If you’re a dog parent, you know the feeling. One day you think your pup is perfectly fine and the next day he’s up all night whining in pain. There could be any number of causes for his overnight misery, but one that’s common in dogs is ear infections. Ear infections can be painful and may also lead to ruptured eardrums, so it’s important to recognize signs and symptoms early on. We’ll walk through everything you need to know so that your pup doesn’t have to suffer any longer than he has to!
Don’t let your dog suffer from an untreated ear infection or end up with a ruptured eardrum.
Ear infections are common in dogs, and an untreated one can cause serious damage to their hearing. Eardrum rupture is painful and can be dangerous for your pet’s health, but it can be prevented by getting your dog treated immediately if you notice any symptoms of an infection. An eardrum rupture is considered a serious condition, so don’t hesitate to seek medical attention right away if you notice that something is wrong with one of your dog’s ears.
Dogs are susceptible to ear infections, especially those with floppy ears.
Ear infections are more common in dogs with floppy ears, long hair around the ear canal, or long ears. This is because these physical characteristics make it easier for dirt and debris to get trapped within the ear canal. If you have a dog with any of these ear structures, be sure to check them regularly for signs of infection.
Sometimes you can see the infection on the surface of the skin. Other times, it’s necessary to look deeper inside the ear canal.
If the infection is visible on the surface of the skin, you may see a red, swollen ear. If it’s deep inside your dog’s ear canal, you may have to look deeper to find it.
At first glance, what are some signs that there might be an infection in your dog’s ears? You can check for:
- A foul odor coming from his or her ear(s)
- Discharge (fluid) that has collected in the outer part of his or her ear canal
- A waxy build-up within their ear canals (like wax buildup on human ears)
- Brownish discharge from one or both ears
- Black discharge from one or both ears (this could indicate a bacterial infection known as malassezia dermatitis)
White discharge from one or both ears; this may indicate yeast overgrowth (another type of yeast called candida albicans causes white film to form in people’s mouths when they take antibiotics). Greenish-yellow discharge might mean another type of bacterial infection called Pseudomonas
If your dog has a ruptured eardrum, he’ll feel pain and the hearing in that ear will be affected.
If your dog has a ruptured eardrum, he’ll feel pain and the hearing in that ear will be affected. If the rupture is left untreated, it could lead to more serious conditions such as chronic inflammation of the middle ear (otitis media). The symptoms of this condition are similar to those of infected ears such as discharge from the ear canal; however, in this case there may be little or no discharge at all.
A ruptured eardrum can also make a dog more sensitive to noise, which may result in behavioral changes ranging from mild anxiety (such as turning his head away when you speak) or aggression toward other dogs or people who make loud noises like sirens and fireworks. Your pet could become withdrawn and disoriented from being unable to hear well enough for him to navigate his surroundings properly—and this may lead him into trouble if he becomes aggressive toward other animals because they’re making noise that irritates him!
The most common cause of eardrum rupture is too much pressure behind the eardrum.
The most common cause of eardrum rupture is too much pressure behind the eardrum. This can be caused by a buildup of fluid, pus, or other fluids in the inner ear. It can also happen when bacteria or yeast infects the dog’s ear canal and causes swelling and irritation to the tissues surrounding the eardrum.
Some dogs develop an ear infection because they are allergic to something in their environment (such as pollen), so it’s important for you to do what you can to limit your pet’s exposure. Ear infections can also be caused by parasites such as mites or ticks, trauma that breaks down tissue around your dog’s ears, and even cancerous tumors on either side of his head (these are rare).
A ruptured eardrum typically heals within two weeks.
A ruptured eardrum typically heals within two weeks, but it may heal faster if the infection is treated or pressure is removed from the eardrum. If your dog has a ruptured eardrum, you can expect it to be completely healed in about four weeks. A ruptured eardrum that does not have an underlying infection should heal on its own within 2 to 4 weeks.
A ruptured eardrum is a preventable condition.
A ruptured eardrum is a preventable condition. It’s the most common cause of a ruptured eardrum in dogs, and it can be treated with antibiotics. If left untreated, the infection can spread to other parts of your dog’s body and cause serious illness.
If your dog has floppy ears or frequently gets ear infections, they’re at risk for developing a ruptured eardrum due to repeated exposure to bacteria that live in their environment—for example, if you have multiple pets in one household or you share your home with more than one person who smokes cigarettes or uses marijuana. Dogs that swim frequently are also at greater risk for ruptured eardrums because water trapped inside their ears can lead to bacterial growth and infection.
If your dog has floppy ears (a condition called “otitis externa”), it’s important that you manage both their environment and diet so they don’t get an ear infection or develop further complications from having one already diagnosed by a veterinarian like Dr. Browning at Southpark Animal Hospital!
The first step in preventing a ruptured eardrum is managing an ongoing ear infection.
Ear infections are a common reason for dogs to visit the vet. If your dog has had an ear infection in the past, it’s important to remember that ear infections can recur. The first step in preventing a ruptured eardrum is managing an ongoing ear infection.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your dog’s ears and they persist, it’s time to see a vet:
- Black or bloody discharge
- Yellow crusty material inside the canal
- Swelling around one or more of the ear flaps
If your dog is experiencing pain or discharge from the ear, it’s important to have him examined by a veterinarian. This will help you determine whether there’s an infection and what treatment is needed. It’s also a good idea to have your dog’s ears examined regularly (every year or so) by a veterinarian, even if he isn’t exhibiting any symptoms of an infection. This can help you get ahead of the problem before it becomes severe enough to cause damage to the eardrum.