What are the common ear diseases and problems in dogs?

The most common ear problems that affect dogs are ear infections, debris within the ears, a parasitic problem, and trauma to the ear as well as hormone disorders. Ear infections are frequent in dogs, especially those with floppy ears that cannot get air circulation. A moist environment will lead to an infection with a foul odor and can be a yeast or bacterial infection. Each type requires different treatment. 

Any debris in the ear that does not belong there will cause discomfort and possible damage. If you note your dog favoring the ear, tilting its head or just in discomfort, use a flashlight to see what may be causing the problem.

Parasites cause pain and itching, resulting in swelling, crusty skin and hair loss. Frequent cleaning of the ears can ward off ticks, mites and fleas. 

Any type of trauma can cause swelling and a hematoma which is when blood and fluid accumulates between the cartilage and skin of the ear flap. The more the dog irritates the area or shakes its head, the larger and more severe the hematoma will be.

Some hormone disorders that can cause ear problems are hypothyroidism and adrenal malfunctions. Aside from poor coat quality, you may note redness around the ears, visible discomfort and itchiness.

Other ear problems noted may be rare but notable as well such as a hereditary disorder known as dermatomyositis and seborrhea. Some cancers may also affect the ears and show up with darkened or scaly patches of skin with hair loss.


Watch the video on how to treat your dog's ear infections or read how to prevent ear infections.