Why Are My Dog’s Ears Brown Inside?
Ear problems in dogs are the number one reason pet owners visit the vet. If you notice that your dog’s ears are brown inside, you might be concerned about your furry friend’s health. Learn the possible reasons for brown ear discharge and how to treat and prevent dog ear infections.
Causes of Brown Ear Discharge in Dogs
So, why are your dog’s ears brown inside? The brown gunk in your dog’s ear you’re seeing has several potential causes:
- Excessive earwax: This is the most likely reason for the brown gunk in your dog’s ears. Earwax production is completely normal and nothing to be concerned about. However, too much wax can lead to an ear infection, so watch out for other signs, such as scratching and rubbing of the ears, frequent head shaking, or redness and swelling.
- Fungal ear infection: A dark brown discharge with a pungent, musty odor most likely indicates a fungal or yeast infection. This is often caused by excessive moisture buildup in the ears.
- Ear mites: Crusty, blackish-brown buildup resembling coffee grounds in your dog’s ears is a sign of ear mites, tiny insects that can make your pup’s ears their home. Left untreated, ear mites could make your pet go deaf!
- Outer ear infection: Also known as otitis externa, an outer ear infection is characterized by a yellow, waxy, or reddish-brown discharge. Such infections can be caused by allergies, polyps, or any of the above problems.
Treat Your Dog’s Ear Infection
Ear inspections in dogs most commonly make an appearance during the summer and winter months. If you suspect an infection of any kind, visit Germantown Vet for diagnosis and treatment. Our trained veterinarians will look into your pup’s ear canals with a special tool called an otoscope to diagnose the cause of the brown discharge. We’ll also check for secondary infections that may have developed.
We can usually begin treatment for your dog’s ear infection right away. First, we gently clean your dog’s ears to remove the brown gunk in your dog’s ears. Then, we apply the first dose of eardrops designed to treat the underlying cause. We’ll show you how to administer the medication so you can continue treatment at home.
How to Prevent Dog Ear Infections
- Clean your dog’s ears after swimming or bathing to remove excessive moisture. Never stick anything into your dog’s ear canal, such as a cotton swab, because this could push debris deeper or even rupture the eardrum. Instead, simply wipe the outer ear with a cotton ball.
- Continue to inspect your dog’s ears regularly. If you notice any brown discharge starting to appear, apply a bit of vet-approved canine ear cleaning solution, available at any pet supply store.
- Explore the possibility of changing your pet’s diet if you suspect food allergies are the reason behind the ear infections.
- Treatments such as prescription shampoo, allergy injections, corticosteroids, or antihistamines may help if skin allergies are the underlying cause.
How to Clean a Dog’s Ears
- Assemble your supplies (cotton ball or gauze, dog ear-cleaning solution, and a towel) and your dog. Try to clean your dog’s ears when he is calm — this will help make the process easier.
- Squeeze a veterinarian-approved ear-cleaning solution to fill your dog’s ear canal and massage gently at the base of the ear for about 30 seconds. You will hear a squishing sound as the product dislodges debris and buildup. Don’t let the tip of the applicator touch your dog’s ear, as this can introduce bacteria.
- Let your dog shake his head. This is where the towel comes in — you can use it to protect yourself from spray and wipe down his face. Once your dog has finished shaking, take the cotton ball or gauze and gently wipe out the ear canal, going no deeper than the depth of one knuckle. If your dog appears to be in pain during the cleaning process, stop and call your veterinarian.
Visit Germantown Vet for Dog Ear Infection Treatment
Don’t let your dog suffer from an irritating, uncomfortable ear infection when treatment is just a vet visit away. Our Montgomery County vet clinic is well equipped to diagnose and treat dog ear infections.
Visit us today, and we’ll prescribe medication, teach you how to clean your dog’s ears at home and recommend preventive measures to stop future ear infections.
Appointments are filling up fast! Schedule today!
*Extractions and antibiotics are additional if necessary.
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