Does My Dog Has an Ear Infection? 

Does My Dog Has an Ear Infection? 

dog with ear infection shaking head

One very common condition we see come through the doors of our PetMedic hospitals is ear infections in dogs.

Because of the long “L” shape of a dog’s ear canal, it is very common for moisture to build up. Just like in people, this moisture creates a breeding ground for yeast & bacteria that ultimately can result in an ear infection. This is particularly true in the case of dogs who love to swim or who have floppy ears.

Another common cause of ear infections is allergies. Allergies can be triggered by different sources, but the most commonly seen ones are environmental and food allergens. Read on to find out the signs of ear infections in dogs and what to do if your dog has an ear infection. 

Common Signs of Ear Infections in Dogs

  1. Ear Discharge: Unusual discharge from your dog’s ears, such as pus or a foul-smelling substance 
  2. Ear Odor: A strong, unpleasant odor coming from your dog’s ears  
  3. Scratching or Rubbing: If your dog is constantly scratching, rubbing, or pawing at their ears, it may be due to discomfort or itchiness caused by an ear infection. 
  4. Head Tilt or Shaking: Frequent head shaking or tilting can be a way for your dog to try to alleviate discomfort.  
  5. Redness and Swelling 
  6. Pain or Sensitivity: If your dog yelps, whines, or displays signs of pain when you touch or handle their ears, this could be a sign of an ear problem. 
  7. Balance Issues: Ear infections in dogs can affect balance just like with people. If you notice your dog’s walking if off balance or if they are struggling to jump or climb stairs, this could be a sign of an infection at play. 

What To Do If Your Dog Has an Ear Infection

If you observe any of these signs or suspect your dog has an ear infection, it’s essential to seek veterinary care promptly. If you don’t have a primary care veterinarian, check to see if there is an urgent care vet, like PetMedic, nearby for quick care.  

How is an Ear Infection Diagnosed in Dogs?

Your veterinarian will perform a thorough examination, including looking inside the ears, and will recommend tests to determine the type of infection brewing in your pup’s ear(s). Luckily, treatment is usually quick and easy with the help of some ear medication and ear cleaners.  

If you suspect your pet has an ear infection, check for your closest PetMedic Urgent Care and book an appointment online! 


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Angelika Demers, CVT

Clinical Supervisor

Angelika started her animal health career in 2014 when she attended the University of Maine Augusta, Bangor campus, for Veterinary Technology. She graduated in early 2018 and became a Certified Veterinary Technician later that year. Her internship, and first veterinary field job, was at the MSPCA Angell in Boston, where she discovered her interest in emergency medicine. Throughout the years, she has continued to advance her knowledge in the field of emergency medicine, but also in cultivating relationships with patients and clients alike to offer the best quality care. Outside of work she likes hanging out with her cat, Mew, spending time outdoors, watching game shows, and photography.