Why Do My Dogs Ears Stink?

Ear wax buildup can occur if the normal self-cleaning mechanism of your dogs ear is disturbed. Your dog may not seem bothered by this at all. The ear wax will be a yellow color.

In many cases, a yeast infection causes what is described as a sweet or musty smell. There can also be redness and discharge from the ear thats generally brown in color.

Your veterinarian may perform a cytology (taking a swab of the discharge and staining it, to look at it under the microscope) to diagnose this problem. In these cases, there will be redness, swelling, and/or pain that is sometimes quite significant, and the discharge will be pus and/or a blood-tinged fluid. A cytology should be performed by your vet to confirm the presence of bacteria.

Mixed ear infections (where bacteria and yeast are present) are common. The symptoms can vary, depending on the types and numbers of organisms present, and they may appear similar to yeast and/or bacterial infection. Signs of a severe middle ear infection include:

It should be noted that a dog that has recurrent ear infections often has an underlying condition that should be addressed. This means that ear cleaning at home should only be performed under these circumstances: Your dog went swimming or had a bath (using a veterinarian-approved cleaner with a drying agent).

Your dogs ears should be cleaned with a solution specifically developed for this purpose. Gently massage the base of the ear to distribute the cleaning solution and loosen any debris. Use a cotton ball to gently wipe away any wax and debris.

They might have the unintended effect of pushing debris further into the ear canal. This allows you to find any problems early and act before they develop into a serious issue. If your dog is having ear problems, you may also notice changes in their behavior, like:

How do I get rid of the smell in my dog's ears?

Prescription treatment may include antifungal drops or an ear cleaner, and in difficult-to- treat cases, an oral antifungal medication. You may clean your dog’s ears at home with a vet-approved ear cleaner, but do not clean them for 24 hours prior to your appointment, as this can make a diagnosis more difficult.

How do you get rid of smelly ears?

Cleansing and circulation. Gently scrubbing and washing the area daily may eliminate the odor very quickly. ….Disinfecting. ….Medicated skin creams. ….Sweat reduction. ….Acne medication. ….Minimize pollutants and barriers. ….Medicated shampoo. ….Ear drops.

What can I clean my dog's ears out with?

Use an over-the-counter ear cleaner or normal saline. Irrigation can be done without stressing out your dog. Hold the ear flap upright and fill the ear canal with the cleaning solution. To fill the canal, squeeze the bottle directly into the canal for about 5 seconds.

If your dog’s ears stink, you may be wondering what you can do to reduce the unpleasant smell. While it’s true that dogs are not always the prettiest smelling animals around in their natural state, they deserve to be given the benefit of doubt before being labeled as “stinky beings.”

Your veterinarian can take a sample of ear discharge (if present) to see if the infection is caused by bacteria and can then prescribe the proper medication for it. It is also important to understand that, in many cases, an ear infection is only a symptom and the underlying cause needs to be addressed so as to tackle the root of the problem.

This yeast is naturally found on the skin surfaces of many animals including dogs and has a rep for being a prime opportunist, taking advantage of vulnerable ears affected by underlying causes known to lead to ear canal inflammation. Next, the vet may suggest a full cleaning of the dogs ear canal followed by the use of the most appropriate medications. So, if you want to be sure theyre the culprit, swap your pups ear gently with a cotton swab (remember not too deep) and shine a light on the contents.

You can treat mites with an over-the-counter pyrethrin-based solution, but given that these little suckers tend to bring unwanted bacteria, including yeast to the party, its probably safer to go to your vet and get a prescription medication. The allergic reaction may derive from food allergies as well as irritating outdoor allergens (like pollens) or indoor products you may use to clean your house. Interestingly, allergies are very common in dogs, and in the veterinary world are known to be a major cause of ear and skin infections.

You can avoid this by checking your pup when they come in from playing outside and also by keeping the fur around their ears trimmed down so theres less for the sticky little things to latch onto. Some dogs may be prone to produce more ear wax and this can cause a mildly unpleasant odor. All of this predisposes the dog to an ear infection, points out board-certified veterinary dermatologist Dr. Michele Rosenbaum.

Hypothyroidism leads to lower than normal thyroid levels which can impact the dog’s body in many ways. Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s disease, takes place when a dog’s adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. They have their own niche or ecosystem that under normal circumstances, allows them to survive in the ear canal and the dogs body (immunity) keeps them in check.

When there is damage to this normal environment or ecosystem, such as allergic disease, tumors, or foreign bodies, these bugs can then overgrow and create an infection. While you want to leave your pups ears in as natural a condition as possible, (after all they survived without us for centuries), you do have to have them checked and treated by your veterinarian. Good ear health can go a long way to preventing a lot of funky smells and discomfort for your pooch.

They arent fans of light and getting rid of them may feel like a losing battle as most medications prescribed by your vet only eliminate the adult mites. Left untreated, excessive shaking of the head may lead to an annoying aural hematoma . Not to mention, your dog’s ear canal will begin to narrow due to chronic inflammation and so much scar tissue may build up that the ear canal becomes completely closed off to the world causing hearing loss, a nasty deeper infection and the need for surgical intervention, explains board-certified veterinarian Dr. Brett Wasik.

February 24, 2017 (published)Brett Wasik, DVM, DACVIM (SAIM) Veterinary Information Network Ear Infections (Yeast Otitis) in Dogs Wendy Brooks, DVM, DABVP Zoetis Petcare, The Connection Between Your Dogs Ear Infections and Allergies By Dr. Michele Rosenbaum It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional.

An ear infection (otitis externa) is one of the most frequently diagnosed medical conditions in petsespecially dogs with floppy ears. Signs of an ear infection can include scratching at the ears, head shaking, ears that are red and/or painful to the touch, an unpleasant smell or a dirty discharge inside the ear. Here are four facts about ear infections:

It is possible for any dog to develop an ear infection. However, some breeds are more prone than others. For example, floppy-eared breeds, such as Cocker Spaniels, are at a higher risk of infection. Other breeds at greater risk are dogs with narrow ear canals, such as English Bulldogs, and dogs with very hairy ears, such as Poodles. These characteristics all result in features that create an environment within the ear where bacteria and yeast are much more likely to survive. The presence of yeast and bacteria can have a stinky odour and create smelly ears. Dogs who are prone to skin allergies may also have an increased risk of getting an ear infection.

He is a practicing veterinary surgeon and has been a part of the Felcana team since 2018, managing social media. If it is an ear infection, your vet may want to take a sample to find out what kind of bacteria or yeast is causing the problem.

If your dog has been swimming anywhere, make sure to dry their ears thoroughly with a towel, and clean them using a solution and cotton ball.

What Causes a Dog’s Ears to Smell?

There are a few different things that can cause your dog’s ears to stink. Here are some of the most common causes of smelly dog ears.

Ear Wax Buildup

Ear wax buildup can occur if the normal self-cleaning mechanism of your dog’s ear is disturbed. Your dog may not seem bothered by this at all. The ear wax will be a yellow color.This type of wax buildup can cause a change in odor in your dog’s ears, but it will be a mild odor.The problem can usually be solved by cleaning your dog’s ears with a veterinarian-approved routine ear cleaner.

Yeast Infections

Ear yeast infections are quite common and can cause a more pronounced odor in your dog’s ears.Yeast infections occur when there is an overproduction of Candida in your dog’s body.In many cases, a yeast infection causes what is described as a sweet or musty smell. There can also be redness and discharge from the ear that’s generally brown in color.Yeast infections should be seen by your veterinarian within several days. Your veterinarian may perform a cytology (taking a swab of the discharge and staining it, to look at it under the microscope) to diagnose this problem. Prescription treatment may include antifungal drops or an ear cleaner, and in difficult-to- treat cases, an oral antifungal medication.You may clean your dog’s ears at home with a vet-approved ear cleaner, but do not clean them for 24 hours prior to your appointment, as this can make a diagnosis more difficult.

Bacterial Ear Infections

A bacterial ear infection usually causes the most severe symptoms.With certain types of bacteria, you may smell the ear from across the room. In these cases, there will be redness, swelling, and/or pain that is sometimes quite significant, and the discharge will be pus and/or a blood-tinged fluid.A cytology should be performed by your vet to confirm the presence of bacteria.Bacterial ear infections are treated with antibiotic eardrops and sometimes oral antibiotics. In resistant cases that do not respond to routine treatment, a culture may be performed to find out the exact type of bacteria and the proper antibiotic treatment.If the infection is severe enough to cause significant swelling in the ear, oral steroids may be needed to reduce pain and swelling. These cases should be seen by your vet as soon as possible.

Should You Clean Your Dog’s Ears?

Mixed ear infections (where bacteria and yeast are present) are common. The symptoms can vary, depending on the types and numbers of organisms present, and they may appear similar to yeast and/or bacterial infection.Signs of a severe middle ear infection include:This is a serious infection that should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.It should be noted that a dog that has recurrent ear infections often has an underlying condition that should be addressed.

2) Yeast Ear Infection

Normally, dogs have healthy bacteria that live and grow on their skin, hair, and yes, even in their ears, but sometimes more bad bacteria than good may infiltrate in the ears and start creating problems.Bacteria are particularly fond of the ear environment because the ear provides a warm and moist place that does not allow very much circulation of air, therefore many bacteria thrive here.Common types of bacteria found in a dog’s ears include cocci (most commonly Staphylococcus intermedius and beta-hemolytic streptococci) andEar infections in dogs may pop up both on the outer part of the ear canal and potentially in the middle or inner ear as well. Symptoms include a foul odor inside the dog’s ear, yellow, brown, or bloody discharge from the ear, redness, swelling, head tilt, and scratching at the ear with associated localized hair loss.Your veterinarian can take a sample of ear discharge (if present) to see if the infection is caused by bacteria and can then prescribe the proper medication for it.Most of the time it is a topical antibiotic/steroid combination, but sometimes oral antibiotics may be prescribed.Very important is to clean a dog’s ears with a good ear cleaning solution before application. Your vet may do this for you. If you fail to clean the dog’s ears first, the medication won’t be able to penetrate the waxy layer on the ear and the bacteria will be protected from the medication continuing to thrive. It’s therefore important to decrease the ear debris and gunk as much as possible before the application of a topical ear medication.It is also important to understand that, in many cases, an ear infection is only a symptom and the underlying cause needs to be addressed so as to tackle the root of the problem.

3) Mites “Might” Be the Problem

If your pup is scratching vigorously at their ears and shaking their head, and all of this is accompanied by a dark brown to black discharge, they likely have ear mites. These little buggers are tiny (no bigger than a pinhead) and breed quickly.They are more often found in puppies and younger dogs but can show up in older dogs too and don’t mind jumping species (they can’t be transmitted to humans). They tend to stick around the ear and are not fans of light.

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So, if you want to be sure they’re the culprit, swap your pup’s ear gently with a cotton swab (remember not too deep) and shine a light on the contents. You’ll notice little white things wriggling under the beam. If that’s the case, you’ve got mites.You can treat mites with an over-the-counter pyrethrin-based solution, but given that these little suckers tend to bring unwanted bacteria, including yeast to the party, it’s probably safer to go to your vet and get a prescription medication.You’ll need to apply it for at least three weeks until all of the mites have died, and any eggs left behind have hatched.Your vet may also provide you with anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, or antibiotics to treat the additional problems that may crop up. You want to be sure that even if you only notice mites on one of your fur babies, that you treat all of them as mites are highly contagious among the fur-covered community.

Several Underlying Causes

As mentioned, ear infections in dogs are often just a sign of something else going on. In such cases, it’s important to take care of the primary issues known for leading to opportunistic bacteria and/or yeast infections (yes, dogs can have both at the same time) and pesky parasites to establish into the ear causing stinky ears in dogs. The following are several potential underlying causes of ear infections in dogs.It may seem odd, but ear issues are often treated as skin disorders, and therefore, an itchy, foul-smelling ear infection may stem from an underlying allergy. The allergic reaction may derive from food allergies as well as irritating outdoor allergens (like pollens) or indoor products you may use to clean your house.Interestingly, allergies are very common in dogs, and in the veterinary world are known to be a major cause of ear and skin infections.

2) Presence of a Foreign Body

Dogs who like to play outside and who have longer fur that may cover part of their ear canal, are at higher risk for picking up little oddities that sneak their way inside the ear. Running through tall grasses, for example, can lead to foxtails or other grass seeds clinging to that fur around the ear and then tipping inside.You can avoid this by checking your pup when they come in from playing outside and also by keeping the fur around their ears trimmed down so there’s less for the sticky little things to latch onto.

3) Ear Wax Production

Some dogs may be prone to produce more ear wax and this can cause a mildly unpleasant odor. If this is the only culprit, your dog shouldn’t show signs of trouble as seen in dogs suffering from ear infections. You should be able to easily remedy this problem by using a good ear cleaner. Since dog ears are delicate, only clean your dog’s ears after following your veterinarian’s guidelines and directions.Consider though that when the ear wax production becomes excessive, the ear becomes moist and inflamed causing yeast and bacteria to multiple while overwhelming the dog’s immune system. All of this predisposes the dog to an ear infection, points out board-certified veterinary dermatologist Dr. Michele Rosenbaum.

4) Hormonal Issue

If your dog’s hormones get out of whack, that may be a culprit for that funky ear smell. Dogs are known to suffer from two main endocrine disorders, hypothyroidism and hyperadrenocorticism.Hypothyroidism leads to lower than normal thyroid levels which can impact the dog’s body in many ways. On top of predisposing dogs to ear infections, low thyroid levels in dogs can cause dogs to gain weight, suffer from hair loss and dull skin, act lethargic and feel cold.Hyperadrenocorticism, also known as Cushing’s disease, takes place when a dog’s adrenal glands produce too much cortisol. On top of becoming predisposed to infections (including ear infections), affected dogs may exhibit the following symptoms: hair loss, an enlarged abdomen, increased drinking and urination and increased appetite.

How to Stop Dog Ear Odors

Dogs may also get ear infections and associated odor when they develop growths in their ears. A polyp, for example, can predispose a dog’s ear to infections. Fortunately, polyps are benign growths.Although not very common, dogs may also get tumors in their ears. Sometimes these growths may keep oozing and bleeding producing a bad smell. Some tumors may produce dead skin which can smell very strongly and may attract maggots.Having the mass aspirated by the vet using a fine needle (fine-needle aspiration) may provide a good idea of what the growth is and the best surgical and medical approach to this (if any).