My Dog Ate Ear Drops What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Kim •  Updated: 04/10/24 •  4 min read
Dog Moderate Toxicity Level
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Ear drops are a commonly prescribed medication for dogs that ear infections and other issues with their ears. If your dog ingests ear drops, will they make him sick?

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What are Ear Drops for Dogs

Ear drops for dogs are commonly prescribed for ear infections, ear mites, and even foreign objects caught inside the dog’s ear canal. There are many types of ear conditions that can develop in dogs.

However, can they make your dog sick if he eats the drops? That’s a good question. The answer is it depends on what chemicals and substances the ear drops may contain.

For instance, ear drops that contain antibiotics could potentially make your dog sick. And ear drops used to treat mite infestations can also make a dog sick.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Ear Drops and Dogs

It is possible that ear drops could cause symptoms in your dog. In most cases, your dog may develop gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, diarrhea, and nausea. This may last for about 24 hours, or a little longer.

However, if your dog develops other concerning symptoms after eating drops, or the gastrointestinal issues go beyond a day or two, then it’s time to call the vet.

Note: do not induce vomiting unless the vet advises this.

Did Your Dog Eat the Ear Drops Bottle?

Before calling the vet, it’s important to see if your dog has chewed and/or eaten the ear drops bottle. Our fur babies don’t have hands and fingers to open a bottle. So, they use their teeth to get what they want.

In that case, a dog may chew open the bottle to get the ear drops or may chew up and eat the entire bottle. A third possibility is that a dog may also chew and eat part of the bottle.

Check to see if you can find the ear drops bottle. How much of the bottle is there? Does it look like your fur baby only chewed the bottle? Or did he eat part of the bottle? Note down what you find.

Next, look in your dog’s mouth to check for some small pieces of the bottle. These could be sharp and cause some tears in his mouth or esophagus. Do you see any small sores or tears, along with blood? If you notice some bits of the bottle that you can safely remove, do so. If the pieces are lodged in between your dog’s teeth, you’ll need to leave them for the vet to remove.

Intestinal Blockage

If your dog has eaten a portion or the entire ear drops bottle, he could develop a condition called intestinal blockage. Pieces of the bottle (or the entire bottle) could become lodged in your fur baby’s intestines.

When this happens, it can stop the flow of food and water through his system. This can be a life-threatening condition.

Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage

Your dog could develop these symptoms if he has intestinal blockage:

If you notice your dog has developed these symptoms, call the vet immediately. This can be a life-threatening condition.

My Dog Ate Ear Drops, What Should I Do?

As mentioned above, it’s time to call the vet if your dog has digestive tract problems that last longer than a day or two. Or if your dog develops other concerning symptoms, then do call the vet. When you call the vet, try to remember what type of ear drops your dog ingested.

At the vet’s, they will perform a physical exam of your dog and will probably also run lab work. The vet may then treat your dog with activated charcoal. They may also try an enema to remove the toxin from your dog’s system. And then treat any other symptoms as they arise.

Prognosis for Dogs Eating Ear Drops

In most cases, your dog will make a full recovery, especially if he receives prompt medical treatment.

Going forward, it’s best to keep all medications out of your dog’s reach (including his meds!). This can be challenging, especially if dogs like to climb up on surfaces in your house. The best place to keep all meds is in a high cabinet that your dog can’t access.

While this can be a dangerous situation for your dog, in most cases he’ll be just fine. But do watch for any concerning symptoms. And when you find your fur baby has eaten ear drops, check the label for any ingredients that may be toxic for dogs. Then call the vet right away.

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Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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