Otitis in Dogs: Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Otitis en Perros: Causas, Síntomas y Tratamiento

Otitis in dogs is a fairly common disease so it is important to be informed about it, its causes, possible symptoms, treatments and points to prevent. You will find all that and much more in this article that Waggy's brings to you. Are you ready? Let us begin.

What is otitis in dogs?

Canine otitis is an inflammation of the ear that is generally caused by an infection, however, it is not a rule since it can also appear without it or be the cause of the infection.

This is a quite annoying infection and its symptoms will be more specific depending on the area in which otitis develops:

Otitis Externa

This is the most common form of otitis in dogs and affects the external auditory canal. It can be acute (rapid onset) or chronic (persistent). It can appear in both ears or only one.

Otitis Media

This type affects the middle ear, which is the part of the ear located behind the eardrum. It is usually secondary to untreated external otitis that spreads to the middle ear.

Otitis Interna

It is less common and affects the inner ear, which includes the cochlea and vestibular system. It can result from a lack or poor treatment of otitis media.

Causes of otitis in dogs

Before explaining the causes or risk factors why your furry friend may have otitis, it is important that we are clear that these are varied, so the following section will be diverse;


Food or environmental allergies can trigger an inflammatory reaction in your pet's ear canal, which can predispose him to developing otitis.


Parasites such as mites, fleas or ticks can infest the dog's ear canal and cause irritation and inflammation. When the dog scratches, it hurts its ears and ear canals, which causes inflammation and infection in the area.

Hormonal problems

Hormonal imbalances, such as those seen in cases of hypothyroidism, can predispose dogs to developing otitis.

Environment conducive to infections

Environmental conditions such as humidity can create an environment conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi in the dog's ear canal since as such, its ear canal is moist so it needs to have the correct hygiene measures.

Strange objects

The introduction of foreign bodies into the ear canal, such as plant seeds, hair, or remains of vegetation, can irritate the ear and provoke an inflammatory response that leads to otitis.

Symptoms of otitis in dogs

As in other topics, let's remember that we cannot expect the same symptoms in all dogs since each one is unique and different. Many times factors such as your medical history, race, age, weight, physical activity, quality of life and much more play a role. On the other hand, as a guide, Waggy's tells you about the probable symptoms:

  • Constant head shaking.
  • Inflammation of the ear canal
  • Ear canal secretions
  • Head and ear rubbing
  • Usually tilts head toward affected ear
  • Excess wax or plugs
  • Pain when touched in the area, when eating or barking
  • Ulcers or scars in the ear
  • Bad smell, this could be an indicator of a clear infection, so if you feel that your dog smells bad you should be careful that the area is not infected.
  • Hair loss in the ears, it is important that you learn how to comb a dog
  • Loss of balance
  • The dog may spin in circles and your dog may even tremble.
  • Depression or irritability
  • Hearing decrease or loss

Treatment for otitis in dogs

The treatment of otitis will depend on the specialist, the severity and the type of otitis that your pet is diagnosed with. However, these are some of the possible treatments:

Ear cleaning

It is essential to carefully clean the ear canal to remove excess earwax, dirt, secretions and any other material that may be present. This facilitates the penetration of topical medications and helps reduce inflammation and irritation.

Topical medications

Topical medications, such as ear drops or creams, are used to treat infection and inflammation in the outer ear. They may contain ingredients such as antibiotics, antifungals, corticosteroids or other agents that help combat the cause of otitis and relieve symptoms.

Systemic medications

In more severe or recurrent cases of otitis, your veterinarian may prescribe oral medications, such as antibiotics, antifungals, or anti-inflammatories, to treat the infection and reduce inflammation from the inside.

Treatment of conditions

If otitis is caused by allergies, hormonal problems, or other conditions, it is important to address those specific conditions to prevent recurrences. This may involve dietary changes, environmental management, hormonal supplements, or other treatments as needed.

Pain and discomfort control

In some cases, your veterinarian may prescribe pain relievers or medications to relieve the pain and discomfort associated with otitis.

In case the dog does not like to visit the veterinarian, I recommend that you give him Waggy's brand puppy treats because they contain CBD for dogs , which helps a lot to level the stress and anxiety levels in dogs before go to your session, which will be beneficial for everyone. In addition, one of its other ingredients is Omega 3 for dogs , a necessary and essential component for the development of the puppy.

Veterinary follow-up

It is crucial to follow your veterinarian's instructions and schedule follow-up appointments as needed to monitor response to treatment and make adjustments if necessary.

Home remedies for otitis in dogs

The following remedies can serve as an aid in your treatment, however, it is important to remember that they do not replace the treatment itself:

Water with salt

Saline may have anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties. You can make a solution by diluting salt in warm water and then use it to gently clean your dog's outer ear.

Tea tree essential oil

Tea tree essential oil has antibacterial and antifungal properties. However, it must be diluted properly before use, as pure oil may be too strong and cause irritation to your dog's sensitive skin. A small amount of 20 drops diluted in warm water can be applied with a cotton swab to the outer ear, but with caution and under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Sweet almond oil

Sweet almond oil can help soothe irritated skin and reduce inflammation. You can apply a small amount of warm sweet almond oil to your dog's outer ear after cleaning it properly. However, make sure your dog does not have a nut allergy before using this remedy.

Green Tea

Green tea may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. You can make a green tea infusion and let it cool before using it to gently clean your dog's outer ear. This can help relieve irritation and inflammation.

Apple vinager

Apple cider vinegar can help balance the pH of the ear canal and create an environment less conducive to the growth of bacteria and fungi. You can dilute apple cider vinegar in warm water and use it to gently clean your dog's outer ear.

Is otitis in dogs contagious?

Yes, otitis in dogs is a highly contagious disease among dogs, so it will be essential to start treatment promptly if we do not want it to spread to others in addition to constantly checking their ears.

How to prevent canine otitis? Tips

Preventing canine otitis involves maintaining good hygiene and care of your dog's ears, as well as identifying and addressing potential risk factors.

  • Inspect and clean your dog's ears regularly, especially after outdoor activities or exposure to water.
  • Use a cleaning solution recommended by your veterinarian and cotton to gently clean the ear canal.
  • After bathing your dog or after he has been exposed to water, be sure to completely dry his ears, especially the outer ear canal.
  • If your dog has known allergies, work with your veterinarian to identify and manage allergic triggers.
  • Keep your dog protected from fleas, ticks and other parasites that can infest their ears.
  • Schedule regular veterinary checkups so your veterinarian can examine your dog's ears and detect any early signs of otitis or other ear-related conditions.


In conclusion, canine otitis is a common but treatable condition that can cause discomfort and discomfort to your faithful companion. Keeping your dog's ears clean and dry, avoiding allergens and parasites, as well as paying attention to the early signs of otitis, are key steps to prevent this condition. Remember to have regular checkups with your veterinarian and keep an eye out for any changes in your pet's behavior or health. With proper care and attention, you can help keep your dog's ears healthy and happy, thereby promoting his overall well-being.

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