Someone Administers Ear Medication to a Dog in their Home

Home Care for a Dog with an Ear Infection

An ear infection, also known by the medical term Otitis Externa (which means inflammation of the outer ear), is a common condition that may affect more than 20% of all dogs. In fact, it is one of the top 10 reasons dogs go to their veterinarian.

Below are some common questions dog owners ask about ear infections. The focus of this article will be “what you can do at home”.

What Causes Ear Infections in Dogs?

Several factors can predispose dogs to ear infections including long floppy ears, water or hair in the ears, allergies, trauma, tumors, foreign material in the ears, allergies, autoimmune disease and generalized skin diseases.

A common question pet owners ask is, “How can I treat an ear infection at home?”

Home Treatment for Dogs with Ear Infections

Specific treatments of ear infections are dependent on the underlying cause. Here is the general approach to treating ear infections:

This is important! If the ear infection continues at any time, or if other symptoms are noted, call your veterinarian promptly. If your pet is not eating, acts lethargic, is vomiting or is having diarrhea, or if any other physical abnormalities begin, it is important to see your veterinarian. Your pet needs your help and the professional care your veterinarian can provide. If your pet is having the clinical signs mentioned above, expect your veterinarian to perform some diagnostic tests and make treatment recommendations. Recommendations will be dependent upon the severity and nature of the clinical signs.

When Is a Canine Ear Infection an Emergency?

An ear infection is an emergency when your dog is in pain, you cannot touch or look in your dog’s ear, the ear is red and swollen, and/or your dog has a head tilt. All ear infections should be examined and treated by a veterinarian.