What Discharge from a Dog’s Ears Should Alert its Owner?


Discharge from ears in dogs’ treatment practice is deemed to be a sign of an ear disease. It could be caused by an infection, allergy or be of parasitic nature, a disease may also be a result of an injury or neoplasm. It is not difficult to identify the problem at the early stage, as the animal often shakes its head and scratches its ears.

Reasons for Discharges

Certain breeds have periodic liquid earwax leakage from ears due to the anatomical peculiarities of their hearing systems. Other than that, ear secretions indicate pathologies. These include:

  1. Ear mite. This parasite causes an otoacariasis disease. Discharges from ears are serous at the early stages, but later may contain purulence impurities.
  2. dark discharge from a dog’s earsEczema. This skin condition develops due to ingress of dirt, moisture, household chemicals into the ear. It can also be a super sensitivity reaction to vermin bites.
  3. Extera, media and interna otitis. The inflammatory process of the disease causes brown discharge from dog’s ear, which is similar to wax in appearance. Hypothermia, lack of hygiene, vermin bites all these may be reasons of the otitis development. Bacteria, fungi or ear mites could cause the disease.
  4. Allergic otitis. It develops due to hypersensitivity to the allergen or hormones imbalance.
  5. Ear hematoma. Accumulation of fluid between the skin and cartilage in the ear pavilion. It can be a consequence of trauma, capillary rupture, and physical impact.
  6. Neoplasms. More often occur with older animals who have suffered an ear disease without medical intervention. The most common type of tumor is adenocarcinoma of ceruminous glands.


Discharges from dogs’ ears are usually accompanied by the following symptoms:

  • black discharge from a dog’s earsA pet stretches its ears furiously and this causes skin injury infection;
  • A dog shakes its head, tilt it on the side and rubs against furniture;
  • The affected region looks inflammatory and tumid;
  • Sometimes you can smell foul or sweet odor;

Dark discharge from dog’s ear points to the fact that there is a mite. Fluor is of oily texture and resembles a shoe cream. The leaked liquid dries quickly forming crust on the coal. The nasty form of the otoacariasis is followed by the body temperature rise, food refusal, jerk and loss of hearing. When suffering from otitis, a dog may feel pain while chewing and jaws opening, purulent discharges occur from the pet’s ears and eyes, temperature often rises. In the absence of treatment complications in the form of cerebral cortex inflammation and coordination disorder may occur. Allergic otitis comes with earwax ejection and fungal microflora predominance. The hematoma declares itself  through edema and ear sagging, blue discoloring and hyperemia of the affected area. With eczema rushes with liquid contents appear in the earflap, the skin reddens, swells and yellow discharge from dog’s ear has offensive odor. Neoplasms in acoustic meatus declare themselves through earflap skin rugosity, foul-smelling discharge and head trembling. As a rule, only one ear is affected.


You should consult a veterinarian in order to determine a diagnosis and to put on medication. He/she will examine the sound-sensing apparatus state and take a swab and a scrape to determine the causative agent. The treatment mode depends on the cause of pathology:

  1. brown discharge from a dog’s earsIn case purulent discharge occurs in a dog’s ear, this most often means an infection process. Upon this, a course of antibiotical, anti-inflammatory or antifungal drugs is indicated for treatment.
  2. When ear mange, you should firstly clean the ears from crust, then threat with acaricide drops, unctures or aerosols. It is better to use medications working adult mites and their larvae.
  3. Weeping eczema nidus should be anointed with binding drugs and corticosteroid unctures.
  4. In case of intense itching, the veterinarian may prescribe Cortisone or Prednisolone pills.
  5. Veterinarian pumps the contents of hematoma with a syringe or lances the tumor surgically.
  6. In case the discharges are caused by the allergic otitis, taking antihistamines, localized application of anti itch treatment and exclusion of contact with the allergen are required.
  7. If abscesses occur, on in case the purulence is accumulated behind the eardrum, the vet may go in for surgery.

Treatment should be carried out early, as hearing loss could be the consequence of ear diseases.


Breeds with long hanging ears have underlying risk for diseases of the hearing organs. However, other dogs suffer from them as well. To reduce the risk of discharges, you should follow certain guidelines. Inspect the pet’s ears several times a month. A healthy dog’s ears should be clean and pink. Regularly remove the accumulated dirt, moisten cotton swabs with special solutions and remove easily accessible dirt. It is not necessary to clean the dark earwax from the depth of the auditory canal, so as not to injure the organ. If water often penetrates to the dog’s ears, you can use tools to remove excess moisture, such as Nutri-Vet. You should keep the dog from hypothermia and contact with sick animals.

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