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Since our pets can’t tell us when they are experiencing health issues, it is up to us to notice them. Ear infections in pets can be uncomfortable and could result from a few different secondary conditions. With the help of the caring team at Westarbor Animal Hospital, you can help your pets get fast treatment for ear infections. 

Causes of Ear Infections in Pets

As with humans, many factors could lead to ear infections in pets. Some of the most common offenders are:

  • Allergies
  • A foreign body in the ear canal
  • An internal mass
  • An autoimmune disease
  • Certain grooming practices (like removing too much ear hair or using cotton swabs too deep)
  • Swimming
  • Genetics

The Signs of an Ear Infection

Whether your pet is prone to frequent or just occasional ear infections, it is important to be able to recognize the signs of one. Pets dealing with ear infections will often:

  • Repeatedly scratch at the ear or the face
  • Shake or tilt the head often
  • Try to rub the ear
  • Have visible redness or swelling in or near the ear canal
  • Develop crusty skin or cuts that have scabbed over
  • Have an excessive amount of earwax
  • Develop an unpleasant smell near the ears
  • Start discharging pus or brown fluid from the ear


If your pet is regularly experiencing any of the above signs, you should schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to see if an ear infection is the culprit.

Treatment for Ear Infections in Pets

The veterinarian will take a detailed history of your pet and use an otoscope to look inside the ear. If he or she is diagnosed with an infection, there are a few different treatment options depending on the severity. Some pets only need a heavy-duty ear cleaner. Others will need the cleaner and a topical steroid. In rare but extreme cases, pets will need an oral steroid, especially in the case of bacteria or an ulcerated ear canal. Most dogs need 7-30 days to beat the infection thoroughly. Be sure to continue to follow your veterinarian’s directions closely to ensure your pet gets the most from the treatment.

Preventing Ear Infections in Pets

As with most animal ailments, the best treatment is to prevent ear infections from occurring. Regularly (and gently) clean your pet’s ears to keep them free from debris. Ask your veterinarian to recommend a cleaner that will help maintain ear health. Thoroughly dry the ears after a bath, a swim, or a walk in the rain. Excess dampness in the area could eventually lead to an infection. 


If your pet suffers from allergies, work with your veterinarian to determine the best course of treatment. Keep up with regular wellness visits to ensure your pet has a clean bill of health throughout the year.

Whether you suspect your pet has an ear infection or it’s time for your yearly visit, the team at Westarbor Animal Hospital is here to help. Our compassionate staff and modern veterinary clinic let us offer a wide range of veterinary services. Call (734) 769-5391 to learn more or to schedule an appointment.

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