific bacteria and yeast creating the infection.
Because the ear canal makes a sharp turn, your veterinarian will pull slightly on the ear to straighten the canal and make it possible to see the eardrum. If there is fluid or pus behind the drum, which occurs with a middle ear infection, your veterinarian can diagnose a middle ear infection. Distinguishing whether your pet has an outer ear infection, a middle ear infection, or both helps your veterinarian choose the most effective treatment.
Home Made Remedy
If the Infection Causes the Eardrum to Rupture do not put any medications or flushing solutions in the ear that were not prescribed by the veterinarian.
- 16 Oz. bottle of Isopropyl Alcohol (standard 70%)
- 4 Tablespoons of Boric Acid Powder
- 16 Drops of Gentian Violet Solution 1%
Mix together in alcohol bottle and shake well.
You will need to shake solution every time you use it to disperse the Boric Acid Powder.
Purchase a flexible plastic bottle with the opening at the top so that the solution may be
gently squeezed out and dispense solution to affected ears. The ideal is a hair-dye bottle
available at a pharmacy.
1) Evaluate condition of ears before treating and if very inflamed and sore:
do not attempt to pull hair or clean out ear at all. Just flush and then wait until
inflammation has subsided, which will be about two days.
2) Warm the solution (as instructed above) and shake the bottle each time before
using it for treatment,.
3) Flood the ear with solution (gently squirt bottle).
4) Massage gently to the count of 60, wipe with a tissue.
5) On first treatment: flood the ear twice, wipe with a tissue, and leave alone without
6) The dog will shake out the excess, which can be wiped with a tissue.