Ear problems in dogs

Did you know that ear problems are actually common among dogs? Ear problems can include itching and recurrent ear infections. If you have a dog that frequently has ear problems, or if you're just curious to learn more about this common problem among dogs, then keep reading!

Why do dogs get ear problems?

An important part of understanding why dogs often have problems with their ears is to first understand the function and structure of the ear. As you probably already know, the main role of the ear and hearing organ is to take in sounds from the outside world. First, the ear takes in sound and then the sound signals are sent to the brain for interpretation. Dogs, unlike us humans, also use their ears as part of their body language when interacting with other animals.

The prevalence of ear problems in dogs may be partly due to the structure of the ear. This is because the dog's ear canals are constructed with one ear canal running horizontally outwards from the eardrum and then bending upwards at an almost 90 degree angle.

So, what kind of ear problems are common in dogs and what are they usually caused by? Itching of the ears is not uncommon in dogs and is often caused by inflammation of the outer ear canal. Dogs mainly exhibit symptoms of ear problems in the form of scratching at the ears, they usually scratch by either shaking their head or by scratching at the ears with their paws. In the case of more severe inflammation and ear problems, the dog may sometimes be in so much pain that it screams when you put the collar over the dog's head.

If you have a dog with recurring itchy and inflamed ears, it may be because the dog is allergic - the most common cause of recurring ear problems in dogs is allergy. If you have a dog with recurring problems with itching and inflammation of the ears, you should ensure that an investigation is started to detect any underlying allergy problems.

What should I do?

Get into the habit of checking your dog regularly, so you can more easily spot any changes. For example, you may notice symptoms such as the outer ear looking redder than usual and the skin in the ear not having as smooth a shiny surface as usual. You may also sometimes notice that your dog's ears smell bad.

If you're unsure whether your dog is suffering from ear problems, you can always consult a digital vet, which you as a Lassie insurance customer have access to directly in our app.

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