Prevent and Treat Dog Ear Infections

Dogs that experience itching and scratch their ears, or frequently shake their heads, might be suffering from an ear infection, especially if any of these symptoms also include smelly ears. Although any dog can develop an ear infection, some breeds are more likely to develop one than others. For instance, Labradors, Beagles, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniels, Shar Peis, and Springer Spaniels are several breeds that are prone to ear infections due to the characteristics of the skin in their ear canals.

Ear infections are one of the leading causes of veterinary visits each year. However, routine ear cleaning can help prevent ear infections in dogs. Although it's not uncommon for a dog to develop an ear infection, some dogs could get chronic ear infections. In these instances, your veterinarian will need to determine the cause of the recurring issue. Chronic ear infections may be a result of allergic reactions.

Use ear cleansers regularly to prevent infections

Cleaning your dog's ears regularly can help prevent the development of ear infections. A weekly cleaning (or as often as your veterinarian recommends) helps remove fungus and yeast, which can result in chronic ear problems. To clean your dog's ears:

  • Soak a cotton ball in the ear cleansing solution and squeeze out any excess solution.
  • Gently rub the cotton ball around the inside of your dog's ear.
  • Allow your dog to shake his or her head. This movement helps to remove dirt from inside the ear.
Treat ear infections with antibiotics

If your dog develops an ear infection, your veterinarian will likely prescribe an antibiotic like Tresaderm, Otomax, or Mometamax.

Max's Tip

Dry your dog's ear canals after bathing and swimming.