My Dog’s Ear is Draining What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Julie •  Updated: 02/17/21 •  3 min read
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Have you noticed some discharge coming from your dog’s ear? Then you’ve come to the right place! We’ve put together some information about what may be happening and whether or not you’ll need to get your canine companion to the vet.

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What is Ear Discharge in Dogs?

This isn’t a specific condition by itself; however, it may be an indication of an underlying health issue. Ear drainage can be caused by a number of health problems. Some of the most common causes of ear drainage include:

Ear mites: these tiny bugs that are related to arachnids. These pests get into the dog’s ear and live there. They can cause infection, pain, scratching, and shaking of the head. You may notice some discharge coming from your fur baby’s ear. It will have a black-brown color and may resemble dried shoe polish.

Outer ear infection (otitis externa): this condition can cause a waxy, yellow, or reddish-brown discharge from the ear. This can be a sign of an ear infection; however, it may also be caused by mites, allergies, polyps, too much ear wax, excessive swimming/bathing (causes too much moisture in the ear). You may also notice a bad odor coming from his ears, and he may be in pain, with hot ears, scratching, and head shaking.

Inner ear infection (otitis interna): can also cause a middle ear infection; this usually results from an external ear infection that’s not been treated. The infection can spread to the middle and inner ear. You may notice a similar discharge from your dog’s ear, accompanied by head shaking and scratching. In addition, he may suffer from a balance problem or not want to open his mouth. And some dogs may walk in circles due to the infection.

I See Some Discharge in My Dog’s Ear, What Should I Do?

First, see if your fur baby will allow you to look into his ears. You should see nice pink skin and a clear ear canal. If you see any signs of redness, swelling, discharge, or smell a bad odor, then it’s time to call the vet.

Treatment of Ear Discharge in Dogs

Treatment of your dog’s ear discharge will depend on the vet’s diagnosis. If your fur baby has an ear infection, then the vet will clean your fur baby’s ears and then prescribe medication to treat the infection. This may include ear drops. If you don’t have experience giving your dog this type of medication, be sure to ask the vet for guidance on how to apply the drops properly.

In the case of mites, the vet will clean the ear(s) and prescribe a miticide to kill the mites. The medicine is usually in powder form, which is easy to “puff” into your dog’s ears.

Never let an ear infection go untreated. An ear infection can be extremely painful. To prevent future infections, be sure to keep your dog’s ears clean. It also helps to keep the fur near his ears clipped and clean.

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Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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