Dogs can have swollen ears for many reasons. You might never have to deal with this problem, but if your dog has a swollen ear in North Charleston, SC, it is helpful to know what to do to take care of the problem. Dogs with swollen ears can end up with lots of secondary problems like infections. This is why it’s so important to get your dog to the vet right away if its ear is puffy or inflamed.
Swollen ears can be caused by ear mites, infections, and things like excessive grooming. Hot spots can also be a factor if your dog has ended up with skin irritation. Making sure that your dog is not going to end up needing surgery or extra treatment for their swollen ears is key. The sooner that your pet gets treatment, the better when it comes to swollen ears.
Listed below are the 6 main causes:
1. Ear Mites
Ear mites are the most common reason that dogs get swollen ears. Ear mites cause a lot of inflammation in the tissues of the ear, and they are quite itchy and bothersome. This means that dogs are prone to scratch at their ears to try and make them feel better. Ear mites themselves cause inner ear irritation, but the scratching of the dog is what causes the most damage to the ear related to mites.
Ear hematomas and other problems like ear infections can be secondary problems related to ear mites that also cause added swelling and pressure in the ear.
2. Ear Hematoma
When your dog has been scratching at their ears or even shaking them hard, they can break blood vessels in their ears. This can lead to the ear filling up with blood like a pillow. This issue usually requires a simple procedure to tie off the blood vessels that are causing the bleeding, and it might require that your dog has a drain tube placed in the ear as well. Ear hematomas can take a few weeks to heal, and you will need to doctor the ear on a daily basis to ensure that it does not get infected and to make sure your dog does not pick at the healing ear.
This is more common in dogs with long and floppy ears, but it can happen to any dog that has been rubbing or scratching at their ears.
3. Ear Infection
If your dog gets an ear infection, their ear might hurt or itch. This can lead to your dog picking at their ears, flapping them hard as they shake their head, or even rubbing them along the ground over and over. This is a common culprit for swollen ears, and you will usually be able to tell that the ear is quite painful to the touch as well. Make sure that you get your dog looked at by a veterinarian if you suspect an ear infection. Untreated ear infections can actually make dogs lose their hearing.
4. Wax Build-Up
Some dogs are more prone to waxy discharge in their ears than others. This wax can build up inside the ear and lead to soreness or even infections if not attended to. Your vet might have to take care of the original, thorough cleaning to get rid of wax build-up, but then you should be able to handle routine cleaning at home to help keep your dog’s ears from building up too much waxy discharge and getting another inflamed ear.
Waxy build-up can easily be removed by pet owners through the use of proper ear-cleaning techniques. Your vet can show you how to take care of your dog’s ears to make sure that they do not end up with this problem again.
5. Foreign Bodies
If your dog gets something in their ear, whether it’s plant debris, dirt, or some other kind of object, this might lead to a swollen ear. Foreign bodies can put a lot of pressure on the eardrum, or they might inflame the skin, leading to your dog picking at their ears and shaking them. Foreign bodies are more common in dogs with long ears that are floppy, but any dog can get debris inside their ear just from things like rolling in the yard.
While it might not seem like your dog could ever get something stuck in their ear, you might be surprised at the things that dogs can manage when they are playing or running through tall grass.
If you live in an area where ticks are common and your dog has a swollen ear, you should make sure that you check your dog out for ticks. Ticks don’t always cause this kind of reaction in dogs, but if the tick is making the ear itchy or it has gotten access to the deeper part of the ear, it could cause a lot of inflammation and swelling. Make sure that you let your vet handle the removal of a tick from your dog’s ear. This is a process that can be a bit delicate, and your dog might even need to be sedated for the tick to be removed correctly.
Swollen Ears in Dogs Can be Caused by Many Things
There are many reasons that your dog might have swollen ears. You should always be sure to take your dog to the vet if they have started to show signs of this problem. Neglecting problems with a dog’s ears can lead to the need for surgery. You will also be sparing your dog a lot of pain by taking them to the vet to be looked at since many ear problems are actually quite painful.
Keeping your dog’s ears clean with the right cleaning techniques is key, and being sure that you do not allow your dog to get ear mites is also a good tip to avoid swollen years. If you like to take your dog out hiking or playing in tall grass, make sure that you are always on the lookout for things like ear mites and ticks. For more information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment, contact Northwoods Veterinary Clinic by calling (843) 553-0441. Our team in North Charleston, SC is dedicated to providing the best care for your pet!