How to Tell if Your Dog Has an Ear Infection in Canton, GA
Caring for a dog can be a joy, but it can also be stressful if you are not sure if your dog is having problems with their ears. Many pet owners are not aware of the early signs of ear infections in dogs which can lead to problems that could have been avoided. Dog ear infections can become quite serious when neglected and can even lead to deafness or long-term issues with balance. You want to be sure that you are addressing symptoms of an ear infection right away with a trip to the vet.
Knowing the signs of ear infections in dogs is important for many reasons. Make sure that you know what the common signs for dog ear infections such as head shaking, ear discharge, balance issues and more. Knowing the signs to watch for can make a big impact on your ability to get your dog treatment as soon as an ear infection starts to brew.
1. Head Shaking
Dogs with ear infections will often shake their heads since their ears itch and can be quite annoying. This is one of the first signs of most ear infections in dogs, and you will be wise to consider head shaking a reason to start paying attention to other symptoms of ear issues. Head shaking can be caused by other things, but often this is a sign that your dog’s ears are not feeling their best. Head shaking can also be accompanied by some of the other symptoms of ear infections in dogs right from the start of the infection.
2. Ear Discharge
Discharge from the ears can be common in dog ear infections, and it will usually smell bad. This discharge is often brown and sticky as well, so you might be able to see it in the ear canal when you look into your dog’s ears. This is one of the key signs of ear infections and might also be a symptom of ear mites or fungal ear infections. Your dog might have ear discharge on the flap of their ear as well if you have a dog with floppy ears.
3. Redness and Swelling
In some dogs, the ear will appear red and swollen and might even be puffy on the outside. When dogs have been scratching at their ears to try and make them feel better, they can cause a lot of swelling in the exterior structures of the ear as well as the inner canal surfaces. These swellings can even turn into hematomas or fluid-filled blisters that will require additional attention from a veterinarian to resolve. If your dog’s ear looks like a balloon on the outside, it might have torn a small blood vessel which is leaking and causing a puffy and rounded appearance to the exterior of the ear.
4. Walking in Circles
If your dog’s ear infection is really advanced, they might have issues with their balance, and you might see them walking in circles or even falling over. The inner ear is connected to the process of balancing, and when the infection has moved into this part of the ear, your dog might be dizzy or have trouble with a head tilt that leads to disjointed movements. This is a serious symptom and warrants a trip to the vet right away.
5. Hair Loss Around the Ear
Dogs often scratch at their ears aggressively when they have an ear infection, and this can lead to bald patches and hair loss around the ears and even on your dog’s neck or the sides of their face. Scratching can also cause skin infections and sores if done for too long before the ear infection is addressed with medication. Make sure that you are not ignoring signs of balding around the ears, as this could be the earliest symptom of an ear infection. Scratching can cause more damage than the infection itself and can lead to lots of other secondary health issues related to skin damage.
6. Unusual Eye Movements
Another symptom of an advanced ear infection, dogs with an infection to the deeper parts of the inner ear might show rapid eye movements as well as dizziness. This is because the structures of the inner ear are impacted, and it can be very disorienting for the affected animal. This is a sign that your pet needs medical care right away, and you should not wait to get your dog in to see the veterinarian if they are showing this symptom.
Ear infections can progress very rapidly, and the sooner that you get your dog on antibiotics, the better. When ear infections go untreated for too long, they can cause serious secondary health issues that you will also want to avoid. Your dog will thank you for taking them to get treatment, and they will feel much better as soon as they are on medication to treat this condition.
Ear Infections Can be Easy to Recognize
When you know what to look for, ear infections in dogs can be quite easy to diagnose and recognize. You will need to take your dog to get looked at by a vet so that you can get the antibiotics that your pet needs to feel better and to fight off the ear infection. Ear infections that are neglected for too long can lead to permanent loss of hearing or long-term balance issues and dizziness. The sooner that your pet gets treatment, the better when it comes to ear infections.
Knowing what to look for when you think your dog might have an ear infection can be very helpful and can ensure that you get your dog to the vet right away when they need medical attention for ear issues. Preventing damage to the exterior of the ear and long-term problems with your dog’s health is important and getting medication for an ear infection right away can make it much easier to manage these concerns.
Is your dog showing signs of an ear infection in Canton, GA? Call (770) 479-7141 to talk with your Riverstone Animal Hospital veterinarian today!