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Dog Scratching Ears

Dogs may scratch here and there and that can be normal, but when you notice your dog continuously scratching their ears, that could signal bigger problems. Here we look at what your veterinarian will look for and how it can be treated.

Dog Scratching Ears – How to HelpAny time you notice a change in your dog’s physical condition, you want to have the problem examined by your veterinarian. When a dog is scratching one ear, there may be a few different possibilities.  The most common cause is an ear infection. When the doctor looks at your dog’s ear, he or she will look for signs of bacteria, yeast, or parasites like ear mites. He or she will be able to look down into the ear canal to ensure that there are no grass awns present or small tumours growing deep inside the ear canal. An assessment of any damage to the ear canal will also take place during the exam. Depending on the time of year, your dog could be showing signs related to seasonal allergies; changes in diet or treats can also cause allergic reactions in some patients. Dogs do not normally develop dry skin in the fall and winter in the same way that people do. If there are changes to his skin and coat, there may be systemic syndromes like hormonal or immune-mediated conditions developing which may be more serious than an ear infection. 

When a dog is scratching at his ears, he is uncomfortable, if not in outright pain. Ear problems generally do not resolve on their own without appropriate therapy. Your veterinarian will be able to offer you treatment recommendations based on the initiating cause of the problem. It is advised that you do not use pet store medications or ear cleaners without a veterinary diagnosis. Many of these products do not live up to the label claims. They are often ineffective in treating your pet’s specific condition and relieving the discomfort associated with ear problems. You do want to visit your veterinarian for any scheduled follow-up examinations to make sure that the condition has completely resolved. Ear problems can become chronic ailments which require a close association with your doctor to keep your pet as healthy and happy as possible.

With proper treatment, your dog can be comfortable and itch-free.

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