Has your dog been shaking his head quite a bit? Does he try to scratch around his ears? Or have you noticed his ear seems to smell bad? Then you’ve come to the right place!
We’ve put together some information on some of the causes of itchy, smelly ears in dogs. We’ll let you know whether or not your fur baby needs to see the vet. Let’s get started!
What Causes Itchy Smelly Ears in Dogs?
Just like us, dogs can sometimes have infections in their ears. There are several causes of ear infection in dogs, including:
Ear infections: caused by bacterial, fungal, or yeast infections can cause ear problems in dogs
Cuts & wounds: if found near the ear canal, they can become infected and lead to an ear infection. This can be caused by the dog scratching too often with his nails.
Earwax buildup: dogs need to have their ears cleaned every so often to get rid of extra earwax.
Allergies: can be caused by any number of things in the dog’s environment, including food allergies, seasonal allergies, and more.
Hormonal abnormalities: a condition called hypothyroidism could be responsible for the bad smell and itchy ears.
Symptoms of Itchy, Smelly Ears in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has itchy, smelly ears:
Excessive (obsessive) scratching
- Red, irritated areas from the scratching
- Open wounds and sores caused by scratching
- Pain or tenderness when ears are touched or rubbed
- Bad odor from the ears
- Shaking head, rubbing ears on the carpet
- Dark discharge or large amounts of earwax
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, then it’s time to call the vet.
Treatment of Itchy, Smelly Ears in Dogs
At the vet’s, they’ll check your dog’s ears for signs of infection. They may also order blood tests to check for underlying health conditions, such as hormonal problems. Tests may also be needed to determine the cause of the infection (bacterial, fungal, parasitic).
The treatment will depend on the vet’s diagnosis. If your dog has dirty ears and that’s the only problem, the vet will clean the ears out and show you how to care for your fur baby’s ears.
If your dog has a bacterial ear infection, the vet will prescribe a round of antibiotics. They may either be oral drops or injected.
For fungal ear infections, the vet will prescribe fungicides that will get rid of the infection.
And for an ear infection caused by parasites, the vet will give you a prescription medication to get rid of the bug.
With prompt care and treatment, your fur baby should be feeling back to normal in no time!