Pet Care: 6 Common Signs of Ear Problems in Dogs

Have you ever wondered what your pet is trying to tell you with their body language? Or whether the noises that they make mean something? Most people are not sure what certain dog sounds mean and may even interpret them as being aggressive. There is no difference with your dog. They are great at communicating, and it is your responsibility to recognize the signs.

One of the hardest things for dog owners to understand about their pets is what they’re trying to tell you when they tug at the corner of their ears. This action isn’t a sign of aggression but rather one of discomfort or pain in their ears. So how would you know if your dog is dealing with an ear problem? Read below and learn how to spot these signs before things get out of hand.

Excessive Ear Scratching

What goes within your dog’s ear can not be seen from the outside. However, what is visible is what they are trying to tell you with their behavior. One common sign of an ear problem in dogs is ear scratching. If your pet continually scratches at their ears, even if there isn’t anything such as skin irritation, then it could be a sign that they have an underlying ear issue.

If not addressed, it can lead to a serious disease or even ear canker. So what is an ear canker? Ear canker is a common disease that affects dogs of all ages. A dog with an ear canker will experience what appears to be a break out of the skin inside their ears, which causes them to scratch excessively. This can happen for various reasons, including allergies such as dust and dirt. Mites or parasites that live in the dog’s ears can also cause ear cankers.

Unusual Head Shaking

Another sign of an ear problem is what your dog does with its head. If they shake it back and forth in a repetitive motion, this could be known as ear grinding. The sound that emanates from the animal’s ears can be described as a clicking sound.

Head shaking should not be taken lightly, as it can cause damage to the ear canal, whether it is due to yeast buildup or a foreign object. The nerves in your pets’ ears are susceptible, which means that minor irritations can be extremely painful for them. If they suffer from an infection, this will undoubtedly make it hard for them to function normally.

Ear Discharge

If you notice an excess of discharge coming from your dog’s ears, this might mean an infection or inflammation present in the area. In addition, you should also keep an eye out for a waxy buildup around the outer parts of their ears. It serves as another indication that something may be wrong with your pet’s ear.

Unpleasant Smell

A strong, foul odor that comes from the ears is what signifies a more severe complication. This odor tends to stick around for an extended period and will likely be intolerable if exposed to it for too long. If left untreated, it could cause your dog’s ears to start bleeding, which will be painful for them.

The root causes of this unpleasant odor can be known as yeast overgrowth. Yeast is what causes a significant portion of skin and ear infections in dogs. The pain caused by this infection will only get worse, which means it’s essential to have your dog checked out if you start noticing what you suspect are signs of an ear problem.

Redness in the Ears

When a dog’s ears appear red and inflamed, this indicates that there might be something going on inside their ear. It could be a fungus, parasites, or even an infection. And if a condition does not cause the pain, when looking at their ears, it could be a sign that they are suffering from an ear injury or ruptured eardrum.

Ear injuries can occur anywhere, from a fall to the floor or an object getting too close to them. If your pet is suffering from an ear injury, this can cause swelling, bruises, and even bleeding.

Rubbing Their Ears Against Objects

Dogs have a habit of rubbing their bodies against objects such as furniture, walls, or door frames. It is a form of communication, and your pet is trying to tell you that there is an uncomfortable sensation in that specific area. But if your dog is trying to rub their ears against something excessively, that means the pain in their inner ear may be so intense that they are trying to alleviate the pressure.


Ear problems in dogs are common and can cause serious health issues if you fail to address them. However, the signs mentioned above can help you identify them early on. Moreover, make sure that your dog gets adequate nutrition. Examine his ears frequently and consult with a veterinarian if you notice anything unusual to prevent any complications in the future.

Emma Thompson

Hi, I'm Emma Thompson. Welcome to The Pet Town! I'm a Pet lovers like you and please feel free to get in touch with any questions. Enjoy your stay!

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