Ear Scratching in Dogs

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My dog keeps scratching his ears. What might be wrong?

The following article is taken from the "Purina® Animal Instincts" Podcast Series. Learn more at www.purina.com.

Don’t just assume your dog’s ears itch if he scratches them frequently. It may be a sign of a painful infection. Other symptoms include ear discharge, a strange odor, and head shaking. If you notice these signs, call your veterinarian.

Dogs frequently develop ear infections because of their long el-shaped ear canals that easily trap dirt and moisture. Breeds with long, floppy ears and pups who swim frequently are the most susceptible. Parasites or allergies can also trigger an infection.

The best way to prevent ear problems in your dog is to try to keep his ears squeaky clean and to check them often for any discharge or odor. Ask your veterinarian how to use cotton balls and an ear cleaner.

– Dr. Larry McDaniel, DVM