Does your dog get frequent ear infections? Well, that means your dog is part of a not so elite group of suffering doggie souls. In fact, veterinarians say that ear infections just happen to be one of the most common conditions that they see and treat each year. Are you surprised? Even more shocking, there are multiple causes of ear infections.
You’re probably thinking, “Ok, don’t leave me in suspense here!” so let me share with you some of the many causes of chronic ear infections in dogs.
- To begin with certain breeds of dogs are more prone to developing ear infections. Dogs that have more narrow ear canals, such as chow chows and dogs with those cute floppy ears that we just love to cuddle, like cocker spaniels are more likely to suffer from chronic ear infections.
- Hormonal imbalances can also cause chronic ear infections in dogs. This could get tricky to pinpoint so don’t lose patience but, dogs with a thyroid imbalance can suffer from hypothyroidism and ear infections seem to go hand in hand.
- Ear mites, those pesky critters, can cause your dog to scratch, scratch, scratch. Unfortunately that scratching can cause trauma to the outer ear, resulting in infection.
- Sometimes, a dog’s ear canal can become weak. This results in bacteria and yeast sneaking their way in the canal. What causes this weakening? Well, skin allergies, scratch, allergic reactions from medications and even wet ears that are not dried properly can cause a weakened ear canal.
- Food, toxins in the environment and other allergens can all be cause for chronic ear infections. In fact, veterinarians say that allergies are the most common culprit.
So, now that you know some of the causes of chronic ear infections, you might want to be on the lookout for some very common signs of infection in your dog’s ears.
- Shaking of the head
- Wax build-up
- Smelly ears
- Black or brown debris/discharge
- Incessant scratching of one, or both ears
- Sensitivity to touch
Be on the lookout for these symptoms. Please contact your veterinary doctor at once. A prompt examination and evaluation can prevent prolonged suffering in your dog. Talk with your doctor about getting to the root cause of your dog’s ear infection. Often times, a dog is treated with antibiotics, steroids or other conventional treatments. This simplistic approach seems to work but if the root cause is not denoted, the ear infection will be back again before you know it.