Ear Dermatitis Average Cost

From 548 quotes ranging from $200 - 3,500

Average Cost


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What are Ear Dermatitis?

Some of the causes of ear dermatitis are mites, mange, allergy, injury, fissures, and seborrhea. Even though these conditions seem like no big deal, your pet would definitely disagree. The intense itching and subsequent pain can be a constant annoyance and may lead to scarring. If your dog scratches enough to break the skin, infection is likely to occur due to the germs under the nails and the dirt your pet enjoys to play in when outdoors.

There are many types of skin conditions that can irritate the outside of the ear (pinna), and most are secondary to dermatitis elsewhere. It is uncommon for a skin disorder to only affect the ear, so if your dog is suffering from itchy ears, redness, and inflammation, it is likely that there is a skin condition going on somewhere else. However, if your dog has ear mites, which is one of the most common reasons for ear dermatitis, the ears may be the only part of the body affected.

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Symptoms of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

The signs of ear dermatitis can vary depending on the cause, but they almost all cause itchiness and redness. Sometimes, there are no symptoms at all and the problem is found during a veterinary examination for another illness or a routine checkup. However, in 90% of all dermatitis cases, the common symptoms you will see are:

  • Scratching ears
  • Chewing on ears
  • Hair loss around ears
  • Redness and swelling
  • Foul smelling discharge
  • Scabs, lesions
  • Bleeding
  • Shaking head
  • Crusting or scaling on ear edges


  • Allergies can be caused by contact, food, or pollen and presents in many ways including intense scratching anywhere on the body including the ears
  • Cellulitis is an infection of the skin usually called juvenile cellulitis because it almost exclusively affects young dogs between one and four months old; signs of this may include little pus-filled bumps on raised red skin
  • Injury may be from bites from other animals, burns, and lacerations
  • Mange is a seriously contagious disorder that can produce hair loss, redness, swelling, severe itchiness, and is caused by ear mites
  • Seborrhea is dry, scaly skin usually showing up in cold weather

Causes of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

  • Any dog can develop skin problems; Golden Retrievers, Gordon Setters, and Dachshunds appear to be at greater risk than other breeds
  • German Shepherds, Rottweilers, Saint Bernards and Golden Retrievers seem to be predisposed to developing acute moist dermatitis, also known as hot spots
  • Dogs living in hot humid climates, and long-haired breeds, are also at increased risk
  • Because the causes of dermatitis are so varied, there is really no way to accurately generalize about which breeds or mixed breeds are predisposed to developing skin irritation

Diagnosis of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

The veterinarian will do a complete physical of your pet, which usually includes a thorough skin and coat assessment, weight, body temperature, blood pressure, reflexes, pupil reaction time, pulse and respiratory rates, lung sounds, and oxygen levels. In addition, the veterinarian may do an intensive ear examination using an otoscope to get a good view of the inner ear canal. Your dog will likely be sedated for this procedure to prevent more pain and stress. At this time, the veterinarian will be able to get some skin scrapings and samples of the lesions for microscopic evaluation. These will be used for bacterial and fungal cultures as well to determine whether there is any kind of infestation involved. Other diagnostic tests include a complete blood count (CBC), urinalysis, serum biochemistry analysis, and metabolic profile, needed to get a more definitive diagnosis.

Treatment of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

The cause of the dermatitis needs to be determined before a treatment plan can be made since there are different treatments for each type.


Allergies can be treated with an antihistamine injection, but it may be the most complex to treat because you have to determine what your pet is allergic to, which may be difficult. The veterinarian may also send you to see a veterinary dermatologist for further allergy tests.


Since this is caused by infection, the veterinarian will usually give your pet an injection of antibiotic.


An injury is treated depending on what caused the injury. A burn can be treated with burn cream, frostbite may need amputation, bug bites are treated with antiseptic and insect repellent cream, animal bites are usually treated with corticosteroids and antiseptic. All of these injuries will also need antibiotics to prevent or clear up infection.


There are two types of mange, which are sarcoptic and demodectic, and they are both extremely contagious so you have to keep your pet away from other pets. Afoxolaner, permethrin, ivermectin, selamectin, and sulfurated lime rinse are all effective treatments is the treatment, usually done a few times over several months.


This disorder can be treated with mild soap and water and moisturizer, but it is a lifetime disorder so once you find a good treatment, stick with it.

Recovery of Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

Prognosis is good since this disorder is more annoying than dangerous. If you are able to determine the cause after alleviating the itchiness and pain, you should continue to observe your pet to be sure. Some medications can have side effects, so be sure to ask your veterinarian what you should be watching for.

Ear Dermatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Bishon poodle x
3 Days
Fair condition
0 found helpful
Fair condition

My bishon has had yeast infection in his ears . He still tends to scratch his ears and shake his head a little bit from time to time. They arent infected but can look red sometimes. Can it be possible that it is dermatitis?

Dr. Michele King, DVM
Dr. Michele King, DVM
1408 Recommendations
Dermatitis just means an inflammation of the skin, and if Rocky has been diagnosed with yeast infections in his ears, he may need ongoing care to help keep his ears healthy. Your veterinarian can give you advice on how best to keep his ears from causing problems for him, as there are medications and washes that can help.

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Irish cream retriever
2 1/2 years
Mild condition
0 found helpful
Mild condition

Has Symptoms


What causes psoriasis looking patches in my Goldens ears? Nothing in her diet has changed. What can I put on them, they are red, too. She in not scarching them.

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2995 Recommendations
If there is no itching, it may be that there is some seborrhoea on the ear pinna which looks like psoriasis (see image below); you could try using a benzoyl peroxide shampoo on the ears to see if that makes any improvement. Other issues may be infection, parasites, hormonal conditions, chemical irritation among other causes; if you don’t have any success with the shampoo you should visit your Veterinarian. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM www.merckvetmanual.com/-/media/manual/veterinary/images/ear_margin_seborrhea_high.jpg

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15 Months
Serious condition
0 found helpful
Serious condition

Has Symptoms


my 15 months old female alpha blue blood first she was shaking her head like she had something in it so swab her ears out i also had got some flush now shes scratching her ears like crazy and shaking her head i don't have money for vet but i can get the money for meds she is in misery

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2995 Recommendations
Without examining Gurly I cannot say what the specific cause of the head shaking is; infections, parasites, foreign objects, middle or inner ear problems among other issues may be causing this behaviour. I cannot recommend any specific product or medication without knowing the specific cause, you should however continue to clean the ears and try to find a local charity clinic to examine Gurly. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

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German Shepherd
5 Years
Moderate condition
1 found helpful
Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Moist brown granules in ear
Itching ear
Ear scabs

My dog has scabs inside his ear and it causes him pain. He scratches a lot and won’t let me touch his ear. There is a sweet smell coming from his ear and it is moist from the inside with what looks like brown waxy paste. Nothing is helping. He’s had drops and steroid tablets from the vets. But the tablets made him very aggressive so I stopped giving him those. Please help. Thank you

Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
Dr. Callum Turner, DVM
2995 Recommendations
If the brown granules resemble coffee grounds, it is likely that there are ear mites; however the smell from ear mites is generally unpleasant and not sweet. I would however recommend that you give Revolution (selamectin) and clean the ears with an over the counter cleaning solution for ear mites to be on the safe side and monitor for improvement. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM https://wagwalking.com/condition/ear-mites www.akc.org/expert-advice/health/common-conditions/ear-mites-in-dogs/

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