Dogs with long, floppy ears such as cocker spaniels are prone to otitis externa, otherwise known as an ear infection.  It is a condition characterized by inflammation of the external ear canal.  Dog ear infections are common and are among one of the top reasons for veterinary visits.

Dog Ear Infection Causes:

These infections are caused by fungus, bacteria or parasites.  A laboratory test at the vet can help to determine what the underlying cause of the infection is.  There are several factors that may lead to ear infections such as:
•    Water or hair in the ears
•    Allergies
•    Trauma
•    Tumors
•    Foreign material in the ears
•    Autoimmune disease
•    Generalized skin disease.

Although they are more common in long-eared dogs, ear infections can occur in dogs of any age, breed or gender.  Dogs that spend lots of time outside, swimming, or have been exposed to bacteria in some way are more prone to an ear infections, and should have their ears cleaned regularly. 

Dog Ear Infection Symptoms:

There are several symptoms to watch out for when it comes to ear infections.  First of all, if your dog is constantly scratching or rubbing at the ears, she most likely has an infection.  Her head might shake, and you may notice an abnormal odor or discharge coming from the ear.  Your dog may experience pain when you try to touch or clean her ears, and there will most likely be redness and swelling of the external ear canal.

Dog Ear Infection Prevention and Treatment:

It is important to keep your dog’s ears clean and all times. To clean the ears, you should use a cotton ball with cleaning solution, mineral oil or apple cider vinegar; you can also use a product such as Solid Gold Ear Care with Comfrey. If you notice that your dog’s ears produce a really strong odor, it is advisable to get her examined by your veterinarian to determine if there is an infection. 

Ear infections that are not treated can lead to inner ear infections which can be more severe and harder to treat.  Cleaning your dog’s ears regularly will help stave off possible ear infections, and if you notice any of the above symptoms, get in to see the vet as soon as possible.

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Treat Ear Problems in Dogs