Keeping Your Dog’s Ears Healthy: Listen to Your Vet

Dog Ear Infections and Other Issues

Canine ear infections are very common and certain breeds (dogs with long hanging ears) are predisposed to them. Overall, the problem is more common during the warm months, when ear infections are reported to be 10 to 15 percent of all patients brought to veterinary hospitals.

Ear infections can be caused by a number of factors, including allergies, hormonal conditions, nutrition, and autoimmune diseases as well as a buildup of wax and debris.

An ear infection increases the temperature, humidity and pH inside the ear. These three conditions create an ideal environment for bacteria to proliferate.

Other causes of ear issues may be Malassezia canis, infectious yeast noted by copious dark brown, waxy, and yeast-scented substance. Dogs showing ear excretions that are dark brown or resemble coffee grounds may be affected with the ear mite Otodectes cynotis.

To correctly diagnose the nature of your dog’s ear infection, your veterinarian will conduct a microscopic exam and a bacterial culture.

Regular cleaning can prevent ear problems for your dog, but it’s best to consult your veterinarian about how to clean the ears of your particular breed.