There are a lot of reasons why a dog’s ears may hurt. The main thing is to notice in time that the behavior of the animal has changed. The pet’s anxiety should be alerted while stroking the head. Much also it depends on the breed and structure of the ear. In some breeds the ears are always in a hanging position (dachshunds, spaniels, beagles). But, in Dobermans, Spitz and Husky, the same phenomenon indicates a problem.
Description of Possible Causes and Diseases
If your dog’s ear hurts when touched, then it must be carefully examined for injuries. Also do not forget to look inside the ear canal, where may be warning signs (dirty discharge, fetid odor, itching or redness of the skin). There are a number of diseases that can provoke not only pain, but also itching, redness and flaking. We are talking about eosinophilic granulomas, lichen and allergies. The veterinarian will look at the general condition of the animal and the appearance of the affected organ. Based on this, the necessary diagnostic measures will be carried out and the following possible options will be considered:
- Trauma. In the majority of causes, dogs have ear pain after injury. The animal can be injured during a fight (deep scratches from claws or bites from teeth), playing, walking in the forest or tall grass. Small scratches are rarely painful. But deep ones can bring significant discomfort to the pet. You may notice that the animal feels uncomfortable while stroking the head and ears. When touched, pulls the head or pulls away. The lesion can be localized outside or inside the auricle. External lesions can be treated with an antiseptic solution and a bandage can be applied on top. It is better to suture lacerated wounds after teeth or claws in a hospital setting, as they can bleed and heal for a long time. Internal traumas must be determined by a veterinarian. At the slightest suspicion of a violation of the integrity of the tympanic membrane, an otoscopy is performed.
- Abscess. At the initial stage, it looks like a harmless pimple. But, over the course of the process, it can cause many unpleasant symptoms. If the abscess is localized on the outside or inside ear, then the dog will feel severe pain when touched, as the inflammation spreads to large areas of skin located next to the lesion. Redness and swelling of the skin are also considered characteristic symptoms. In cases where the abscess breaks out on its own, a bleeding pea-sized wound forms in its place. It may contain pus and blood clots. It is recommended to treat the affected area with antibacterial solutions at least 3-4 times a day. The wound must be closed with a bandage. Do not forget to keep an eye on your pet so that he does not in any case scratch the healing wound. In some cases, abscesses are opened in a hospital setting. Usually this procedure has to be used in cases where the purulent wound bring the animal a high temperature. The procedure itself is not dangerous, it takes 15-20 minutes at most. The abscess is opened, the wound is cleaned of pus, and a bandage is applied with a healing and anti-inflammatory ointment.
- Foreign object. It can also get into the ear from the outside or inside. And almost always the dog will feel severe pain. In some cases, even at rest. In the most scenarios, this problem is followed by hunting breeds, which have to spend most of their lives in forests and tall grass. Plant seeds, thorns from weeds, sharp branches from trees or shrubs can get under the skin. Foreign objects getting under the skin can grow or become inflamed. Also, a splinter can cause developing of abscess. Therefore, foreign bodies must be removed in a timely manner before the skin swells and turned red. Sometimes you can’t do it by yourself. Then you will need the help of a veterinarian who, with the help of special gripping instruments, will remove the splinter from even the most inaccessible areas of the ear canal.
- Bites from stinging insects. It is normal for a dog to have ear pain after being bitten by a wasp or bee. Also, the affected area is almost always red and swollen. If there is no sting left in the wound, then you can simply observe the condition of the pet. Within 3-5 hours, the swelling should gradually go away, the redness will disappear up the next day. Hospitalization is required when the bite falls on the mouth (tongue, larynx) or neck, as there is a risk of asphyxiation. For breeds prone to allergies, antihistamines are indicated.
Finally, I would like to remind you about otitis media, due to which the dog can also have ear pain. But, before the onset of pain, the owner should notice a dirty discharge from the ear canal and a fetid odor. Only advanced stage of otitis media are accompanied by discomfort for animals.