Dog Scratching at Ear: Causes and When to Be Concerned 

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When your dog starts scratching at their ear incessantly, it’s natural to wonder if it’s just a minor irritation or a sign of something more serious. Observing your pet’s behavior can tell you a lot about their health. This blog will explore why dogs scratch their ears and highlight when it’s time to reach out to professionals for help. At Little Silver Animal Hospital in Little Silver, NJ, we understand the importance of your dog’s health and well-being. If your dog’s ear scratching concerns you, don’t hesitate to call us at (732) 842-8266 to make an appointment.

Understanding Why Dogs Scratch Their Ears

Dogs scratch their ears for various reasons, ranging from simple to more complex health issues. It’s crucial to pay attention to their behavior and look for any accompanying signs that could indicate a more significant problem.

Common Causes of Ear Scratching in Dogs

  • Parasites: One of the most common reasons dogs scratch their ears is due to parasites, such as ear mites. These tiny creatures can cause a lot of discomfort and lead to infections if not treated promptly.
  • Allergies: Dogs can also have allergic reactions to food, environmental factors, or even their own shampoo. These allergies often cause itchy skin, including in and around the ears.
  • Infections: Bacterial or yeast infections in the ear are a frequent cause of irritation and scratching. These infections require medical treatment to resolve.
  • Foreign Objects: Sometimes, dogs get foreign objects stuck in their ears, leading to discomfort and scratching.
  • Skin Conditions: Various skin conditions, such as seborrhea or dermatitis, can also cause ear itching.

When to Be Concerned

While occasional scratching is normal, certain signs should prompt a visit to Little Silver Animal Hospital. Persistent scratching, redness, swelling, discharge, odor, or your dog showing signs of pain when their ears are touched are all reasons for concern.

Preventing Ear Problems in Dogs

Maintaining your dog’s ear health is key to preventing many of the issues that lead to scratching. Here are some tips to keeping your dog’s ears clean and healthy: 

  • Routine Inspections: Regularly checking your dog’s ears for signs of irritation, discharge, or parasites can catch problems early.
  • Cleaning: Learn how to safely clean your dog’s ears or have a professional at Little Silver Animal Hospital demonstrate the proper technique.
  • Avoid Water in Ears: During baths or swims, try to keep water out of your dog’s ears to prevent infections.
  • Diet and Environment: Keep an eye on your dog’s reactions to new foods or environmental changes. Allergies can develop at any time and cause discomfort.

When to Visit Little Silver Animal Hospital

Knowing when to seek professional help is crucial for your dog’s health. If you notice any of the concerning signs mentioned earlier, or if your dog’s ear scratching seems excessive and is accompanied by other symptoms, it’s time to call us at (732) 842-8266. Our team at Little Silver Animal Hospital is equipped to accurately diagnose the cause of your dog’s discomfort through examination and testing. Addressing the root of the problem is essential for effective treatment.

Treatment Options

Depending on the diagnosis, treatment can vary from medication to manage allergies or infections and parasite prevention, to procedures for removing foreign objects or addressing more severe conditions. Our veterinary team will provide personalized care tailored to your dog’s specific needs.

Keeping Your Dog Happy and Healthy

Your dog’s ear health is a vital part of their overall well-being. By understanding the common causes of ear scratching, practicing preventive care, and knowing when to seek professional advice, you can ensure your dog stays comfortable and happy. At Little Silver Animal Hospital, we’re committed to providing the highest level of care for your pet. If you’re concerned about your dog scratching at their ear, call us today at (732) 842-8266 to make an appointment.

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