Ear Dermatitis in Dogs

Ear Dermatitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

Most common symptoms

Hair Loss / Itching / Licking / Redness / Shaking / Swelling

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Rated as moderate conditon

5 Veterinary Answers

Most common symptoms

Hair Loss / Itching / Licking / Redness / Shaking / Swelling

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Ear Dermatitis in Dogs - Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, 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.

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

Types

  • 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.

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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.

Allergy

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.

Cellulitis

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

Injury

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.

Mange

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.

Seborrhea

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.

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Ear Dermatitis Average Cost

From 548 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,500

Average Cost

$300

Ear Dermatitis Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Pip

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Dachshund

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6 Years

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Mild condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Sneezing, Itching,

My dachshund Pip & I have had to move into a homeless shelter temporarily, & since we got here he has been sneezing badly, now I notice he has something that looks like dandruff on the tips of his ears, but it doesn't flake off. How can I help him?

Aug. 19, 2018

Pip's Owner

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3320 Recommendations

It is difficult to say what may be causing these symptoms and whether or not they are related; allergies due to a change in environment, infections, parasites, poor nutrition among other causes may be leading to these symptoms. I understand your situation, but without examining Pip I cannot really recommend any specific treatment and I wouldn’t want to recommend something to buy that may not be effective; try to find a charity clinic or other organisation which can look at Pip and make a diagnosis. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

Aug. 19, 2018

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Max

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German Shepherd

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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1 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Ear Scabs
Itching Ear
Moist Brown Granules In Ear

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

June 29, 2018

Max's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 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/

June 30, 2018

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Rocky

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Bishon poodle x

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3 Days

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Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

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?

June 14, 2018

Rocky's Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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1611 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.

June 14, 2018

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gurly

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Bulldog

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15 Months

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Serious condition

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0 found helpful

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Serious condition

Has Symptoms

Rash

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

March 7, 2018

gurly's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 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

March 7, 2018

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Bella

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Irish cream retriever

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2 1/2 years

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness

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.

Dec. 10, 2017

Bella's Owner

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recommendation-ribbon

3320 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

Dec. 10, 2017

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princess

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Pitt lab mix

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1 Year

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Mild condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Mild condition

Has Symptoms

Redness
Itching
Ear Scab

it started off as a mild annoyance to her but it eventually turned into bumps and started smelling which she started to scratch at she broke the skin which led to scabs on her ears

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Lola

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Shihpoo

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2 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Fair condition

Has Symptoms

Dry,
Dry, Smelly
Dry, Smelly Ear

My wee Shitzhu cross has dry skin on one ear, and is slightly smelly. It’s not bothering her. I just noticed it when cleaning her ears. I put some emollient cream on the dry parts. Would appreciate your input. Thanks

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Harry

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Golden Doodle

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5 Years

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Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Itchy Skin And Ears

My golden doodle has been itching himself non stop. I think it’s because of the weather since we live in New York and maybe he had dry skin. I haven’t found any red patches on his skin, but I am very concerned. I don’t know what to do. He recently started itching his ears and a small part of the outer part of the ear is a bit red. What would you recommend?

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Rosie

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miniature dachshund

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3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

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0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss
Itching
Inflamation

My dog rosie initially started with small red bumps in her ear that itched her some, and they also would get inflamed. The inflammation was at random, and there was also crust like substance or scab like texture on the rim of her ears. I tried to see if it would get better soon, but it hasn’t, and it seems to have spread to her neck/chest area and her belly. On every spot she has, she seems to be losing some hair, and its red most of the time or is like dry skin (belly) or scabs from itching (neck/chest). I am planning on booking and appointment soon, but I really was hoping that I could get an explanation or thoughts, for whatever response will probably be quicker than I can book her an appointment.

dog-name-icon

Rosie

dog-breed-icon

miniature dachshund

dog-age-icon

3 Years

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Moderate condition

Has Symptoms

Hair Loss
Itching
Inflamation

My miniature dachshund Rosie started having some small bumps form on her ears a few months back and they seemed to get inflamed sometimes for no reason. This lead me to believe it wasn’t simple allergies, but I still was unsure what it was. I thought in time it would go away, but it hasn’t, and it seems to have spread. It’s on her neck/chest area, and has spread to her belly most recently. She’s losing hair, and there is a lot or “crust” and dried skin in the areas she has it, along with more red bumps or just red inflamed areas. She itches a lot, and my other dog does as well (however he has no bumps at all, which makes me think it isn’t mange). I plan on setting up a vet visit ASAP, but I really wanted to hear thoughts sooner than I’ll be able to book an appointment.

Ear Dermatitis Average Cost

From 548 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,500

Average Cost

$300

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