Why does my dog have ear problems?

Ear injuries in dogs happen for many reasons. Fights between dogs often result in tears to the pinna (ear flap), grass seeds and other objects can become lodged in the ear canal and dogs can pick up infections leading to discomfort and irritation.


What are the signs of ear injuries in dogs?

If your dog is experiencing ear problems you may notice:

  • An obvious wound (for traumatic injuries)
  • A lot of blood
  • Swelling
  • Discharge
  • Shaking head
  • Scratching ears

How can I treat my dog's ear problems?

If you’re concerned that your dog has ear problems it’s best to contact your vet or, out of hours, your nearest Vets Now for advice.

If your dog is shaking his head:

  • Check the ear closest to the ground. If a small object is visible, such as a grass seed or pebble, try to remove it with your fingers or tweezers, but only if you can do this safely without causing further problems.
  • If you can’t get the object out, bandage the ear flat against the head to avoid further damage and take your dog to the vet to be checked.

If your dog’s ear is bleeding:

  • Using absorbent pads (such as cotton pads, clean towels, or sanitary towels), apply pressure to both sides of the bleeding ear flap for several minutes.
  • Do not remove the pads, bandage them and the ear flat against the dog’s head and take the dog to see the vet the same day.

If an ear is swollen:

  • To prevent any further shaking or damage, bandage the ear flat against the head immediately
  • Take your dog to the vet within 24 hours