While itchy ears may not be a medical emergency, they’re still very irritating to your dog. He could even be experiencing pain.
What Causes Itchy Ears in Dogs?
This condition can be caused by a number of issues including:
Yeast infections: this is a very itchy, uncomfortable health problem. Yeast infections usually develop due to an underlying health condition such as allergies.
Ear mites: these are microscopic bugs that are in the same family as spiders. Dogs can become infected from other pets in the home, or from encounters with other dogs.
Parasites: are another common cause of itchy ears. Parasites in the ears can include ticks, fleas, and mange mites.
Foreign body: sometimes your dog may develop an itchy ear when something becomes stuck in the ear canal(s). This can include plant matter, such as grass, leaves, and more.
Aural masses: this is a type of cancer that develops in the ear, causing polyps and/or tumors.
Bacterial infections: these can be caused by the above, as well as allergies.
Allergies: dogs can suffer from different types of allergies. These can include skin allergies, food, allergies, and even seasonal allergies.
- Symptoms of itchy ears can include:
- Excessive scratching of the ears
- Shaking/tilting their head
- Wounds in or around the ear
- Foreign body (can be accompanied by discharge, bleeding, or even ear wax)
- Bad odor coming from the ear
- Swollen ear
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog, be sure to contact the vet. The cause isn’t usually serious. However, this condition can be caused by underlying health issues that need to be checked and treated by a vet.
Treatment of Itchy Ears in Dogs
At the vet’s, they will ask about your dog’s health history, as well as for details on your dog’s itchy ears. They may ask when the itching first started and then what symptoms your fur baby is showing.
Next, the vet will perform a physical exam, focusing especially on your dog’s ears. The vet may also take a sample of any discharge from your dog’s ears. Then they will view this sample under a microscope to see if the cause is parasites, ear mites, bacteria, etc.
The vet may then clean out your dog’s ear canals. This is intended to remove any debris that may be in the ears. If your dog’s not happy about getting his ears cleaned, it may be necessary for the vet to sedate your dog.
If the cause of the itchy ears seems to be cancer, then the vet will take a biopsy to have it checked by a laboratory.
In most cases, the cause of the problem is easily treated with the right medications. You can also prevent itchy ears by keeping the fur around your dog’s ears clipped short.
The good news is that most causes of itchy ears in dogs are treatable. Your fur baby should feel much better soon!
KimKim 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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