A small brown dog's large ears flap upward as he runs through a forest.

One of the more common calls we receive at Mobile Pet M.D. is about ears. Most pets will experience some type of issue involving this important sensory organ in their lifetime, and if left untreated, it can be quite serious.

If your pet is shaking, flapping, scratching, or whining about their ears, it is time to call us. Ear problems in pets are no fun for you or your furry family member, and addressing them promptly and appropriately is very important. 

Identifying Ear Problems in Pets

We often take our ears for granted, but they really are amazingly complex organs. The ear is what allows us to hear, but they also play an essential role in balance. Ear problems in pets can be irritating, painful, and even lead to disruptions in these important functions. 

No matter the cause of a pet’s ear trouble, the symptoms are often similar. You might notice your pet:

  • Exhibiting signs of pain or discomfort when the ear is handled
  • Redness or swelling of the ear flap or visible canal
  • Shaking their head
  • Pawing at the ear or rubbing it on the ground
  • Holding the ear in an abnormal position
  • Experiencing increased or changed discharge from the ear 
  • Having a foul odor

While pets can experience a middle ear infection such as those people commonly experience, more often their ear issues involve the external ear canal. These problems, termed otitis externa, make up most of the causes for ear problems in pets and are often related to environmental or food allergies.

Pets can also experience parasites such as ear mites that affect the ear, have foreign material or growths in the ear, or bacterial or yeast infections. 

Your Role in Ear Care

As your pet’s biggest fan, it is your job to be sure that those ears are healthy and happy. 

You can do this by simply cleaning your pet’s ears weekly. Cleaning your pet’s ears regularly allows you to be more familiar with what is normal for your individual animal and be alerted to trouble much earlier. 

Be sure to clean with a commercial pH-balanced ear solution. We are happy to recommend one or show you how to do this if you need help.

If you notice any changes in your pet’s ear health, it is very important that you make an appointment for us to examine your pet right away. Ear problems in pets can be extremely painful, and getting to the bottom of the issue is the best way to ensure the fastest resolution possible. 

Your pet’s ears are an important part of their interaction with the world around them. Pointy, floppy, or in between, they are an adorable and essential part of our pets, and our goal is to keep them in tip-top shape.