10 Signs Your Pet Has an Ear Infection and What You Can Do to Help

Dog with Ear Infection

10 Signs Your Pet Has an Ear Infection and What You Can Do to Help

Warm weather has arrived. Along with the sunshine comes seasonal activities and allergies that can exacerbate ear problems for both cats and dogs. While our pets love to play outside in the pleasant weather, it’s important to keep an eye on their ears to make sure they stay healthy and free from bacterial and fungal infections – especially if they enjoy swimming and rolling around in the grass.

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats?

An excessive amount of bacteria or fungus (like yeast) growing in a pet’s ears causes infection. There is a long list of reasons why cats and dogs can develop ear infections. Two of the most common, however, are allergies to pollen or foods and excessive moisture in the ears. Ear mites are another prevalent cause of ear infections.
Ear Infection in Cats

10 Common Signs of Ear Infections in Dogs and Cats

1. Head Shaking

Pets often shake their heads when trying to find relief from irritated ear canals.

2. Excessively Scratching or Pawing at the Ears

Pets with an infection might experience pain and itchiness, leading them to scratch.

3. Odor

Fungal and bacterial infections emit an unpleasant odor.

4. Discharge

You might notice a brown-colored discharge in and around the ears.

5. Disorientation

Pets with ear infections can become off-balance and disoriented due to pressure changes in the inner-ear.

6. Swelling

Ears and the surrounding areas of your pet’s face and head might become swollen.

7. Redness

An ear infection can cause redness inside and around the ears.

8. Scabs or Crust

You might notice scabbing or crustiness in and around the ears.

9. Head Shyness

Pets with painful ears often avoid having their ears handled or their head patted.

10. Whimpering

In pain, pets often try to mask their symptoms, but you might notice your pet whimpering or whining.
Pet with Ear Infection

What to Do If You Think Your Pet Has an Ear Infection

If you notice ear infection symptoms in your pet, schedule a veterinary appointment right away. Dr. Cooper will examine your pet’s ears and perform diagnostic tests to determine the specific cause of your pet’s infection – be it allergies, mites, bacteria, or fungus. We will then clean up your pet’s ears and prescribe an appropriate treatment to clear the infection. We might also provide you with instructions for at-home care and prevention, such as gentle ear cleanings of your own.
To learn more about ear infections, allergies, and your pets, we welcome you to schedule an appointment with Dr. Cooper at Compassion Animal Hospital in Woodland Park.