About 20% of dogs will have some kind of ear disease once in their lifetime, which may affect one or both ears. Dog breeds like Labradoodles, Basset Hounds, Cocker Spaniel, and Chinese Shar-Pei are more prone to getting an ear infection or disease than other indoor dogs.

The shape of the ear canal of dogs plays a significant role in developing several types of ear infections and diseases. A critical ear condition may start from simply scratching, restlessness, and skin inflammation in dogs.

As a pet parent, look closely for the causes and symptoms of a prevailing ear infection in your canine friends. If you have a feeling that your pet is in distress or discomfort, take your dog to a veterinarian to diagnose an ear infection at an early stage.

Pet wellness insurance can prove helpful in such circumstances as it encourages pet parents to take their pets to routine checkups and preventive care.

To help pet parents stay informed about different ear infections in dogs and their treatment, we will discuss the causes, symptoms, and the importance of pet wellness insurance. Take a look!

What Are the Common Causes of Ear Issues?

Ear problems in dogs may occur due to many reasons, including dog breed, ear canal shape, hygiene level, lifestyle, and environmental influence. Some of the common causes of ear issues include:

1) Ear Mites

They are an external parasite that remains on the skin and ear canal and causes several ear infections in both canines and felines. Ear mites are highly contagious, which means your dog may contract these mites from a fellow canine friend or an infected surface.

2) Allergies

Severe allergies can lead to ear infections in dogs. It may include food allergy as it is one of the most common allergies that affect dogs. Not just food allergies, but skin allergies are also common in canines. Different allergies can lead to aggression, excessive scratching around the ear, and restlessness that causes serious ear infections and other diseases.

3) Foreign Substances

Dogs love to roll on the grass and chase butterflies in the luscious bushes, which may invite some foreign objects like grass seeds and thrones to enter your dog’s ear. Grass seeds can pierce the sensitive skin around the ear that may cause immense pain and irritation, leading to severe ear infections.

4) Moisture, Dirt & Debris

Most ear infections occur due to bacteria and yeast accumulation around or inside your dog’s ear. Bacterial growth occurs due to trapped dirt, debris, and moisture in your dog’s ear. Making sure to clean out your dogs ears and wiping them down after they’ve been playing outside will help to mitigate this issue.

Common Canine Ear Conditions and their Symptoms

Your dog may experience one of the three types of ear infections mentioned below. These ear conditions affect different parts of the ear, causing pain, redness, swelling, and inflammation.

  • Otitis externa – infection on the ear canal
  • Otitis media – infection on the middle ear
  • Otitis interna – infection on the inner ear

Otitis externa is the most common of all ear infections found in dogs. It occurs when the outer layer of the ear canal experiences inflammation due to a medication reaction, ear canal physiology, foreign bodies, and fungal infection. Young dogs are prone to getting otitis externa as compared to adults.

Many predisposing factors increase the chances of developing a severe otitis externa condition like ear treatment trauma, excessive moisture, and excessive hair in the ear canal.  

In some cases, otitis externa can grow into a severe acute or chronic ear condition that may require veterinarian intervention. Pet wellness insurance is helpful in such cases to provide affordable and routine preventive care to your dogs.

Some of the common symptoms of an ear infection in canines are:

  • Swelling
  • Head
  • shaking
  • Bloody
  • or yellow discharge
  • Impulsive
  • scratching
  • Impaired
  • hearing
  • Irritation
  • and itchiness
  • Redness
  • and swelling
  • Aggression

Prevention and Treatment with Pet Wellness Insurance

A dog wellness plan encourages pet parents to take their canine friends to routine veterinarian visits and health check-ups. It offers an affordable way to protect your dogs against critical health conditions.

Veterinarians will regularly clean and maintain your dog's ears to remove debris, trapped moisture, excessive hair around the ear canal, and dirt to prevent ear infections. Routine preventive exams as part of an animal wellness plan are helpful to diagnose the early signs of an ear infection or health condition that may prove harmful in the future.

You can also opt for a pet insurance plan as it helps bear the cost of an unexpected accident or treatment. In this condition, if your dog shows signs of otitis externa, they will need emergency medical care. You can save thousands of dollars and remain stress-free with a pet insurance plan as it covers the cost of medication, treatment, blood work, and imaging.

Can’t decide which dog wellness plan is best for you and your pet? Visit Wagmo. At Wagmo, you will get three different pet wellness plans designed according to the budget and services pet parents want for their pets.

You can look for pet care services for your companion animals, including routine checkups, grooming, dental care, blood work, and vaccination. Wagmo offers you the leverage to choose a licensed vet and service provider through in-home and in-office telemedicine.