Definition of Ear Infections
Hearing is one of a dog’s keenest senses. Dogs rely upon sound and scent much more than they do upon eyesight, to navigate their way through the world. Dogs’ ears can become infected from the very outer edge of the ear flap all the way down into the ear canal. Ear problems are one of the main reasons that owners take their dogs to a veterinarian. Parasites commonly cause ear irritation in dogs. Fleas, lice, mites and ticks can all contribute to ear irritation, infection, scratching and self-inflicted wounds. Foreign objects that lodge inside the ears, such as foxtails and grass awns, are other common causes of ear irritation, inflammation and infection. Weather extremes can contribute to ear problems; moisture and heat create a rich habitat for yeast and bacterial proliferation, and icy weather can cause frostbite. Allergies are also often associated with ear discomfort.