Have you noticed your dog shaking its head or scratching its ears? These could be signs of an itchy sensation in the ear canal that can be caused by many different primary and secondary disorders.

Recurrent infections can cause changes in the ears, including thickening of the walls of the canal, proliferation of the wax-producing glands, and narrowing of the canal. 

Just like people, dogs get ear infections too! Infections can occur when there is a bacteria and yeast overgrowth from a buildup of wax and dead skin cells. 

While wax is normal in all ears, normal wax is thin, watery, and odorless. Healthy ears have a self-cleaning mechanism that helps wax – including the bacteria and yeasts that are found in the ear canal – constantly move up and out of the ear canal and keeps it clean and free from build-up. 

However, conditions like allergic skin disease can cause dogs to lose this self-cleaning mechanism, resulting in the buildup of wax and overgrowth of bacteria and yeast – leading to infection. 

What is the purpose of ear cleaners if dog’s ears are supposed to clean themselves? If the self-cleaning mechanism isn’t functioning properly, then dog owners will need to use ear cleaners to maintain the normality of the ear canal. All ear cleaners are not alike. Each ear is different and ear cleaners should be chosen based on the nature and character of the discharge and wax in the canal as well as the types of organisms that are predominant in each ear. An exam is needed to understand which ear cleaner and which type of topical therapy will be the most effective in each ear.

Contact us to make an appointment for an evaluation here if you’ve noticed your dog shaking its head, scratching its ears, or showing other signs of discomfort.