A Mini-Guide To Ear Dermatitis, Its Causes And Treatment Options

If your dog is experiencing subsequent pain and intense itching of the ears, it is likely because of ear dermatitis caused due to various reasons.   

Seborrhea, fissures, ear injuries, allergies, manges or even mites are some of the various reasons why a dog may develop ear dermatitis. Although this condition may not be extremely serious, however it can lead to discomfort, pain and constant itching of the ear. If left untreated, it can also result in ear skin infection or even temporary or permanent damage to the ear. This article will help you to understand more about the condition and how you can get the relevant treatment through MyFurries.


What is ear dermatitis?

The outer ear, also known as the pinna, is prone to various kinds of primary and secondary conditions and infections, including ear dermatitis. If you notice your dog’s ears are inflamed, red or find that your dog is constantly scratching his/her ear, it could mean that your dog has developed ear dermatitis. 


Understanding the symptoms of dermatitis inflammation of ear skin 

Some of the many symptoms of ear problems in dogs and puppies include 

  • Scratching ears

  • Chewing on ears

  • Hair loss around ears

  • Redness and swelling

  • Mild to severe discharge accompanied with a foul smell

  • lesions or scabs

  • Bleeding

  • Shaking head

  • Scaling or crusting on ear edges


Factors that result in ear dermatitis

There are various factors that can result in the development of ear problems in dogs and puppies. Some of them are

  • It can be an allergic reaction due to pollen, food sensitivity or coming in contact with another dog that has a bacterial skin infection. 

  • Skin infections like cellulitis, which is often found in puppies that causes raised red skin or pus-filled bumps

  • It can also be due to an injury to the ear due to lacerations, burns, animal bites etc. 

  • Skin problems such as mange or ear mites can result in the development of ear dermatitis

  • Scaly or dry skin is called seborrhoea due to cold weather. 


Causes of ear dermatitis

While any dog is at risk to develop ear conditions, Labradors, Golden Retrievers, Saint Bernard, Rottweilers, German Shepherds, Dachshunds and other such breeds are often prone to various kinds of ear problems and conditions, including dermatitis. You can find more about each breed from the huge database of information available at MyFurries. The various causes of ear dermatitis include


  • Long-haired breeds

  • Dogs living in Humid or extremely hot conditions

  • Genetic or heredity causes


It can also be due to a bacterial infection or any other such skin diseases like mange. 


Diagnosis options of ear dermatitis

In order for the vet to understand the reason behind the inflammation of ear skin, the vet at MyFurries may use the following approach.


  • Physical examination

A physical examination is the first step to understand the extent of the infection. Based on the condition of the skin, the smell and even the colour of the skin, the vet will be able to understand if the problem is a primary or secondary issue. 



  • Sample test or swab collection for microscopic evaluation

The swab or sample collection of the skin will be used to check for fungal or bacterial cultures and to determine if there is an infestation that is causing the ear infection. 


  • Tests

To get a better understanding of the cause behind the problem, the vet will also consider conducting certain tests like

  • Complete blood count (CBC)

  • Urinalysis

  • Serum biochemistry analysis 

  • Metabolic profile



Treatment of ear dermatitis and ear problems in dogs and puppies

In order to ensure the right course of treatment for the inflammation of ear skin, the doctor will do a physical examination of the inner and outer ear.  Based on the analysis, the vet may suggest the following forms of treatment.

  • Course of injections

The injections that would be advised would be to treat any form of allergies or cellulitis. 

  • Oral medicines

A course of medicines may also be prescribed depending on the reason behind why the dog has developed this condition. 

  • Topical treatments

In cases like skin problems, mange, seborrhoea or other such problems, the vet may also change the shampoo and prescribe creams or medicated oil that you would have to apply two or three times a day. 

  • The cleaning process in case of injuries

The vet will also suggest a particular cleaning routine that you would need to do for a certain number of days to ensure that the ears are clean. 


To get a better understanding of various ear infections and problems or to obtain more information regarding ear dermatitis in dogs, follow MyFurries.

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