Dogs are considered to be a human’s best friend. They are always there at the end of a hard day, ready to happily greet their owners at the door. Every dog owner would agree that they are a member of the family. Sometimes, it even seems like they know exactly what we’re saying. Unfortunately, the opposite isn’t always true. But, unlike our two legged relations, when our pets get sick, they can’t tell us what’s wrong, at least not with words. In this article, we will help you understand the warning signs that something is wrong with your beloved pet’s ears. Let this be a bit of a translation guide from dog to human, so let’s dive into common ear injuries in dogs and where to go for help.
Ear tip injuries are one of the most commonly seen wounds in our canine friends. They can happen in a number of ways, though they’re most often caused by infections. Dogs are more prone to ear infections than humans due to the shape of their ear canals, and as many as twenty percent of dogs experience some form of ear disease. Although you can prevent your furry friend from suffering the pain of an infection by learning to properly clean your dog’s ears, you can’t catch everything before it starts. You also can’t account for life’s unpredicted circumstances. Sometimes, it’s a fight with another dog at the dog park, or an errant branch slicing through the soft skin of your furry pal’s ear. Other times, it’s something like grass or a seed getting stuck in a dog’s ear canal, causing them an immense amount of discomfort.
In most cases, your dog’s ear infection will be in the external ear canal. When your dog has an ear infection, it’s easy to spot, especially when you know what you’re looking for. Generally, an ear infection will cause a dog to shake their head vigorously, as though trying to rid themselves of the pain. While this is a natural and understandable reaction, dogs can shake their heads roughly enough that it can rupture blood vessels in their ears, causing the earflap to swell and possibly cause a condition called an aural hematoma. An aural hematoma is typically caused by either excessive head shaking and/or persistent scratching at the infected site.
Aside from behavioral changes, canine ear injuries will have visible signs. Odors and discharge from the infected area are very common. This is a clear message to take your dog to the vet as soon as possible. Infections are often accompanied by whining and scratching at the infected ear. Sometimes, if an infection sits undetected until it reaches the point of bleeding and swelling, it can negatively affect your dog’s equilibrium. If your dog suddenly becomes unsteady on their feet, be sure to take them to a vet that very day.
Dogs are naturally very active animals, and their playful activity can make the situation worse with an ear injury. It can also prevent their ear injuries from healing. Ear tip injuries are notoriously difficult to heal. The location is prime scratching territory, and just when you think that the infection is gone, because the site has started to scab over, your dog will scratch that scab off, starting the process of a potential infection all over again.
It’s just as important to make sure that you’re treating the correct ailment. Although infections and foreign objects are the most common causes of ear injuries in dogs, some of the symptoms of infection can be signs of something else. Ear swelling, a common symptom of infections, can also be caused by an abscess after a fight, a mite infestation, or even a more serious issue with tumors.
When it comes to your furry family members, it’s best to be thorough. Emergency Veterinarians are trained to triage the situation quickly and accurately, making them an excellent, dependable option that you can count on.
Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency has been voted the number one animal hospital for the past five years. We proudly serve Simi Valley, Moorpark, Thousand Oaks, Chatsworth, and the nearby areas of Ventura County. We help keep your pets healthy and safe with low cost vaccination clinics and full-service care for your furry friends at every stage of their lives. It’s no wonder so many people trust their pets to Dr. Ron and his staff. Dogs may be man’s best friend, but Dr. Ron’s Animal Hospital and Emergency helps man be a dog’s best friend, too.