Dog Ear Infections

Causes of Ear Infections in Dogs


Otitis externa is a condition which causes infection in dogs ears and is characterized by the inflammation and redness of the outer ear. It is similar to swimmers ear but it occurs in dogs. Otitis is a common cause of pain in your dogs ear. There also exist otitis media which is otitis of the middle ear and otitis interna (also known as labyrinthitis,) which causes the infection of the dog’s inner ear.

Bacterial infections in dogs caused by Staph bacteria is a fairly common occurrence but it can also be secondary to other infections. Staphylococcus is a group of bacteria that can infect various places of your dogs body including the ears. Staph bacteria are usually Gram positive and anaerobic. When your dogs ear is infected by Staph, you will notice that the standard symptoms for dogs ear infections apply.

Pseudomonas are bacteria which cause ear infections in dogs and can be caused by any of 191 bacterial species. Pseudomonas are Gram negative infections in dog ears and are mostly aerobes. Although Pseudomonas are not sensitive to Penicillin based antibiotics, they are sensitive to others including Ciproflaxin.

Bacterial infection in dog ears is also commonly caused by proteus infection. These organisms are commonly found in the intestines of humans and dogs, however they can also infect the ears and cause the same symptoms as other ear infections. They are Gram negative and generally respond to antibiotics which target Gram negative species.

Ear mites infections in dogs that are less common than in cats but they are common nonetheless. (Cat ear infections are most frequently caused by ear mites.) Ear mites are small arthropods in the same class as ticks. Most mites are microscopic, so identification normally requires viewing a sample of the discharge under a microscope. Ear mites spread rapidly between animals and just a brief encounter with an infected pet can cause an infection in your dogs ears. Ear mites have become resistant to various insecticides including pyrethrins, thiabendazole and carbaryl, though use of Ivermectin is common the veterinary community for ear mite infections. Many pet owners, however, prefer natural remedies (either home remedies or pre-mixed) to solve their pet problems because of their relatively low cost and high effectiveness. It is suggested that when ear mites are found, all pets be treated at the same time.

Yeast infections in your dogs ears have several of the same characteristics as those listed on symptoms page as other infections, but characterized by itching and flaking as well. Often yeast infections are secondary infections to primary bacterial infections or other conditions such as allergies or even tumors and polyps in the ear canal. If your dog is frequently exposed to water, yeast infections are more likely to occur as well. Dog ear yeast infections are often treated with topical antifungal ointments and creams such as miconazole and ketoconazole, however like ear mite infections, there are many natural remedies that are more effective. As with most ear infection, long ear dogs are more susceptible to ear yeast infections than others.

Some pets are hypersensitive to flea bites and can develop infections due to poor response of the immune system. If your dog is infested with fleas, it is suggested that the fleas be treated in tandem with the dog’s ear infection.

Allergens affect the propensity for ear infections in dogs. Allergens which affect dogs include mold, dust, pollen and certain dog foods. In humans, the reaction from these allergens is normally respiratory, however in dogs the reaction is normally skin related, anal gland related or ear related.