Why Do My Dog’s Ears Smell Bad?
Let’s face it: Dogs aren’t exactly renowned for their pleasing aroma. However, a dog with smelly ears is never normal and should always be treated with caution.
There are many possible causes for smelly ears, and pet parents should be on the lookout for additional symptoms so they can consult with their vet about the best treatment plan.
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Possible Causes for Smelly Ears in Dogs
A dog’s ears can smell for many reasons. Some are harmless, while others will require a veterinary exam. Consider the following causes for smelly ears in dogs to identify whether an appointment is necessary:
- Dirty ears: Even slightly dirty ears can cause serious odors in some breeds. Dogs with long or narrow ears or excess ear hair, or those that frequently swim or bathe, will have a harder time expelling ear wax, causing their ears to smell. While not pleasant, dirty ears are harmless and will usually clean themselves within a few days.
- Ear mites: While more commonly seen in kittens, ear mites are found in some puppies as well. These critters are extremely difficult to spot and will require a thorough veterinary exam to diagnose.
- Ear infections: All dogs naturally produce yeast and bacteria in their ears. However, when conditions are moist and warm, yeast and bacteria can grow out of control and cause severe inflammation in your dog’s ears. Food allergies can also cause your dog’s ears to become infected, so be sure to alert your vet to any recent changes in diet, as this can be a contributing factor.
- Ceruminous otitis: The medical term for ear wax is “cerumen,” and ceruminous otitis simply means there is excess wax present in the ear without any signs of infection. Some dogs are more susceptible to developing this, and the cause can also be linked to food or seasonal allergies.
- Foreign objects: While uncommon, your dog’s ears may actually have something lodged inside them. From insects and grass seeds to small toys and coins, not only are these tiny objects uncomfortable for your pooch, but they can cause serious odors due to increased wax production.
It’s important to look out for any additional signs and symptoms that could point to other issues your pup may be experiencing.
Additional Signs of Ear Infection
If a foul smell comes between you and Fido, you’ll want to identify any other existing symptoms that could indicate the presence of an infection. The following are just some of the signs that can point to more serious problems for your pooch’s smelly ears:
- Scratching and rubbing
- Redness and swelling
- Brown, yellow, or bloody discharge
- Ear hair loss
- Hearing loss
- Walking in circles
- Loss of balance
While not all of these signs would be cause for alarm individually, having even one or two of these symptoms along with smelly ears is a clear sign of possible infection.
When To See Your Veterinarian
The only way to diagnose whether or not your dog is suffering from an ear infection is by scheduling an appointment with Germantown Veterinary Clinic. At Germantown Vet, we treat your pets as if they were our own, developing a customized treatment plan for continued comfort beyond your appointment.
Contact us today to schedule your appointment and begin the road to recovery!
Appointments are filling up fast! Schedule today!
*Extractions and antibiotics are additional if necessary.
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