Ear Dermatitis (Inflammation of the Skin on Ears) in Dogs

Overview of Canine Ear Dermatitis

Dermatitis involving the ear is an inflammation of the pinna (external part of the ear lying outside of the head). There are a variety of causes of ear dermatitis, ranging from infections to parasites to trauma causes problems in dogs.

Causes of Canine Ear Dermatitis

Causes of Canine ear dermatitis may include:

Infectious Causes

Immune Causes


Systemic Causes

Miscellaneous Causes

Since there are so many different causes of ear dermatitis, diagnosis, treatment and affect on the animal will vary.

What to Watch For

Signs of dermatitis of the ears in dogs may include:

Diagnosis of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

Baseline tests, including a complete blood count (CBC), biochemical profile and urinalysis, are usually within normal limits. Additional tests may be necessary to determine the underlying cause of the ear dermatitis in dogs. Commonly recommended tests may include:

Treatment of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

The treatment in dogs depends on the underlying disorder.

Home Care and Prevention

Follow all instructions given to you by your veterinarian. If your dog has a recurrence of signs, contact your veterinarian at once. The best way to prevent ear dermatitis is to remove any offending substances from the environment. Limit sun exposure and feed hypoallergenic diets when appropriate.