Ear Troubles

Ear troubles are common in dogs, especially the long-eared varieties, such as the Dachshund, Setter, and Cocker. Minor cuts, insect bites, ear cankers and hematomas are common ear ailments. Prompt attention to ear conditions, no matter how trivial they seem, will prevent serious trouble that may lead to deafness.

Ear Canker or Otorrhea

Ear cankers may be visible on the outer parts of the ear or just down inside. Both inner and outer ear cankers are caused by infections or parasites.

The symptoms of ear canker are ulcerations, constant shaking of the head, pawing at the ears and the presence of scabs or crusts. Some dogs are very irritable when they are suffering from ear cankers and will resent having their ears touched.

You can help relieve the dog's discomfort by washing the canker with mild soap and warm water. Use absorbent cotton and wash away the scabs and crusts. After you've cleaned the canker, apply some mineral or sesame oil on a cotton swab and gently coat the affected part. A dusting with an antiseptic powder, such as BFI powder, will help. If the canker persists, consult your veterinarian.


A hematoma is a swelling containing blood. It usually occurs between the skin and the ear cartilage and often follows an injury to the ear. The condition is common in long-or floppy-eared dogs.

The symptoms are a soft swelling inside or outside the ear, pain or sensitivity when the spot is touched, and heat in the affected part. A hematoma requires surgical drainage, so take the dog to the veterinarian.

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