Ten Important signs

It is important to know what early signs might indicate an infection so treatment can be started.

  1. Odour – bad odour coming from the ears
  2. Scratching at the ears
  3. Excessive discharge (usually yellow, brown or black)
  4. Inflammation – redness of the ear flap or canal
  5. Shaking the head or ears
  6. Obvious pain when touched around the head or ears
  7. Head tilted to one side or held down
  8. Stumbling or circling to one side
  9. Lethargy or depression
  10. Marked swelling of the ear flaps

If your dog or cat is showing any of these signs then a visit to the veterinarian is necessary, as there is a high likelihood an ear problem is present.



The best way to prevent ear problems is to establish a regular ear care program aimed at preventing such problems from developing.

  1. Keep ears dry.  Ears should be dried thoroughly after bathing or swimming.
  2. Cleaning.  A regular ear clean following your dogs bath using an alcohol based ear cleaning solution such as Epi Otic or Bayer Ear Cleaning solution will remove any dirt or wax build up that may encourage infections.  All of these cleaners are readily available over the counter at the surgery without consultation.
  3. Clipping/Plucking.  It is important to clip or pluck the hair from around the ear canal.  Dogs that do not shed hair such as Poodles, Schnauzers, Bichons, Labradoodles, Spoodles etc. often need to have hair plucked from the canals.  This allows better air flow into the canal and prevents wax from being trapped thus reducing the chance an infection will develop.
  4. Controlling skin disease.  Many ear infections are simply a continuation of a generalized skin condition such as bacterial or fungal infection.  When this happens it is impossible to treat the ear infection without controlling the skin disease.  Allergies can also lead to ear problems

Author ascotvet

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