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  • Exploring the typical causes of ear issues in dogs | Alder Vets

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Ear infections and associated symptoms are prevalent among our canine friends. In this article, we explore the underlying issues that frequently contribute to these problems.

Bacterial ear infections

One of the leading causes of ear problems in dogs is a bacterial infection known as otitis externa. It is a condition we commonly encounter and treat. Identifying a bacterial ear infection is relatively straightforward, so if your dog is suffering from this, you may notice some of these signs:

  • Head shaking
  • Excessive scratching of the ears and surrounding areas
  • Unpleasant odour from the ears, occasionally accompanied by discharge
  • Reluctance to allow you near its head
  • Aggression when the affected area is touched

Once a diagnosis of an ear infection has been established, treatment typically involves thorough ear cleansing and the administration of prescription medication, often in the form of antibiotic ear drops or tablets.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at your local vets in Guildford.

Ear mites: A common concern for our canine patients

Among the prevalent ear problems encountered in our canine patients, ear mites, also known as Otodectes cynotis, take a prominent place. If your dog is troubled with ear mites, you may observe some or all the following symptoms:

  • Head shaking
  • Excessive scratching of the ears and surrounding areas
  • Presence of brown particles resembling coffee grains just inside your dog's ear
  • Black or brown waxy secretion

Due to the nature of these symptoms, complications can arise, potentially leading to blood pooling, as the blood vessels in the ear can be damaged by persistent scratching and head shaking.

Fortunately, this condition can be easily treated using ear drops in conjunction with an ear cleaner. We do advise the problem is professionally diagnosed by a vet to determine the appropriate course of treatment.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at your local vets in Guildford.

Intrusive debris (such as grass seeds)

It may come as a surprise, but we often attend to dogs who have unwittingly held onto unwelcome objects in their ears!

One of the most frequent culprits responsible for ear problems in dogs is grass seeds.

This issue typically arises during the summer months when they frolic in tall grass. The sharp tip of these seeds pierces the skin, becoming lodged and causing irritation. Symptoms associated with this problem include:

  • Intense scratching of the ears
  • Head shaking
  • Accumulation of seeds in or around the ear
  • Inflammation in or around the ear

In cases where the seed has triggered inflammation, you may also observe a minor amount of blood in your dog's ear.

Have you noticed any of these symptoms in your dog? Book an appointment today for a check-up at your local vets in Guildford.

Addressing your dog’s ear problems at Alder Vets near you!

To ensure accurate diagnosis and effective treatment of ear problems, it’s always recommended to bring your dog for a consultation. If an ear problem is detected, an appropriate course of treatment tailored to the individual case, often involving antibiotics, will be prescribed.

Given the diverse range of ear problems that dogs can experience, treatment methods can vary from topical solutions and wipes to antibiotics and, in some cases, surgery. For instance, we can perform simple tests to diagnose bacterial ear infections and prescribe topical solutions and/or antibiotics.

Removal of foreign objects, such as grass seeds, from your dog's ear may involve attempts to flush the ears or surgical removal while the dog is under general anaesthetic or sedation. Subsequent pain relief and antibiotics are administered to ensure comfort and healing.

What to do if your dog is grappling with ear problems

If you suspect your dog is experiencing ear problems, the crucial first step is to visit your nearest vet practice. At Alder Vets in Guildford you can easily book a consultation online here.

It's important to note that ear conditions are unlikely to resolve on their own, and the longer they go untreated, the more challenging it becomes to address the problem. Certain breeds, such as springer spaniels with their long, floppy ears, are more prone to ear problems than others.

Dogs that frequently spend time in water or have allergies may also encounter regular ear problems. If your dog falls into these categories, make it part of your grooming routine to regularly check their ears. Keep the ears clean, and if you notice any issues, promptly contact your vet practice to determine if further investigation is necessary.

For any questions or concerns regarding your pet's health, please reach out to your local Alder Vets branch.

Alder Veterinary Practice

Unit B

Queen Elizabeth Park

Railton Road




Telephone: 01483 536036

Email: [email protected]

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