Published on : 23 July 20218 min reading time

The anatomy of a dog’s ear canal, unlike that of humans, is particularly prone to infection and disease. Several symptoms should be taken into account, especially if your pet tends to shake its head or scratch its ears more frequently and intensely than usual, a decrease in responsiveness when you call it or a discharge from the ears, the origins of which are numerous. Here are the right steps to take to restore your pet’s ear health.

Earwax discharge

Earwax is the liquid that commonly drains from a dog’s ear. It is a substance of varying thickness, light or dark brown in color, and has a relatively strong odor depending on the case. In dogs, excessive earwax discharge indicates an abnormality in the ears. It is most likely that the inside of his auditory system is irritated. In most cases, when the ears produce a more or less normal amount of earwax, or when the discharge of the liquid does not cause any particular discomfort, a simple cleaning is more than sufficient. In this case, it would be best to use a suitable product that you can easily find on The cleaning solutions are indeed formulated to facilitate the dissolution of earwax as well as the evacuation of secretions from the ear canal. They are also designed to relieve the ear. The composition also allows to restore the physiological balance of the skin which is inside the conduit. On the other hand, in case of more pronounced symptoms in addition to the ear that produces much more earwax than usual, that is, when you notice that your pet is rather embarrassed, that he tends to shake his head frequently, that he takes much more time to scratch his ears intensely, that the skin inside the duct tends to redden, or when he feels some pain when you touch his ears, it would be best to take him directly to the veterinarian for a consultation and a medicated treatment.

Pus discharge

A leaking dog ear is also likely to produce pus. Unlike earwax, which is a fairly common substance, pus is a creamy liquid that varies in color from white to yellow and has a particularly foul odor. If you see this secretion, your pet’s ear is infected. Contrary to what we think, the origin of such an infection is more or less deep. In most cases, a pus discharge comes from a skin infection. This includes an infection of a wound following a bite, intense scratching or a sting from a foreign body or plant. You may not know it, but the deterioration of an otitis that was not detected quickly, but above all, that was not treated in time, favors the secretion of pus in the ears. In this case, it is obviously imperative to consult a veterinarian. Keep in mind that your pet is really sick, and that if you don’t react in time, his health condition may deteriorate. In addition, while waiting for your appointment with the veterinarian, it is advisable to quickly clean the soiled hair using a wet compress. It is also important to gently disinfect the skin, especially where the pus is draining the most. Before proceeding with this step, always ask your veterinarian’s advice, as he or she will most likely need to observe the condition of your dog’s ears and the particulars of the pus, in order to make a diagnosis and identify the appropriate treatment. If you get permission, make sure that the cleaning is done gently. For example, avoid rubbing the wound too much, as this can aggravate the skin irritation. Also keep in mind that this type of infection is particularly painful, and even if your pet doesn’t always show signs of aggression, it may bite you if the pain is severe.

Blood flow

Bloody discharge often originates from a wound or a bleeding mass inside the ear. Sometimes the blood itself mixes with pus and produces a pinkish discharge with a particularly foul smell. In this case, a veterinary consultation is essential. When the bleeding is active, the first thing to do is to compress the wound. To do this, you will need several compresses. Press them directly on the wound for two to three minutes to stop the bleeding. Be careful not to cause any additional pain. As mentioned above, your pet is likely to react violently to pain and biting is one of its first reflexes. It is important to know that blood flow from a dog’s ears is quite common when there is a wound from a recent bite, sting or intense scratching. An ear infection that has not been identified and treated in time, and that has rapidly degenerated is also likely to promote blood flow. Othematoma or hematoma of the dog’s ear is a particular case of ear bleeding that occurs more in dogs with floppy ears. More specifically, it is a painful accumulation of blood in the auricle of the ear after severe scratching. A hematoma is formed inside the auricle, due to an accumulation of blood caused by a rupture of some blood vessels after scratching. In general, it is difficult to observe bleeding directly, because the blood flows through the thickness of the ear. The ear will tend to swell and the fluid-filled, soft hematoma is painful to the touch. In this case, the best thing to do would be to consult a veterinarian directly who will empty the hematoma under anesthesia. He will probably have to suture the ear to avoid any accumulation of blood.

Otitis in dogs

Along with itching, a strong, foul-smelling odor and some redness, excess earwax can perfectly well be considered a symptom of ear infection in dogs. As a reminder, this type of infection has several origins. It can be a bacterial and/or mycotic otitis caused by cold weather or poor aeration of the auricle which favors the development of bacteria by maceration. Quite common in dogs with floppy ears and small dogs, this type of otitis is therefore caused by microscopic fungi. Antibacterial treatment is often prescribed for about a week. Parasitic otitis, as the name implies, is triggered by parasites, especially fleas and ticks, which develop inside the ear and feed on earwax. This type of infection is manifested by the production of dark crusts in the ear canal. In the case of ear scabies, the inflammation is manifested by a secretion of darker-colored earwax that is accompanied by continuous itching. It is important to note that this type of ear infection is contagious among animals and that it is important to treat it as soon as possible. In dogs, otitis can also be related to an allergy. By reacting strongly to an allergenic agent, the immune system creates an inflammation in the skin. Redness appears on the outside of the ear. You will also observe a thick and particularly smelly earwax deposit. Of course, after the veterinarian’s diagnosis, a treatment focused on the dog’s general allergic condition will be essential.

Adopt good hygiene

Good hygiene is essential to avoid recurrent discharge from the ears. It is important to regularly check the cleanliness of your ears. Indeed, the dirtier they are, and this, over a relatively long period, the more difficult it will be to clean them. By accumulating, secretions will invade the interior of the ear and will subsequently promote an irritation phenomenon conducive to an otitis. Therefore, remember to regularly remove excess earwax in case of a dog with a runny ear. A gentle cleaning about once or twice a week is also recommended. You should also get into the habit of cleaning the pavilion, i.e. the mobile part of the ear, with a compress. However, avoid rubbing it intensely, as this can irritate the thin skin. It is also preferable to pluck the entrance of the ear canal with tweezers or directly with the fingers, because the presence of hair growing inside the ear increases the risk of inflammation. It is also important to remember to dry the inside of the ears after each exposure to water. To do this, simply dab your compress to catch any excess water. To avoid any recurrence, it is strongly advised to regularly clean your pet’s ears with adapted products that are not irritating. Also, get your pet used to ear care from a young age, to avoid any complications in case of ear infections or illnesses in the ears.