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Published: Apr 18, 2012

Ear infections in dogs are a common ailment and require the intervention of a veterinarian to be properly treated.  It's important that owners understand the causes and clinical signs of this illness, especially if they own a breed that is at a higher risk for ear infections.

VCA Animal Hospitals reports that ear infections are more common in dog breeds that have large and floppy ears, such as Old English sheepdogs, cocker spaniels and miniature poodles. However, ear infections can occur in just about any breed.  Recurrent ear infections can also point to an underlying problem with allergies or hormonal imbalances such as hypothyroidism in dogs.

Ear infections can be difficult to spot, but typically the affected dog will begin to scratch or paw at the ear. The ear may become red and give off an odor. A black or yellowish discharge may also be present.  If any of these signs are detected, set up an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible.

There is no general drug for treating ear infections, as a wide variety of bacteria and fungi may cause the issue. Your vet will not know what to prescribe until the cause of the ear infection is identified. Ear infections may also be caused by foreign debris within the ear or ear mites; both issues with similar clinical signs. Having your dog checked by a veterinary professional is critical to properly treating this problem.